You'll think that Carlsbad is the coolest place on earth

In 2004, then 25-year-old composer/violinist Matt McBane launched Carlsbad Music Festival. That first genre-jumping line-up consisted of everything from classical ensembles to free-form jazz bands, all squeezed into one venue—the Carlsbad’s Schulman Auditorium.

13 years later, the now 38 year-young McBane presents the 14th installment of his “adventurous music by the beach” Carlsbad Music Festival. Thriving on both quantity and quality, the yearly ritual has turned into something that continues to flourish by expansion. There’s 60+ live acts scattered across seven venues, a Green Flash beer garden, artisan market, and enough food trucks to salivate the senses. “You’ll think that Carlsbad is the coolest place on earth,” says the San Diego Union Tribune.

CMF’s notes its philosophy as, “a gathering place for some of the most interesting musicians – and interested audiences – working across genres nationally and internationally, and an event showcasing the broad diversity of talent of local musicians and bringing together the community.”

Over the years, Carlsbad Music Festival has grown to be known as one of the best festivals San Diego has to offer, stapling the fact that Carlsbad truly is a cultural center, and on August 25-27 at the brink of Summer, the CMF will take over the breezy and beautiful seaside Village of Carlsbad.

(Use Code “1dayListenSD” for $25 single day passes and “3dayListenSD” for $60 3 day passes) 

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A musical line-up curated by mastermind McBane, the three-day family-friendly music festival will cover music genres across the map. From latin-jazz to opera, to electronica, to indie-rock; catering towards both the casual music fan and the die-hard music lover. McBane looks to offer festival-goers the opportunity to witness as many genres and styles, broadening the musical horizon of festival goers.

“The Carlsbad Music Festival has quickly made a name for itself as one of the best single gatherings of diverse, avant-garde musicians in Southern California.” -San Diego City Beat.

Every day is packed with free concerts spanning over Carlsbad from Magee Park to St. Michael’s Lawn. To get a taste of the local San Diego scene, highlighted artists are local Redwood’s label signees Birdy Bardot, The Midnight Pine, along with Dani Bell and the Tarantist. Other talented local bands will include Taken By Canadians, Dead Feather Moon, Lightning Cola, and Opus Orange. Although, CMF doesn’t stop at traditional bands; included in the lineup are world class composers as well as Carlsbad High School Chamber Orchestra, and San Diego Opera presents Bernardo Bermudez with Nicolas Reveles.

The ticketed portion consists of local, national and international acts that will take part in St. Michael’s Chapel, Heritage Hall and ANA Chapel. $99 for a three-day pass, or $40 for a single day which will include a performance by delicate and ambient pop-artist Julia Holter who stops by Carlsbad before setting off for a world tour in support of her new album “Loud City Song” off Domino Records. Experimental noise-rock trio Xiu Xiu will perform the Music of Twin Peaks, along with headliners Matt McBane himself, and Brooklyn-based guitarist and filmmaker, Noveller.

The Carlsbad Music Festival is part of San Diego pride. Join the party and create some adventure with an awesome ocean view, a stellar array of top-notch performances, and make some friends over local food and booze in Carlsbad, California—the cultural epicenter of San Diego county.


Julia Holter to headline this year’s fest!

along with Xiu Xiu playing the music of Twin Peaks

Written by ListenSD staff