Photos by Alan Sheckter
You can feel it in the air, refreshing your mind, invigorating the soul in some intangible way: every single person, of the thousands of people around you, is here by free will. All of you have chosen to attend THIS festival for THIS weekend, shaping your day-jobs around THIS instead of letting your day-jobs shape your life.
Things are possible during such a gathering that aren’t possible under any other circumstances. Some people go through most of their lives before experiencing a really GOOD festival, after which their lives are changed forever.
Thriving at the Festival
IF YOU CAN’T SHOWER, DO YOU WHAT YOU CAN
Your sanity will greatly benefit from small, simple actions: brushing your teeth, washing your hands, washing your face, putting on fresh clothes. When you’re drunk/high/awake for over twelve hours, these symbolic acts can seem too small to make any difference, but in fact they have a very stabilizing effect on your psyche.
SMALL SNACKS, ALL DAY
Through dancing, drugs, alcohol, sun-exposure, and just being around A LOT of people, you’ll be absorbing and expending way more energy than usual. Your metabolism will go way up, and you’ll need to keep throwing logs on your fire throughout the day, or you’ll burn out. Nuts, fruit, ORANGES, protein bars, etc.
JUNE 5TH – JUNE 28TH
Over three weeks of fun with bikes, and it’s happening NOW. Unicycle Polo (and workshops for unicycle n00bs), naked bike rides, tandem-only rides, rides in plaid only, dance parties, bike jousting, dancing and DJ’s, and bike-tours of the beautiful Portland scenery. Damn.
Electric Daisy Carnival
JUNE 20TH – JUNE 22ND
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, LAS VEGAS, NV
If you need more information about EDC, you probably won’t be going, because it’s sold out. The ultimate rave of the decade, set in the electric desert of Vegas.
Conscious Culture Festival
JUNE 20TH – JUNE 22ND
BARTER FAIRE SITE, TONASKET, WA
It’s a long drive, but getting a weekend pass costs only $50, and you get tons of music set in the beautiful Washington state. Featuring Kabaka Pyramid, Staxx Brothers, The Blackberry Bushes, and like 40 EDM artists.
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival
JUNE 20TH – JUNE 22ND
MENDOCINO COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS, BOONVILLE, CA
Lots of marijuana and reggae and world music. Featuring Ozomatli, Shaggy, Rebelution, Cultura Profetica, Seun Kuti, Mykal Rose, and more marijuana.
San Francisco Free Folk Festival
JUNE 21ST AND JUNE 22ND, 12PM TO 10PM
PRESIDIO MIDDLE SCHOOL, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
It’s all in the name! More families than usual, more old folks, and more folk, and it’s free. There’s dance workshops, guitar workshops, and other stuff.
SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
Does this count as a festival? Well, if fucking Aftershock made it into this feature, so will Warped Tour. Shit-tons of punk bands, hardcore bands, pop-punk bands, and some well-recognized acts like Every Time I Die. Also, there’s Less Than Jake, The Maine, Parkway Drive, The Story So Far, and A Lot Like Birds.
High Sierra Music Festival
JULY 3RD – JULY 6TH
This is the big one for Northern California, inspiring the year-after-year attendance loyalty of hundreds of young Chicoans. If you’re wanting something for the family, go for California Worldfest, because HSMF comes with a much larger share of drugs, youth, and all-night partying. Increased debauchery aside, this weekend still manages to be pretty positive and wholesome. Lauryn Hill is playing.
Sacred Movement Healing Arts and Music Festival
LAKE CONCOW CAMPGROUND, CONCOW, CA
JUNE 27TH – JUNE 29TH
This is the local one! Some of Chico’s best will be there, including Dylan’s Dharma, Wolfthump, Bogg, Swamp Zen, and The LoLos. Delhi 2 Dublin is one of the headliners, and everyone knows they fucking shred. This festival is special because all benefits go to helping Concow build a permanent community center, dedicated to low and no cost services for the community.
JULY 10TH – JULY 13TH
GRASS VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS, GRASS VALLEY, CA
The family-friendly, very local, surprisingly awesome weekend party of Grass Valley. A total of EIGHT stages showcasing a huge variety of music of all cultures, with the added bonus of headliners Los Lonely Boys. Delhi 2 Dublin is playing (as always), and Friday and Saturday’s late-night drum circles are still some of the coolest, most pure dance parties I’ve experienced.
Northern Nights Music Festival
JULY 18TH – JULY 20TH
COOK’S VALLEY CAMPGROUND, MENDOCINO/HUMBOLDT COUNTYLINE, CA
This weekend is headlined by Beats Antique, Justin Martin, and Zion I, and filled out with some indie groups and a lot of DJs. The Redwood Curtain you’ll be camping and partying in is perfect for setting the right mood, and for providing some rest when you need to collapse for a few hours.
Reggae On The River
JULY 31ST – AUGUST 3RD
HUMBOLDT COUNTY, CA
I hate reggae, but don’t let that deter you—I’m dumb and un-enlightened! Jimmy Cliff, Alpha Blondy & The Solar System, Iration, Fishbone, and a shit-ton of marijuana in southern Humboldt County.
AUGUST 8TH – AUGUST 11TH
TIDEWATER FALLS, TIDEWATER, OR
Artists. Dancers. Hippies. Dubstep. More chilled, more spacious, more scenic, and it’s organized with a focus on the sacred.
SEPTEMBER 13TH – SEPTEMBER 14TH
DISCOVERY PARK, SACRAMENTO, CA
This one’s for all the Z-Rock fans. This two-dayer has no place to camp, being in Sacramento, but it does have Weezer and Mastodon. Oh, and Limp Bizkit.
AUGUST 8TH – AUGUST 10TH
GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Fucking KANYE WEST in Golden Gate Park! This is already sold out, but goddamn is it a good line-up this year: Tom Petty, The Killers, Death Cab For Cutie, Run the Jewels… Sick.