Cheat Code | Fall Music Festival Guide 2017

Photo: Ethan Miller  (Getty Images)

If you haven’t burned a hole through your wallet (and your liver for that matter) during the 2017 music festival season there are plenty of more opportunities to finish the job.

Also: Movie Composers Made for Music Festivals

Whereas summer is reserved for blockbuster music festivals, the fall festival season offers niche lineups,  off the grid venues, and cooler weather for those of us who go for the actual music experience rather than the endless Instagram opps. 

Here is a handy, dandy Fall Music Festival Guide for 2017:

Red Bull Music Academy 

Photo: Ross Gilmore (Getty Images)

Red Bull Music Academy is less a music festival than a month-long symposium centered around music. The forward-thinking event series makes its Los Angeles debut with innovative sets around the city — from Flying Lotus performing his new 3D show co-headlining with Thundercat to a St. Vincent world premiere to a conservation with Baby Driver director Edgar Wright. 

When: October 6 – 29, 2017

Where: Various Locations in Los Angeles


Austin City Limits

Photo by Rick Kern (Getty Images)

Austin City Limits (ACL) always has the added pressure of curating a festival line-up that’s worthy of a city known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” And, yet every year ACL delivers, starting with a last minute score this year of JAY-Z, who will join ICE CUBE, Chance The Rapper, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Run The Jewels, The Killers, ZHU, Portugal. The Man, Bonobo, and homegrown heroes SPOON, among others. 

When: Oct. 6-8, 13-15

Where: Zilker Park (Austin, TX)


Desert Daze

Desert Daze refers to itself as a “festival of music” rather than a “music festival” and that bold and/or hyperbolic claim makes sense with a trippy, experimental, every genre under the sun line-up that’s worth the trip (in more ways than one): Iggy Pop, Spiritualized, Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile, Sleep, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Panda Bear, Eagles of Death Metal

When: October 12-15, 2017

Where: Institute of Mentalphysics (Joshua Tree, CA)


III Points

The Miami-based music, art, and technology festival describes itself as a “living installation,” which is on point considering that its centered in the heart of the world-famous arts scene in the Wynwood area. The three-day festival (which includes lectures, labs, talks, gallery exhibitions) boasts an impressive line-up featuring Gorillaz, The xx, Rufus Du Sol, Thundercat, Bonobo, Nicolas Jaar and something billed as “Mark Ronson vs Kevin Parker (of Tame Impala), which sounds epic. 

When: October 13-15

Where: Miami, FL


Camp Flog Gnaw

Photo: Matt Cowan (Getty Images)

Tyler, The Creator’s sixth annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival is insane — in a good way. Migos, A$AP Rocky, Mac Miller, Lil Yachty, Vince Staples, and Tyler himself are the hottest names in hip hop right now, so their inclusion is a given, but what makes Camp Flog Gnaw special are the female artists on the bill, including: Lana Del Rey, Solange, Kamaiyah, and Kehlani. 

When: Oct. 28-29

Where: Exposition Park (Los Angeles, CA)


The Growlers Six

Orange County psychedelic surf-punk band The Growlers have moved on from the quirky and controversial Beach Goth to start this new self-titled festival with the same DIY spirit and out-of-the-box line-up which made Beach Goth such an under the radar hit. This year’s performances include a comeback show from Yeah Yeah YeahsThe Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, Modest Mouse, Butthole Surfers, Danny Brown, Beth Ditto, Bad Brains, Girl Talk and Geto Boys.

When: October 28-29, 2017

Where: LA Waterfront (San Pedro, CA)


Escape: Psycho Circus

The outfits at Insomniac’s EDM festivals are always barely legal (in many ways) so one can only imagine what the Halloween costumes will be like at this spooky, kooky, two-day event featuring  Zedd, R3hab, Afrojack, and Tiësto. The Halloween spirit will be alive in The Asylum, a 32,000 square foot scare zone complete with 30 distinct environments, 120 interactive performers, plus movie-quality set design and special effects. 

When: October 27 – 28, 2017

Where: NOS Events Center (San Bernadino, CA) 


Voodoo Music and Arts Experience

If you’ve never been to Halloween in New Orleans book your ticket like yesterday. The Big Easy is always popping, but late October is a great time to go if you want to avoid the shit show that Mardi Gras has become. The annual Voodoo Fest is a bonus, with a killer line-up that includes well, The KillersKendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Foo Fighters, Dillon Francis, Galantis, and much more.

When: Oct. 27-29

Where: City Park, New Orleans