San Diego is an exciting city, and an awesome location for catching a live band – or perhaps several! There are a ton of sensational music festivals held year-round, so there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy. And as anyone who has been to a music festival would know, these kinds of concerts tend to have lots of energy, which makes for an unforgettable experience!
As you’re planning your concert calendar, consider checking out these four San Diego music festivals:
As the name would suggest, the San Diego IndieFest is a music festival that focus on indie artists. For those unfamiliar with the term, indie music simply means independent music; indie artists are usually unsigned and have freedom regarding every aspect of the band. This means that their music is not manipulated by producers to fit a sound that will sell, and it means that business decisions are actually made by the band rather than an external source like a record label. The purpose of this is so that the music embodies a sense of freedom and self-expression, which is the mission statement of the festival – celebrating raw, unprocessed music that comes from the soul.
IndieFest takes place in mid-August each year, and some of the past headlining artists have been Cake, Ghost of the Robot, and of Verona. In addition to being a music festival, IndieFest celebrates film, art, and local businesses.
This festival is a large-scale, multi-genre music and media conference. Rather than being held in an open outdoor location, there are many venues throughout the city that host the event. The festival is put on by the San Diego Music Foundation, and the goal is to enrich the music scene by providing opportunities for music education, helping develop professionals in the music industry, and holding live music performances. This particular festival embraces the career side of music more so than other festivals, so it’s a great place for anyone pursuing a career in music.
San Diego Music Thing takes place around the middle of September each year. Those who run the festival take submissions for artists, so each year’s lineup depends on what bands submit their music. Some notable artists that have performed at past festivals include Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, Mike Herrera from MxPx, FIDLAR, and Ra Ra Riot. Some of the venues that host the festival are the Casbah, the Birch North Park Theatre, and Bar Pink.
Adams Avenue Unplugged is an acoustic, two-day music festival that takes place toward the end of April. Similar to the San Diego Music Thing, this festival takes place at many different venues rather than just one. The venues are primarily located along a two-mile stretch of Adams Avenue, which is where the festival gets its name. The festival is free, although reserved seating tickets are available, since space is limited.
Some headliners from past years of Adams Avenue Unplugged include Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, the Sumner Brothers, Peter Case, Willie Watson, and Jonny Fritz. The festival is also a celebration of the booming businesses and exciting happenings of Adams Avenue, a prominent business district in San Diego. This music festival will appeal to those who enjoy acoustic music and those who appreciate culture and the way it is represented on Adams Avenue.
This three-day jazz music festival is held on Memorial Day weekend at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa. Past festivals have included performances by the likes of Charlie Wilson, Brian Culbertson, Maxwell, and many more. Ticket prices for the event range from $150-$975 for a three-day pass, and between $50 and $250 for single-day passes. Ticket prices differ depending on seating and a few other factors. If you are a jazz enthusiast, this festival is a great place to go to see live performances by some of your favorite artists.
As you can see, there is plenty of diversity to be seen in all of the San Diego music festivals held throughout the year! There is bound to be one that you are interested in – and even if not, go anyway! You might be surprised by how easy it is to enjoy yourself.
Tickets are available on the websites of the festivals mentioned above, so decide which one is the most intriguing to you and start planning for an awesome experience. The music scene can only thrive if music fans support it, so do your part and enjoy all that music has to offer by attending a music festival in San Diego.
Photo by Bengt Nyman