Festival Life

The Monterey Bay area has always been a mecca for the creative. Home of the original Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, musicians and artists from around the world flock to the local area for inspiration and for many, to perform and share their art. Today, Monterey hosts many of California’s most popular music festivals. With the spring and summer seasons right around the corner, now is the perfect time to begin planning and gathering friends to join in enjoying music, art, culture, and fun.

California Roots Music & Arts Festival

May 22-24, 2020
Monterey County Fair & Event Center
This three-day festival is one of the area’s largest festivals, taking place over Memorial Day Weekend for the past 11 years. Described as an “experience”, the California Roots Music & Arts Festival welcomes bands & performers including: Rebelution, J Boog, Pepper, Stick Figure, Damian ‘JR Gong’ Marley, Ice Cube, Jimmy Cliff, and the list goes on and on! This environmentally-friendly event includes a bike & skate valet, discounted hotel blocks powered through TripZero to offset the travel carbon footprint (the Portola Hotel & Spa is a featured, partner hotel), and strives to be a zero-waste event.

Photo courtesy of Cali Roots Festival

Monterey International Blues Festival

June 27, 2020
Monterey County Fair & Event Center
Celebrate this American musical tradition this summer at the Monterey International Blues Festival. This festival returned to the area in 2016 and now has expanded its audience across all ages and cultures, honoring art and music. In addition to Blues music, this festival features local artists and event proceeds benefit regional not for profits.

Carmel Bach Festival

July 18-August 1, 2020
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Celebrating the “works, inspiration, and ongoing influence of J.S. Bach worldwide”, the Carmel Bach Festival is a Carmel-by-the-Sea tradition. Founded in 1935 this festival features numerous performances at a variety of venues including: Sunset Center, the Carmel Mission Basilica, and other churches ad cathedrals in the local area.

Photo courtesy of Carmel Bach Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival

September 25-27, 2020
Now in its 63rd year, the Monterey Jazz Festival draws musicians and fans from around the globe. Voted “World’s Best Jazz Festival” by readers of JazzTimes Magazine fans are treated to the sweet sounds of over 500 musicians performing on eight stages. In addition, the Monterey Jazz Festival features films, exhibitions, food & beverage, an international shopping bazaar and meet & greets with featured artists.

Photo courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival

Cover photo courtesy of Keith Zacharski

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