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California Roots Music and Art Festival

California Roots Festival

This festival owes its name to its founder, Jeff Monser, whose clothing line is also called California Roots. The clothes company came first and then in 2010, Monser started this fest as a way to bring people together for good music in a cool spot. (The Monterey Fairgrounds is where the groundbreaking Monterey International Pop Music Festival happened in 1967, featuring Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Ravi Shankar, Otis Redding, and the Who.)

That first year drew 1,700 people, and every year since, the event has doubled its attendance. In 2014, organizers added an outdoor arena at the Fairgrounds (called the Bowl) to the original stages, upping the event’s capacity to 11,000 people per day. Other recent upgrades include free live streaming, larger stages, and fancier lounges. As Dan Sheehan, one of the event’s organizers, puts it: “What started as a backyard party is now one of the fastest growing festivals of its size.”