Wu-Tang Clan. Photo via Shutterstock.

California Roots Music and Art Festival 2023

MAY 25-28, 2023


Reggae meets hip-hop at this cannabis-friendly, California festival.

If you mixed 1960s flower child spirit with a hefty dose of 1990s counterculture, you’d get something like California Roots Music and Art Festival. Each year, the multi-day celebration takes place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds: the same location as the seminal 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. But instead of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, this California festival flirts with reggae royalty and hip-hop high society.

Since the festival paints genre in polychrome, California Roots headliners include Wu-Tang Clan with Rebelution, Stick Figure and the Dirty Heads. Some may claim ska is dead, but the third wave keeps rolling with Sublime with Rome, Badfish and the Long Beach Dub Allstars. Meanwhile, Mr. Boombastic (aka Shaggy) and Hawaii’s own Kolohe Kai bring a taste of reggae in all its different forms. Perhaps Michael Franti & Spearhead epitomize the spirit of California Roots best: Oakland-based, genre-bending and socially aware.

People primarily come for the music, but yoga and sound healing sessions center on mindfulness and rejuvenation. As the first certified green festival in California, the event is dedicated to sustainability with 100 percent compostable greenware from all vendors and no single-use plastic. California Roots is notably cannabis friendly, and the stages are perpetually clouded in a smoky haze. The year is 2023, but the energy is Woodstock. So dress in colorful crochet, wear bells on your shoes and tuck scarlet begonias in your curls. 

The Specs

  • Over 11,000 people are expected to attend each day
  • Tickets start at $455 for 4 day GA, though single day and VIP tickets are also available. Find the complete breakdown here
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to California


Is California Roots ADA accessible? Yes, the festival is fully accessible. Full details can be found here, and any questions can be directed to [email protected].

Can I charge my cell phone at the festival? Yes, rented lockers are internally equipped with universal chargers. The location of the cell charging station will also be released with the festival map.

What is the bag policy? Clear plastic, vinyl and PVC bags that don’t exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches are permitted inside the festival grounds. Small clutches approximately the size of a hand are also allowed.

2023 Event Poster


#caliroots2023 on TikTok

BY Lauren Harvey