20 Lesser-Known Festivals That Are Doing It Right: Northern Nights
While it is clear that music is the life force behind EDM, no one can argue that dance music would not be where it is now without the driving force of its festival scene. From Woodstock in the early 1970s to the early days of EDC in Los Angeles in the 2000s to the defining underground raves of Europe, music festivals have been deeply ingrained into the world’s culture.
In a new weekly series, EDM.com is shining the spotlight on lesser known festivals around the world that are on par with marquee festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra, and Tomorrowland. These festivals are highlighted for the atmosphere, the people, and most importantly, the music and the talent that they bring. From Austria’s signature Snowbombing festival, to ZoukOut in Singapore, to Shambhala in Canada, to Movement in Detroit, this series will be your one-stop guide to some of the best hidden gems in the festival scene around the world.
This week’s pick is the Northern Nights festival.
Northern Nights is a boutique three-day festival that is held anually on the third weekend of July and takes place in Northern California, straddling the Mendocino-Humboldt county lines at the Cook’s Valley Campground. The festival, which is still in its nascency, was founded on the basis of passionate support and strong understanding towards emerging underground dance music communities, in addition to featuring sought-after tastemaking performers.
The festival atmosphere sets Northern Nights apart from any other typical three-day event experience. Cook’s Valley Campground, a rare gem in the forests of Northern California, serves as a unique festival site offering an amazing juxtaposition of a sense of remoteness with ease of accessibility. The campgrounds are tucked away along the Eel River underneath the shade of towering Redwood trees. The festival grounds feature deep swimming holes, large Redwood groves, and plenty of space to stretch out, which all come together to create an unmatched atmosphere.
In addition to the beautiful scenery, Northern Nights also features a strong music lineup spread out amongst four stages in the Northern California forest. Last year’s rendition of the festival featured dirtybird mainstay Justin Martin and his brother Christian Martin, future bass pioneers, Odesza, Fool’s Gold up-and-comer Giraffage, amongst many more talented artists. The 2015 edition of Northern Nights will be welcoming an array of artists across the entire musical spectrum, including Anjunadeep’s Lane 8, rising tropical house producers Autograf, South African house duo GOLDFISH, and acclaimed DMV-based rapper Goldlink. In addition to featuring four stages nestled away in the forest, Northern Nights also holds an all-night silent disco, keeping the party going even when the festival isn’t.
Adding to the top-notch musical talent and amazing ambiance, Northern Nights also welcomes a collection of local and global arts and crafts vendors, as well as regional beer and wine brewers. A portion of the proceeds from ticket and beverage sales are donated to the Mendocino and Humboldt school districts, non-profits, and environmental groups.
For the early risers at Northern Nights, the boutique festival also offers a mindful space for yoga and meditation, the perfect activity to unwind and relax after a long day at a festival.
Tickets for this year’s edition of Northern Nights are on sale now and come with free riverfront camping on the Eel River. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime festival experience in Northern California.