The Best Music Festivals In & Around the Greater Sacramento Area
May 5, 2023

The Best Music Festivals In & Around the Greater Sacramento Area

As the weather heats up, so does the music scene in the Sacramento area! Spring marks the unofficial kickoff to music festival season, which lasts well into fall. Big-name music festivals such as Coachella and South by Southwest are known the world over, but you don’t have to travel far to have the same great experience. The greater Sacramento area is home to its own music festivals, showcasing the best in rock, country, bluegrass and many other genres.

Although there are plenty of places to catch free live music in Sacramento, there’s something about music festivals, where you can celebrate all day (and night!) with other like-minded music lovers! While live performances are the focus of any music festival, many have other attractions as well. Food, arts and crafts vendors, yoga, and family-friendly activities are also offered. Some are multi-day events, with onsite camping adding to the fun, from spring to summer and beyond. Following are some of the best music festivals in and around the greater Sacramento area.


The Golden Road Gathering | Placerville | May 12-14

Douglas Neal of Red Dirt Ruckus. Photo courtesy The Golden Road Gathering.

Held in Placerville, this multi-day event features the best in local funk, rock, soul and groove. Scheduled to perform are Red Dirt Ruckus, The California Honeydrops, Remain in Light, Five Alarm Funk and dozens more. There are also food trucks, artisan vendors, yoga, and an optional rafting trip down the American River.


Strawberry Music Festival | Grass Valley | May 25–29

Photo courtesy Strawberry Music Festival

This popular music festival in Grass Valley is a multi-day, family-friendly festival dating back to 1982. Bluegrass, blues, folk and many other genres are the highlight. It’s also a giant camping party, with plenty of space to pitch a tent or park an RV to enjoy a like-minded community of music lovers. There are also plenty of opportunities for spontaneous jam sessions among attendees.


Just Exactly Perfect Music Festival | Placerville | June 1–5

Photo courtesy Just Exactly Perfect Festival

This riverside spot near Placerville is the perfect venue for a multi-day music experience that features Americana, bluegrass, funk and rock bands. Tent camping is available, as is offsite glamping and whitewater rafting. Food and beverages, as well as yoga, are also available.


California World Fest | Grass Valley | July 13–16

Anjélique Kidjo. Photo courtesy California World Fest.

This annual gathering in Grass Valley is a celebration of global music and culture. It features four days of camping, an artisan marketplace, great food and of course, epic world music, including Brazilian, Jamaican, African, Andean and many more. In between the music and dancing, you can check out the free yoga, music and meditation workshops. The Global Indigenous Peoples Village showcases the art and culture of the area’s Nisenan people.


Davis Music Fest | Davis | June 16–18

Dog Party. Photo courtesy Davis Music Fest.

The city of Davis is hosting its biggest weekend of live music June 16–18. Now in its 11th year, the Davis Music Fest brings together more than 40 performers from a range of styles, from rock to jazz, playing at venues across town. The docket includes Dog Party, Boca do Rio, The Nickel Slots, Band of Coyotes, Sol Peligro, and many others.


One Love, One Heart Reggae Festival | Woodland | June 16–19

Photo courtesy One Love, One Heart Reggae Fest

This international music, food and culture festival in Woodland showcases the best in roots, reggae, and dancehall music. The family event, held Juneteeth weekend, features live music, yes, but also an art walk, a kids zone, group fitness and yoga, and camping.


Gold Rush Country Music Festival | Auburn | June 17

Jeremy McComb. Photo courtesy Stang Productions/Gold Rush Music Festival.

Down-home country artists will take to the stage during this one-day festival in Auburn. Headlining is country artist Jeremy McComb, plus Ariel Jean Band and Brodie Stewart Band. There will also be unique country-style entertainment, including a cowboy shootout and a mechanical bull. Beer, BBQ and a vendor marketplace round out the offerings.


Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival | Olympic Valley | July 22-23

Photo courtesy Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival

Now in its sixth year, this huge festival at Palisades Tahoe in Olympic Valley welcomes some of the best reggae, rock, roots and dub performers, including Rebelution and Stick Figure. In fact, more than a dozen bands will perform. There’ll also be food and drink vendors and a Friday night welcome party.


Ride into the Music Festival | Folsom | June 30

Canaan Smith. Photo courtesy Ride into the Music Festival.

Timed to align with the start of the Folsom Pro Rodeo, this one-day, family-friendly festival in Folsom is all about the music! The lineup features Chris Lane, Tyler Rich, Canaan Smith and Moonshine Crazy, plus a DJ, local food vendors and other activities.


Sol Blume | Sacramento | Aug. 19–20

Photo courtesy Sol Blume

R&B, soul, and hip hop — you’ll find it all at the Sol Blume festival, to be held at Discovery Park. The music event is all about art, culture, diversity and good vibes! In addition to dozens of live acts, there will also be interactive art installations, games and activities, even a roller rink. Local food vendor and artisans will also be on hand.


Holo Holo Music Festival | Old Sacramento | Sept. 9–10

Photo courtesy Holo Holo California

You’ll feel the reggae and island vibes at this event in Old Sacramento. The two-day event features Kolohe Kai, J Boog, Common Kings, Steel Pulse and more! There are also hotel packages and VIP upgrades as well, plus a boozy brunch.


Aftershock Festival | Sacramento | Oct. 5–8

Photo courtesy Aftershock Festival

Aftershock is the preeminent music festival in the Sacramento area, attracting more than 160,000 people to its 2022 event. Hard rock and heavy metal are the name of the games, with bands like Limp Bizkit, Tool, Korn, Pantera and Guns N’ Roses taking the stage. In fact, nearly 100 bands will perform during the four-day event!


GoldenSky Festival | Sacramento | Oct. 14–15

Photo courtesy Golden Sky Festival

Another festival held at Discovery Park, this one is just a little bit country. Ok, a lot country, with artists such as Jon Pardi, Eric Church, Maren Morris and Parker McCollum on the ticket. More than a dozen other country acts will perform as well. There’s also a dance hall, beer garden, wine tasting, a sports bar and local food and artisan vendors.


*Featured photo courtesy Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival



Category Local Events

Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth Penney is a content writer for Lyon Real Estate and the Lyon Local blog. A Sacramento native with a marketing background, she shares her insider knowledge on restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities throughout the greater Sacramento area and beyond.