5 Music Festivals That Rock In Southern California

Southern California is home to some of the best music festivals in the country. Blues, reggae, gospel, and more — the Long Beach music scene is just as exciting as it is diverse, making this SoCal city a true destination for music fans everywhere. These exciting music festivals feature national, award-winning acts to up-and-coming artists. Block off the streets and turn up the ‘tunes! Here are five of Long Beach’s best music festivals you can’t miss!

Long Beach Jazz Festival: A weekend of smooth beats and soothing saxophones from top jazz headlining artists and local acts awaits you at the Long Beach Jazz Festival. This music festival will be held from August 13 to August 15. Festivities begin at 5PM on Friday night and wrap up at 10:30PM on Sunday night. Tickets can be purchased in advanced or at the door — both VIP and box seats are available.

Annual Blues Festival: Going on its 31st year, Long Beach Blues Festival is the longest-running and most prominent blues event in the United States. This festival is a fundraiser for KKJZ 88.1FM, a publicly-supported radio station. In past years, this music festival has featured top blues performers including the Black Crowes, Kenny Wayne Shepard, and the Allman Brothers. The Blues Festival is held during Labor Day weekend and features musical acts spread out over two stages, shopping, and local food vendors. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance. Free admission for children under 12.

Gospel Fest: Gospel Fest is a new addition to Long Beach’s music festival scene — its first even was held in 2009. This feel-good music festival is held during the middle of July and features performances by local choirs and national headlining performers. Along with upbeat performances, Gospel Fest features excellent food, beautiful ocean views, and it’s a great way to spend the afternoon with people from the community.

Ragga Muffins Festival: This family-friendly reggae indoor music festival honoring Bob Marley takes place annually in February at the Long Beach Arena. Tickets can be purchased online or on the day of the concert. Ragga Muffin’s lineup typically includes nationally recognized reggae artists as well as up-and-coming independent acts. Past events featured artists such as Rootz Underground, Stephan Marley, and Queen Ifrica. The Ragga Muffins Festival also features a huge craft sale and excellent food choices, as well as a kid’s play area with face painting, storytelling, and other activities.

Bayou Festival: You don’t have to travel to Louisiana to experience a Madri Gras-style party! The Bayou Festival is held annually in Long Beach, California’s Rainbow Lagoon near the end of June. This exciting music festival features two stages of Cajun, zydeco, jazz, and blues-style musical acts. Also available are hundreds of craft vendors, traditional Cajun and Creole food, a parade, dancing, and parties — all the the style and tradition of Madri Gras! Tickets can be purchased online or at the event. VIP passes are also available.

These Long Beach music festivals are a great way to support independent artists, see live performances from award-winning acts, meet members of the community, and get out of the house and have a great time. Music festivals are a great way to come together with people to celebrate a love for music, community, and great food.

Darla Blackmon