Northern Nights: A Music Festival for your Inner Hippie

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 Photo by jonathan Lidbeck
Photo by jonathan Lidbeck

Northern Nights Music Festival is an EDM festival set in Humboldt, California with a definite hippie vibe to it. It can be hard to find hippie music festivals, and I’m always looking for an excuse to camp in Northern California! Northern Nights Music Festival is a must-visit for West coast EDM and art lovers.

Northern Nights Music Festival takes place in a beautiful natural setting

The first thing that sets Northern Nights apart from most EDM music festivals is its location. Northern Nights takes place in a redwood forest right on the Eel River. This setting provides awesome shade on the hot summer days, AND there is a music stage set up right on the river so you can float or swim in the river while grooving out to some great music. I’ve never been to a festival with that kind of versatility, and it made for an awesome experience. (I got my groove on at the river stage while floating on this guy)!

Another intentional festival in a versatile and beautiful location is Envision Festival in Costa Rica. This one is very high on my list of must-visit festivals!

Spend the morning doing yoga, meditating, or dancing

Northern Nights music festival features an area called The Grove where you can find non-musical entertainment/activities. The Grove stage sits in the middle of a shaded redwood grove, and it is this area of the festival that really makes Northern Nights unique. Throughout the day you will find yoga instruction and meditation offerings in The Grove. There are a variety of yoga types and instructors, which means there’s something for everyone! Practicing yoga under giant redwoods in a beautifully curated space was magical, and one of many reasons to visit Northern Nights.

Music festivals can be very overwhelming, and the Northern Nights production team seemed to understand and find a solution for that. In the evenings the yoga stage turned into a chill space with alternative entertainment like burlesque and acrobatic shows. There were plenty of options for sitting or laying around in The Grove area, and it was essentially the social center of the festival. The Grove provided an excellent spot to relax in when the main stage entertainment became overwhelming, and it naturally became an easy place to make new friends.

Lots of musical variety, from EDM to hip hop

The main stage hosted a wide variety of artists each night, including a hip hop performance by Living Legends on Saturday night, and my personal favorite set by Jai Wolf on Friday night. The selection was awesome, and you could always count on some quality dance music on an awesome sound system throughout the evenings. While the vast majority of the music is EDM, there were some instrumental performances on The Grove stage, and a wide variety of EDM styles on the main stage.

 Camping under giant redwoods 
Camping under giant redwoods 

Art and chill spaces to relax

There were a few art galleries, all with chill music and incredible psychedelic art, including a glass art gallery full of the most beautiful glass pipes I’ve ever seen. These spaces also gave Northern Nights a really unique hippie festival feel. At Northern Nights you don’t have to spend all of your time in front of a stage, there are plenty of other options to entertain you when you want a break from dancing.

Ultimately, Northern Nights really excelled at providing a space that drew in kind, fun people who were open to connecting with everyone around them. I made so many friends over the course of the weekend, and the population was small enough that I saw many of the same people over and over. The energy throughout the festival was very warm and positive.

If you are a bit of a hippie (or a full blown van-dwelling hippie like me!) Northern Nights Music Festival will be an excellent fit for you. The crowd was friendly and welcoming, the setting was naturally peaceful, and there was a conscious effort to provide a spiritual experience along with a HUGE party.

Want to read more about our festival experiences? If you’re looking for more hippie festivals, you may be interested in this incredible festival in Oregon. Also, check out this post about Going to Burning Man Solo

If you aren’t sure what you need for a camping festival, check out our guide to Festival Gear we Can’t Live Without! Or if you want the ultimate fun and funky festival outfit check out these festival jumpsuits you will LOVE!

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