Skip town for flower crowns

With spring just around the corner and the weather hopefully warming up soon, many of us students at the University of San Diego can’t wait to break out our floral shirts, bucket hats, knit tanks from Brandy Melville, and henna tattoos for the start of festival season. There’s nothing quite like having dust-caked skin and dancing in the sun for 12 plus hours, taking selfie after selfie. With that in mind, here are five California festivals to check out, featuring a wide range of music and experiences for every kind of festival junkie.

1. Noise Pop – San Francisco, Calif. – February 17-26

Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival takes over downtown San Francisco with its over 160 artists, 85 events, and 25 different venues. The festival features music from current styles of electronic and dance to old-school jazz to fuzzy alternative indie rock. The festival showcases up-and-coming musicians and artists, so you won’t find Drake or Adele playing, but that isn’t to say you won’t see some fantastic acts. The larger bands and artists playing are Ty Segall, Vince Staples, MSTRKRFT, Cloud Nothings, and, as an added bonus, a local San Diego band, The Frights. If you’re into the indie scene, or if you want to discover some new music before it hits the mainstream, this festival is for you.

2. CRSSD Festival Spring (21+) – San Diego, Calif. – March 4-5

CRSSD is San Diego’s own electronic music festival, located at the scenic Waterfront Park in downtown. CRSSD is a hybrid between dance music and celebrating San Diego’s craft beer scene, which is one of the most unique experiences at a music festival. The style of electronic music at CRSSD is more laid back and groovy than some other EDM festivals. The spring lineup features Flume, Snakehips, Duke Dumont, and Blood Orange, plus many others. The festival is spread over three stages, with craft beer tents in between. Overall, it’s a relaxed vibe for a music festival. If you enjoy going to Bang Bang in downtown SD, this festival is essentially designed for you.

3. Desert Hearts (21+) – Warner Springs, Calif. – March 31-April 3

One of the more adventurous festivals out there, Desert Hearts is a bi-annual music and arts festival. As per their website, the festival is designed to be, “A community, a movement of love celebrating life with beats.” At this point, the lineup is still a mystery, but you can expect a blend of dance, electronic, hip-hop, and other groove-based music to feature at the festival. The mantra of the festival is inclusive, welcoming, and born out of love. Desert Hearts is definitely a place to get weird in the middle of the desert among others doing exactly the same thing. It’s perfect for dusty hippie folk or for anyone who needs a few hugs.

4. Coachella – Indio, Calif. – April 14-16, April 21-23

Does Coachella even need a description these days? What started as a relatively small indie and alternative music festival has grown into possibly the most well-known American music festival, punctuated by the world-famous headliners, Radiohead, Beyoncé, and Kendrick Lamar. The lineup has pretty much all genres covered, and other notable acts include Mac DeMarco, Lorde, Gucci Mane, Porter Robinson, The XX, Father John Misty, and Martin Garrix. There are now so many high-profile acts playing at Coachella, it’s nearly impossible to see even half of the noteworthy artists at the festival these days. The popular complaint with Coachella is that it’s become too mainstream, and isn’t the same as it used to be, and while that may be true in part, it’s still one of the only places to see some of the best performers in the world gather for two weekends. Perfect for non-hipsters.

5. Stagecoach – Indio, Calif. – April 28-30

Stagecoach is essentially the same as Coachella—you just have to replace the flower crowns with cowboy hats. Also located in Indio, Calif., Stagecoach is Southern California’s country music festival. Headlined by Dierks Bentley, Shania Twain, and Kenny Chesney, it’s probably one of the more down-home festivals around. Lots of plaid and cowboy boots, along with some line dancing, make Stagecoach a unique experience. To be fair, Stagecoach is probably the festival with the narrowest target audience, but if you love country music, you’ll have a great time. Non-country music fans need not apply.

These are five of the largest upcoming festivals around California, when it’s time to break out that bucket hat, which will you choose?

Written by Walker Chuppe, Arts & Culture Editor