Finally, we’ve turned the corner on the colder times of the year and it’s time to ditch the coats. At last, you can put the top down to let the wind blow in your hair again (at least until a bug splats on your forehead). With spring comes the natural charms of birds chirping in the morning and bees buzzing in the afternoon, it’s just a whole new tone in the tempo of the year. It’s also an excuse to let loose and gather some friends to hit the road and start checking off festivals on your travel itinerary.
In the vast pantheon of festivals that occur globally every year, with diverse options from wild music to scenic landscapes to craft cuisine, it can be challenging to decide which one is right for your friend group or for the occasion. Want a monster lineup stacked with popular acts or would a cozy community-driven event be more preferable? The choices are endless. With that in mind, we got on the case and sifted through the noise to come up with this helpful breakdown of standout experiences. Whether you’re looking for bliss-blasting sunsets and beautiful people, or you just need to unwind this handy guide should hold at least one party that even the most distinguished palate will find to be perfect.
Read on and see if your favorite spring festival made the cut, or scroll through and get inspired to explore a new one. The only question is: Will you attend with a friend or go it alone and make new friends along the way?
CRSSD Festival, San Diego, California — March 7th-8th
San Diego’s most celebrated gem of house and techno music is quite literally bursting at the seams. With tickets to the waterfront festival selling out this year in a matter of hours, CRSSD was quickly recognized as one of the most in-demand festival experiences on the market today. With dynamite acts like Gesaffelstein, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Carl Cox, Charlotte de Witte, Chris Lake, Nora en Pure, Soulwax, Inner City, and Patrick Topping, it’s safe to say CRSSD curates the most anticipated house and techno music festival lineup on the West Coast today.
Tickets to CRSSD Fest can be found here. Tickets are sold out. But there’s an RSVP option and an official ticket exchange is still available on the CRSSD website.
Miami Music Week, Miami, Florida — March 16th-22nd
On the East Coast, Miami Music Week is just kicking off. The conference assembles many of the most established titans as well as forward-thinking pioneers in electronic music from on-stage, back-stage, and everywhere in between. It’s a gathering of the most venerable in the industry and a must-not-miss for budding DJs who hope to jump onto bigger stages.
Splayed across the Miami metropolitan area from March 16th to 22nd, this festival is a citywide undertaking drawing acts like Armin van Buren, Bassjackers, Carl Cox, David Guetta, Eric Prydz, and several others. Now heading into its 10th anniversary, Miami Music Week fuses the flavors of networking experiences with educational opportunities and wraps it all in a world-class music festival. The results are potent too. In 2018 alone, Miami Music Week delivered over twelve hundred artists in performances at more than three hundred events, hosted at more than eighty-five venues.
Get your tickets to Miami Music Week here.
Altus Music Festival, Lake Tahoe, California — March 18th-21st
Headed into their inaugural year, Altus Festival is making moves to be the premier music festival experience for winter sports enthusiasts. Love skiing and snowboarding but need a festival with an eclectic taste in tunes? Altus will be a fast favorite. Music bookings like Bonobo, Sugarhill Gang ft. Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio of the Furious Five, Lee Burridge, Mr. G, WhoMadeWho, Justin Martin, Behrouz and set the vibe in tandem with twelve of the most exceptional party-throwing crews in dance music.
The parties and performances are being held at the area’s leading resorts like the Heavenly Ski Resort, Mont Bleu, Harrah’s, and Hard Rock. Lift tickets are included with admission, and pro snowboarders like Jake Pates and Kyle Mack are said to be among other winter sports celebs in attendance. Altus is already looking like the chillest weekend adventurer one could hope to find in a music festival.
Grab tickets to the Atlus Festival here.
Do LaB at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Indio, California — April 10th-12th
This is a bonafide festival within a festival. Stepping onto the dancefloor at Do LaB — after walking the rest of the grounds at Coachella — is like entering another dimension. Between the shaded escape from the sun and the water cannons blasting refreshment over the crowd, there’s just nothing else like it on the Polo Fields. Rolling Stone even called it Coachella’s “best dancefloor.”
One of the features that make Do LaB such a draw is the architectural prowess that’s poured into the stage design. Somewhere between a demonstration of origami at the scale of James and The Giant Peach and a psychedelic tent meant for the world’s trippiest circus, Do LaB is a party for the eyes even from a distance. Like a black hole of friendship and joy, the more Do LaB’s gravity pulls you in, the better it feels.
Find out more information about Do LaB here.
Wild West Brewfest, Houston Texas — April 16th-20th
For three days at the Katy Mills Mall in Texas, you can experience a near-endless selection (well, 600 different selections) of craft brews from all over the country. This year’s Wild West Brewfest will feature more beer gardens than any festival you’ve ever been to, carnival-style games, live music, food trucks, and an entire festival full of people who share a singular passion for a pint of the good stuff. If you have a passion for craft beers and you’re in the Houston area, this is a no-brainer.
Get your tickets to the Wild West Brewfest here, 100 percent of proceeds from the festival go to charity. Cheers!
Desert Hearts Festival, Location TBA — April 26th-28th
Built community-first around a movement based on love, Desert Hearts Festival is the flagship event of the famed Desert Hearts label and crew. With their new label, Desert Hearts Black the heavy-hitting quadfecta that includes Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Marbs and Porky, now boasts a bigger range of styles from bouncy sunny fun-loving house to gritty dark underground techno. Headed into their 12th iteration of the Desert Hearts Festival in eight years, the momentum behind their continued growth and evolution is unstoppable to the extent that Desert Hearts is almost a genre unto itself today. With grilled cheese bars, wench toast mornings, wine & cheese parties, and a dazzling fashion show where anybody can live out their fantasy of being a runway model, Desert Hearts Festival impresses with an array of traditions that’ll keep your belly and soul satisfied.
Pick up your Desert Hearts tickets here.
Lucidity Festival, Santa Barbara, California — April 10th-12th
For a Burning Man-esque alternative to Coachella in April with a family-first lean, check out Santa Barbara’s gem, Lucidity. Built as an open-source transformational event, Lucidity is made up of elemental realms and archetypal characters who perform a grand ballet of storytelling unlike any other event in music festivals today.
Sometimes more like larping than a conventional festival, this meadowy ball of hippy magic, trippy art, and kaleidoscopic bass music emanates a purity rarely found at music events today. In fact, those who attend will be the first to point out, there’s just not another event like it. With a theme for each iteration of the festival and successive stories told like chapters in a book for each passing year at the event, Lucidity expands its impact and continues its evolution. It’s no wonder it made the UPROXX Travel Hot List.
Grab tickets to Lucidity here.
Art With Me, Tulum, Mexico — April 22nd-26th
When Tulum’s Art With Me was launched in May of 2018, it was pretty well understood that the festival would showcase finely detailed and larger than life sculpture. What few expected was just how magnificently the definition of art could extend to include gourmet foods, wellness, sustainability, and top-shelf music. This year the lineup is stacked with powerhouses in house and techno like Acid Pauli, Be Svendsen, Matanza, Nahko, Pillowtalk, and many others.
Through the Care With Me foundation, the festival channels inspiration from art into environmentally sound, future-forward initiatives in continued steps towards a more sustainable Tulum. There are also a number of beach cleanups and opportunities to get involved on a local level.
Get your tickets to Art With Me here.
Vegas Uncork’d, Las Vegas, Nevada — May 9th-12th
Good eats, great drinks, and an excuse to go to Las Vegas? Sounds good, right? You don’t want to miss Bon Appétit’s Vegas Uncork’d. The festival gathers together some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs and foodies to one city for a festival designed around excess. You’ll have so many different options at the star-studded culinary picnic, that choosing a meal will feel a lot like looking at a music festival lineup and deciding which stage deserves your time. A weekend at Vegas Uncork’d is bound to make you feel like life can’t get any better, and with temperatures in a comfortable range, there isn’t a better time to visit Sin City and take a dip in a shimmering cerulean pool.
Tickets to Vegas Uncork’d 2020 are not yet on sale, click here to sign up for updates.
Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas, Nevada — May 15th-17th
If you’re already planning a trip to Vegas for Uncork’d, you might as well stay a few more days for EDC. Why spend your spring vacation doing anything else when you can be dancing your face off at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for three days of wall and bone-rattling EDM from some of electronic music’s most eclectic producers and performers. EDC is the Coachella of Electronic music, and it’s one of the festivals you absolutely don’t want to miss this year. Where else are you going to be able to wear bright neon colors, dance with people in giant fursuits, and wear next-to-nothing while partying for a weekend in the city of sin?
Pick up tickets for the Electric Daisy Carnival here.
Lightning In a Bottle, Bakersfield, California — May 20th-25th
If their stage at Coachella is an appetizer, Do LaB’s flagship event, Lightning in a Bottle, is the main course. Held at Buena Vista Lake in Bakersfield, Lightning in a Bottle is the ideal hang for any hippy, raver, or weird-seeker in Southern California on Memorial Day Weekend. The event attracts world-class yogis, educational speakers, internationally acclaimed dancers, and students of various rituals and cultures. The event also is praised for its colossal top-line talent, bright angular structures, and experiential craftsmanship.
This year, Do LaB is packing a DJ set from James Blake, a club set from Bob Moses, the last hurrah from Noisia, and the new Two Fingers project from Amon Tobin — and those are just for a few highlights. If that weren’t enough, this year the international visionary arts pioneer Android Jones is coming out to conduct visuals for sets by Emancipator and Four Tet. Definitely go, but prepare yourself. LIB melts faces and hearts.
Scan the different Lightning In A Bottle ticket packages here.
Seismic Dance Event, Austin, Texas — May 22nd-23rd
This Memorial Day Weekend, head to the only dance festival that sounds like a natural disaster, Austin’s Seismic Dance Event. House, tech, and underground dance music fans will find a lot to love about this boutique festival that puts a love of music above all other festival accommodations. Streamlined to just two main stages, this indoor/outdoor festival is right in the heart of Austin, giving you plenty to do between sets and during the late nights when you aren’t ready for the party to stop.
Expect over 30 international artists, visually striking production, art installations, and of course, tons of food trucks.
Grab tickets and check out the lineup for Seismic Dance Event here.
SXM Festival, Saint Martin — March 11th-15th
Set in the picturesque tropical paradise of Saint Martin, SXM Festival is the ideal vacation festival for those who crave a roaring dancefloor as strongly as a vacation getaway. For five years, SXM has been combining a bevy of legends in house and techno with only the most exceptional local cuisine all to a backdrop of elating jungles, dreamy resorts, and hidden beaches. This year, the lineup also features a veritable galaxy of stars in house and techno, including cosmic names like Bedouin, Blond:ish, Chaim, Jan Blomqvist, Loco Dice, Parallels, Ricardo Villalobos, and Sabo.
Hoping to dodge a colder climate in the last few days of winter? Craving a little sunshine and salty fresh air? SXM will be just what the doctor ordered.
Tickets to SXM can be found here.