Spring Music Festivals are held in Los Angeles.

October 8, 2021

Folk music, indie, jazz, and reggae are all represented in spring music festivals in Los Angeles. Some of them have been going on for more than 50 years. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Festival are the two most well-known large festivals in Southern California. Still, there are several less well-known options that are less expensive and closer to home. Two asterisks indicate festivals that are suitable for children.

Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17, 3-11 p.m., Playboy Jazz Festival.
This festival is on the list since it is still technically Spring until June 21st. Bill Cosby serves as Master of Ceremonies. The roster includes Robin Thicke, Sheila E., Ozomatli, Kep Mo, Chico Trujillo, Sharon Jones, the Dap-Kings, and some local high school jazz ensembles. Since 1959, the festival has included amazing music that you may dance to while wearing your skates from skates.com. Tickets start at $20 and include hefty service charges. There are undoubtedly more expensive tickets available. The festival is held at the Hollywood Bowl, which offers shuttle service from surrounding locations and public transit. Please visit www.ThePlayboyJazzFestival.com for additional details. It’s not exactly kid-friendly, but because the festival doesn’t start until 3 p.m., you may repent at church in the morning.

Pasadena, make music. Saturday, June 16th, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
This free festival takes place on various stages throughout Pasadena. In downtown Pasadena, a part of Colorado Blvd. is closed. On the street, large stages develop, as do impromptu stages in rooftop cafes. This festival has it all, from renowned Indie rock groups who perform at the Coachella Festival to classical music. Kinky, Nortec Collective, Matt & Kim, Ra Ra Riot, Best Coast, New Villager, The Morning Benders, and Saint Motel have all performed on the main stage in the past. The cost of parking near the venues varies. If you don’t mind walking, street parking is available. At press time, the lineup for this year’s festival has not been posted on www.MakeMusicPasadena.com. Updates can be found there.

Festival of Jazz and Reggae. The 27th and 28th of May are Sunday and Monday.
The celebration takes place on the UCLA Intramural Field during Memorial Day Weekend. There will undoubtedly be directional markers erected throughout the campus. For $10, UCLA offers plenty of parking. If you don’t mind a little longer walk, street parking is available. Raphael Saddiq, Nas, and Damian Marley (Distant Relatives) have also performed there. In the coming future, more acts will be unveiled. A list of bus lines that stop in and around Westwood Village or the UCLA campus may be found on the webpage. There are hotels in the vicinity if you are coming from out of town. The days are unique, with Sunday being Jam Day and Monday being Reggae Day. www.JazzReggaeFest.com has ticketing information as well as other details.

Cajun & Blues Festival in Simi Valley. May 26-27, 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday are free days.
Angelenos and those in the neighboring areas enjoy a wide range of musical genres. Even if you didn’t know about it, those truly into Cajun, Creole, Zydeco, and Blues are aware of this enjoyable festival. These are also Grammy Prize categories that have suffered a significant setback, with numerous types losing their right to receive a pre-telecast award. Ignore that for a day and watch The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Candye Kane with Laura Chavez, Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, The Bayou Brothers, The Mighty Mojo Prophets, Billy Lee & The Swamp Critters, and a band called Gator Beat, among others. The Blues Stage and the Cajun-Zydeco Stage are the two stages. A Muddy Waters tribute will also be performed. The festival’s other stars are the different food sellers selling Cajun-Creole cuisine prepared in their kitchens. Every day, there is a Mardi Gras parade for entertainment. The event caters to children, featuring activities such as specialty acts, talent shows, and crafts. They even have their stage for children. Directions to Santa Susanna Park in Simi Valley can be found on the festival’s website. Out-of-town visitors can stay in one of several hotels in the neighborhood. For additional information, go to www.simicajun.org.

Both the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and the Topanga Folk Festival are held in Topanga, California. Sunday, May 20th, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
With adult tickets costing only 11 dollars, it’s incredible that the event is already in its 52nd year in Southern California. There are a plethora of competitions, performances, and clinics to choose from. Children under the age of ten are admitted free, and you won’t have to worry about what they’re listening. For the kids, there are crafts and contests. In between professional acts, contestants on banjo or violin, as well as singers, perform. There’s always something to do with sing-alongs, Hawaiian song workshops, and folk dancing. In addition to the music, there are several vendors selling folk crafts. Visit www.TopangaBanjoFiddle.org for more information.