As 2015 approaches its end, we can’t help but to already be looking at what 2016 will have in store. 2015 was without a doubt the year of the music festival. More specifically and in my own opinion, camping festivals took first place. For those of us in the music industry there really is no “off-season” for festival season. After attending 11 festivals in 2015 it’s safe to say my appetite was fulfilled and then some. With even more focus on festivals next year and the number of festivals we saw popping up out of nowhere in 2015, numbers will only increase in 2016. As a result, festival production companies will be in heavy competition with one another and daunted with the task of bringing in more people and more revenue. Stacked lineups will no longer be the only lure to draw in numbers. 2016 will bring about more and more people seeking that certain something special at a festival. A vibe, a certain style of music and a more rounded out whole experience from start to finish. The result of experiencing Lightning in a Bottle, Desert Hearts and DirtyBird Campout this year for the first time made a lasting impression on myself. From the people who attend these types of festivals, the music presented, the vibe they create and the love you receive upon first stepping onto their sacred grounds, these festivals will surely inspire you and have you looking at the world in a different light.
Gem and Jam– Feb 12-14th, 2016 Tucson, AZ – What better way to spend Valentine’s Day weekend? Celebrating its 10th year, Gem and Jam features live art and installations, workshops, galleries, and will take place during the world-renowned Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase. Also being featured is a Soulection curated stage. This will also most likely be the place where Tycho will be playing some of his new material for the first time. Not too shabby of a way to start off 2016 and also figures to be a warmer environment to kick things off in the new year.
CRSSD– March 5-6th, 2016 San Diego, CA – Returning for its second year and 3rd festival, CRSSD Fest is among our favorites here at Daily Beat. Located at the beautiful Waterfront Park, CRSSD Fest is quickly becoming California’s favorite new festival. With an eclectic lineup featuring bands as well as DJs, CRSSD has something for everyone and the views are impeccable. This year’s March edition could possibly be their best yet. GESAFFELSTEIN, Claude Von Stroke, Odesza, Tycho, Gorgon City, Hot Since 82, Loco Dice, Skream and many more will grace the sunny and majestic San Diego Waterfront Park.
Suspended in a Sunbeam– March 25-27th, 2016 Apple Valley, CA – Nestled in the Apple Valley, Suspended in a Sunbeam will feature some of the best up and coming artists today. Darin Epsilon, MiHKAL and Bachelors of Science headline the festival and there is no shortage of talented and special supporting acts. With Moontribe’s own Brad and Della, Suspended figures to be one of the best kept secrets of 2016.
Desert Hearts Spring Edition– April 1-4th, 2016 Southern California – Without a doubt one of my personal favorite festivals of 2015, Desert Hearts shows no signs of slowing down in 2016. After celebrating its third year in 2015, Desert Hearts‘ mission to spread their love around the world. From a New Years Eve event at the Mayan ruins in Tulum to their very own domestic tour, 2016 and Desert Hearts is figuring to be a truly unique and magical experience. Love and nothing but a good time is what ensues at their events and after experiencing for yourself, you’ll understand why people just can’t keep quite about the feel, vibe and energy of Desert Hearts.
Lucidity– April 8-11th, 2016 Santa Barbara, CA – A transformational festival located in Central California just past Santa Barbara, Lucidity is right in my back yard. Workshops, live art, yoga and guest speakers is what makes Lucidity one of a kind. Now in its fifth year, Lucidity remains one of the most talked about festivals in California amongst the transformational realm. A truly life-changing experience, I would recommend skipping Coachella and give this a try instead, as it is held the week before the first weekend of Coachella.
Lightning in a Bottle– May 26-30th, 2016 Bradley, CA – Similar to Lucidity but on a bigger scale, Lightning in a Bottle is hands down my favorite festival I’ve ever attended. Also located in Central California, Lightning in a Bottle is a truly magical place. The Do Lab is the one responsible for the Thunder Stage and the Woogie and makes LIB the epitome of what a festival should be. Organic food, yoga, workshops, meditation, some of the world’s best music and most beautiful people, and a gorgeous setting combine for heaven on Earth. LIB has also added a whole first day of activities and camping without any artists gracing the stages to give you an extra day of tranquility.
Electric Forest– June 23-26th, 2016 Rothbury, MI – The company behind EDC has another top-notch festival, although you might not even be aware. Electric Forest has been at the top of seasoned festival goers’ lists for some time now and with it being a week after EDC, some of the most committed attendees hit this right after Vegas. While that may be too much of a stretch for most and judging from what I’ve heard from those that have attended EF in the past, EDC is worth skipping a year in lieu of the Forest.
Symbiosis– Sept 22-25th, 2016 CA – Sometimes referred to as “Swimbiosis,” this yearly event in Northern California has remained at the top of attendees lists’ as “the best festival.” A beautiful terrain and setting, a stage featured in the water itself, and a lineup that includes some of the world’s best talented artists. Taking place during the winter solstice, Symbiosis is another transformational festival. As of now the location is still being decided for 2016 but one look at the recap video below and you can see that wherever it is, it’s going be quite the trip.
Burning Man– Aug 28-Sept 5th, 2016 Black Rock City, NV – Needing no introduction, Burning Man is the cream of the crop. Nearly ten days of dust, smiles and endless shenanigans ensue at the now almost 30-year-old event. This will be my first year on the Playa and I look forward to many more to come. All in all if this is the only major event I attend in 2016, I will be completely satisfied.
DirtyBird Campout– October 2016 Southern California – Last but not least, a little DirtyBird action to cap festival season off. The first DirtyBird Campout was a smashing success and was hailed by many, including me, as being one of the best of 2015. Claude Von Stroke and Justin Martin personally curated the camping festival at the original location of where Lightning in a Bottle used to be held at in Oak Canyon Park. The Do Lab was also behind the first DirtyBird Campout and also puts on Lightning in a Bottle. From late night movies, boat races, archery and other camp related activities including hanging out with the camp counselors themselves, DirtyBird Campout was one of the most intimate settings and events I have been a part of.