Your Guide to California's Summer Music Festivals

No-chella? No problem. There are many events happening in California this summer, and some don’t even have the kind of dress-code that requires you to spend a small fortune on glitter.

Here’s a list of fun events a short bus drive away from the Bay Area that you and your friends can easily get to with a San Francisco charter bus rental. This summer, there’s a California music festival to fit everyone’s style – and a bus to get you there.

Huichica Music Festival, June 8-9

  • Where? Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St, Sonoma, CA
  • How Far? 52 minutes bus ride from San Francisco
Get to Huichica summer festival with a charter bus rental.
Music and wine make a perfect pairing! This family-friendly festival makes for the perfect weekend escape. Photo courtesy of Gundlach Bundschu Winery.

Around since 2010, the Huichica Music festival (pronounced wah-CHEE-ka if you want to tell your friends about it) is a micro-festival that focuses on music, wine, and food in the Sonoma Valley region. Expect indie pop, rock, and folk tunes. With a beautiful location, and many accommodations and parking options, this family-friendly event is the perfect way to discover the California indie scene, and all the treats the Sonoma valley has to offer.

Splash House, June 8-10 & August 10-12

  • Where? Palm Springs, CA
  • How Far? 6 hours 54 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco
For those who love spring break, and want to repeat the wild experience this summer – Splash House is the festival of your dreams! Photo courtesy of Splash House

If dance music and DJs are your thing, this multi-venue extravaganza is the perfect event for dancing your heart out all day (and night) long. Choose a weekend package from one of the four different host hotels, and pool-hop between venues to get the full Splash House experience.

Oysterfest Music Festival, June 9-10

  • Where? Embarcadero Marina Park, 400 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA
  • How Far? 7 hours 33 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco
Did you miss San Francisco’s Oysterfest? Not to worry, San Diego is hosting an event, and it’s only a few hours away by bus.

Oysterfest offers a perfect pairing: great music and… oysters! Even if you’re not into the acquired-taste delicacy, there are plenty of other food options to choose from. If you’re over 21 and into discovering a wide variety of national and local musicians and DJs while slurping oysters, you’ll need to shuck it out!

Railroad Square Music Festival, June 10

  • Where? Davis St & 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA
  • How Far? 1 hour Bus Ride from San Francisco
Travel to the Rairoad Square Festival in a charter bus rental.
Enjoy listening to some tunes with the whole family! Photo courtesy of the Railroad Square Festival.

Run by The Lost Church, a non-profit in the North Bay that strives to support the music scene in the area and promote up-and-coming artists. This free festival is the perfect event to discover the latest musicians entering the scene. Over 20 performers will be gracing the stage over the course of the day-long Railroad Square Music Festival.

Country Summer Music Festival, June 15-17

  • Where? 1350 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, CA
  • How Far? 1 hour Bus Ride from San Francisco
Travel to Santa Rosa's Country Music Festival in a charter bus rental.
Love yourself some good ol’ country tunes? Head on down to Santa Rosa! Photo courtesy of Country Summer Musiv Festival.

For country music lovers, you don’t have to venture too far out of the city to experience an authentic music experience. As the largest country music festival in Northern California, the event attracts some of the best-known headliners, including Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Toby Keith. If you’re looking for a fun-filled weekend of great music, craft beer, tasty eats, and Western-themed attractions, head on down to Sonoma County’s Country Summer Music Festival. Camp sites are available on festival grounds for those wanting to prolong the weekend’s festivities.

Arroyo Seco Weekend, June 23-24

  • Where? Brookside Golf & Country Club, 1133 Rosemont Ave, Pasadena, CA
  • How Far? 5 hours 21 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco
Arroyo Secco is no dry weekend! Craft beer and wine flow aplenty at this wonderful festival. Photo courtesy of Arroyo Secco Weekend.

Despite only being a year old, this festival is turning up some solid acts. Neil Young and the Promise of the Real, as well as Jack White and Shakey Graves, will be gracing the stage at the Arroyo Seco Weekend festival this year. Brought to you by the organizers of Coachella, you’re guaranteed a great experience, with a more affordable price tag. There are several hotel options nearby as well as a festival ticket and hotel package available on their website.

Festival Napa Valley, June 20-29

  • Where? 1850 Soscol Ave ste 205, Napa, CA
  • How Far? 52 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco
Make your way to Nappa Valley Fest in a charter bus rental.
Wine enthusiasts will love this family-friendly event, set in beautiful Napa Valley. Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Fest.

Napa Valley isn’t just known for its wine – it also has a well-established and talented classical music scene. Festival Napa Valley strives to foster a sense of community by not only putting on stellar performances by top talent but also helping to raise funds to keep students in school. Unlike most festivals, you pay for individual concerts and there’s a large selection of free ones as well.

Guitar Fish Music Festival, July 26-29

  • Where? Cisco Grove Campground & RV, 48415 Hampshire Rocks Rd, Emigrant Gap, CA
  • How Far? 2 hours 41 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco
Make your way to Guitar Fish Fest with a charter bus rental.
Guitar Fish Festival honours its beautiful surroundings with whimsically designed stages. Photo by Casey Onamission, courtesy of Guitar Fish Festival.

The Guitar Fish Music Festival is not your average event! Located in the beautiful Sierras near the South Yuba River, top-notch music intertwines with hiking, mountain and road biking, and otherworldly nature. GuitarFish Music Festival is the brain child of the team over at Joshua Tree Music festival, and works with non-profit organizations to protect our waterways. The festival is great for families, and offers a variety of activities including yoga, workshops, and fun, kid-friendly activities.

Wanderlust Squaw Valley, July 19-22

  • Where? North Lake Tahoe, California
  • How Far? 3 hours 45 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Wanderlust is a event partner, you can purchase a shuttle ticket from San Francisco to Wanderlust Squaw Valley and make friends with other yogis on your way there!

Get to a Wanderlust event with a charter bus rental.
Get your endorphin levels rising with a perfect blend of music, yoga, and whimsy! Photo courtesy of Wanderlust.

Close your eyes and set your intentions. Is it to have a great time this summer? Then you should probably consider heading over to Wanderlust in Lake Tahoe this summer. Both newly minted yoga enthusiasts and advanced yogis will enjoy the day improving their practice in the sun, and revelling in awesome music acts at night. Make sure to grab a ticket on the official shuttle to meet like-minded people on your way there, and pack some camping gear for the full experience!

Hard Summer Music Festival, August 4-5

  • Where? Auto Club Speedway, 9300 Cherry Ave, Fontana, CA
  • How Far? 6hours 7 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco
HARD Events are known for their legendary experiences like HARD Red Rocks, and Holy Ship! Photo courtesy of HARD events.

With a new and improved festival layout and stage designs, the Hard Summer Music Festival is going to be better than ever this year. Marshmello, Zeds Dead, and Louis the Child are among some of the headliners popping up at this year’s festival.

All My Friends Music Festival, August 18-19

  • Where? ROW DTLA, 777 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA
  • How Far? 5 hours 27 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco
DESTINY formerly known as Princess Nokia performing at last year’s All Your Friends fest. Photo courtesy of All Your Friends Festival.

Set in the heart of one of downtown LA’s most artsy areas, All My Friends Music Festival is just as cool as it sounds. If you’re into industrial-chic events that boast great talents such as RL Grime, Gucci Mane, M.I.A., and Jamie XX, this hip-hop and R&B festival will be right up your alley.

Burning Man, August 26- September 3

  • Where? Nevada’s Black Rock Desert
  • How Far? 6.5 hours Bur Ride from San Francisco
Make your way to Burning Man with a charter bus rental.
The first Burning Man was held in 1986! Photo by @nokeefe via Twenty20

Ever heard of Burning Man? Yeah, you have! Whether you’re a music and arts fan, or simply want to live out your Mad Max fantasy, this larger-than-life festival will give you the surrealist experience you crave. Be careful though! The Black Rock Desert is a harsh environment, and festival-goers are required to be self-sufficient, and know how to deal with the elements.

Make the most of your Summer!

Whether you’re into family-friendly day festivals in the vicinity of San Francisco, or wild festival experiences that go beyond most people’s comfort zones, enjoying the summer is all about seeking new experiences! And, with the help of a charter bus rental, you can organize a group outing, and inspire your friends to go on an adventure.

New to the bus rental scene? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Bus Rentals to get started.