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 infamous underground festivals of Europe, music festivals have been deeply ingrained in music history and 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 to audiences around the globe. From Austria’s signature Snowbombing festival to ZoukOut in Singapore to Shambhala in Canada, this series will be your one-stop guide to some of the best hidden gems in the festival circuit throughout the world.

This week’s pick is the Serenity Gathering held at the La Jolla Indian Campground in San Diego, CA.

Serenity Gathering is a conscious gathering with a focus on creating an environment and festival that is geared towards positive, forward-thinking collaboration with regards to art and music. The emphasis at Serenity Gathering is towards the experience, rather than a focus on bringing in elite tier talent like festivals like EDC, Ultra, and even Lightning in a Bottle. The event is a celebration of the Pisces New Moon, as the new moon symbolizes new beginnings, and serves as the perfect opportunity to “breathe fresh energy into your true self.” By structuring Serenity Gathering to occur under these extraordinary circumstances, the organizers hope that the festival will bring like-minded people together in a space where exciting collaborations are being developed.

Co-founded by Mimi and Brandon Beebe in the name of their deceased husband and father (respectively) Lee Beebe, Serenity Gathering calls the La Jolla Indian Campground in San Diego its home. Located just two hours south of Los Angeles and an hour north of San Diego, the La Jolla Indian Reservation spans over 10,000 acres at the base of the Palomar Mountain. The grounds are nestled in a beautiful forest land on the San Luis Rey River, making it easy for festival organizers to create a magical environment that marries nature and music.  

With Funktion-1 sound provided by Funkworks, attendees can expect the music at Serenity Gathering to be just as top-notch as the gorgeous festival grounds. While the festival may not pull the typical superstar DJ lineups that are so prevalent today, the talent that Serenity Gathering books for its niche market is spot on. This year, Serenity Gathering will be welcoming DJs like the Desert Hearts crew, consisting of Mikey Lion, Deep Jesus, Pork Chop, and more. The 2015 lineup also includes EOTO, the 100% improvisational dubstep duo consisting of two members of the String Cheese Incident, as well as ill-esha, the jack-of-all-trades producer/singer/emcee who has toured with Big Gigantic and Bassnectar and worked with Jay-Z’s producer.

This year, Serenity Gathering is taking place March 19-22nd, and tier 4 tickets are still available here. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime festival that some say is comparable to the iconic Burning Man festival in Black Rock City.

Cover Photo by Kayla Gold Photography

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