Many people think of the Summer as Music Festival time.  The weather’s hot, the parties are too, and work is slow and school is out.  But not many people think about September for music festivals.  First of all, most of September is still technically summer, and moreover, the weather is a lot more forgiving.  You may think that you’ve missed your opportunity, but that’s not true.  Here are three music festivals happening this month that you can still get to and enjoy.  Maybe it’ll be a new annual tradition!

1.  Monster Energy Aftershock

Aftershock is September 13 & 14 in Sacramento, CA and it’s going to be a killer time.  It’s still not too late to get tickets to see some of punk rock and indie rock’s best bands, including headliners Weezer, the Offspring, Limpbizkit, Rob Zombie, Godsmack, and Five Finger Death Punch.  That’s a lot of guitars, amps, booze, thrashings, and black attire.  You can easily get up there from LA, or down there from Seattle, or you can even fly in, as airfare is cheap into Sacramento.  If you have a need for speed (metal or otherwise), you’re going to want to get to Aftershock this year.  The parking lot opens at 8am each day, so get there early!

2.  Monterey Jazz Festival

The very next weekend is one of the longest consecutively-running music festivals ever, the Monterey Jazz Festival.  The first one was in 1958, and this year’s is September 19-21, in Monterey, CA.  That makes it the 57th fest, and it will be all you want and more.  It’s the who’s who of jazz and an absolute must-attend for anyone who loves jazz music.  The biggest names this year are Herbie Hancock (famous for his ground-breaking album Headhunters, among many other lifetime achievements), The Roots (not just a talk show backing band!) and many others who have been around the block and back, like Christian McBride, Aaron Diehl, and Booker T. Jones.  It’s not only a fantastic weekend for music, but the grounds themselves are beautiful, and you will want to be a part of history.  There are many stages from big to small, so explore some familiar names and new ones you just are learning about.

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3.  Julian Music Festival

If Monterey and Jazz don’t light your candle, you should consider the smaller, yet almost as long-running Julian Music Festival in Julian, CA on September 20.  The genre here is bluegrass-themed, but that doesn’t mean it’s just banjos and fiddles.  There are some great, high-energy bands playing this year, headlined by Cool Band Luke and Melanie Devaney, each doing two sets of big hits that you and the family will love.  If you want the fun of a music festival, but don’t want the long lines, crowds, or costs of a bigger one, come up to Julian. It’s the 45th year the Festival has been going on (under a few different names), and it’s likely to be the best one.  A music lover’s dream festival.  Also, take a tour of the winery while you are in the area.  Everyone loves bluegrass, Americana, and wine!