The California Roots Music and Art Festival, also called Cali Roots, is an annual art and music event that takes place in Monterey, California. The Monterey County Fairgrounds, where the festival is held, is famous for being the very place where Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire in 1967. So if you’d like to soak in some history and culture while enjoying some great music, Cali Roots is the festival to hit.
Cali Roots was started in 2010 by music producers Jeff Monser and Dan Sheehan. The Dirty Heads and Tribal Seeds were the headlining acts. In the past artists like Slightly Stoopid, Atmosphere, Rebelution, Jurassic 5, Common Kings, Michael Franti, Wheeland Brothers, and Steel Pulse have all performed at the festival.
Since its inception, Cali Roots has grown into one of the country’s largest reggae festivals. Over 12,000 people attend each day of the event. The organizers have also started several greening initiatives to give back to the community like Water Conservation, Redwood Reforestation, and Waste Diversion.
What started as a one-day event is now a three-day musical extravaganza featuring the best reggae, hip hop, rock, and folk artists. Fans travel from near and far to be a part of this multilayered, dynamic music festival.
Guests have a number of ticket options to choose from with Cali Roots. In the past, prices have started around $90 for single-day general admission passes (early bird) with rates reaching around $550 for Redwood passes. Redwood tickets are the festival’s version of VIP passes and offer buyers exclusive perks like special lounges and viewing areas.
All ticket sales are final, and there will not be any exchanges or refunds. Once you arrive at the venue, your ticket will be exchanged for a wristband. You are required to keep this on for the duration of the event. It is an all ages-festival and children under the age of ten will be allowed to enter for free.
Driving an RV along California’s coastline can be a real pleasure thanks decent roadways and the scenic beauty. Some parts of your route to Monterey can be tricky during high traffic times. So plan your route in advance, and check traffic updates close to your departure time. Check the festival website for route recommendations and other useful information.
You will need to purchase a parking ticket if you plan on driving to the event grounds. A parking pass includes a complimentary shuttle to the festival venue. Free parking can be challenging to find. It’s a good idea to purchase your pass in advance to avoid any stress on the day of the event.
The easiest and safest way to get to the grounds is to use the shuttle service offered by the organizers. Shuttle passes are available for purchase on the website. Festival attendees are encouraged to bike or skate to the venue. A free, secure bike and skate valet service is offered to those who do.
Cali Roots organizers often partner with local campground facilities to provide camping close, but not directly on, the venue site. Guests can expect to see a limited number of camping options through these sources including RV sites, Glamping, and tent camping. These sell out almost as soon as they go on sale, so you’ll need to act fast. If you can’t get your hands on these, you’re bound to find a suitable campground or RV park nearby.
Festival organizers work to coordinate with various companies to provide camping and RV parking options to attendees. If you decide to stay at one of these, shuttle services will be available to get you to and from the festival. Alternatively, you can choose from one of the well-equipped RV parks a short drive from the venue.
You can easily get around the venue on foot. No bicycles, skateboards, or personal motorized vehicles will be allowed inside the festival grounds. However, you can use your bikes and skateboards to get to the venue and drop them off at the free valet. Cali Roots is a fully accessible event, and special services like mobility assistance will be provided.
Cali Roots is an excellent opportunity to show off your most stylish summer clothing. You can expect to see festival-goers in bright colors and denim accents with plenty of personality. The vibe of the event is mellow and relaxed. Put your own unique spin on your outfit by wearing some fun jewelry or stylish sunglasses.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a lightweight blanket are essentials. Small and medium-sized backpacks are allowed. It’s a good idea to take an empty water bottle to refill at the free hydration stations. Also make sure you carry a valid photo ID and a credit card, debit card, or cash to purchase food or merchandise.
Free water refill stations will be available throughout the festival venue, so make sure you stay hydrated at all times. If you are with children, it is recommended to get child ID wristbands. This way anyone who is lost can quickly be reunited with their families. No alcohol or illegal substances are permitted.
Cooking is restricted to the campground areas associated with Cali Roots or your selected campground. Outside food of any kind will not be allowed inside the festival site. Fortunately, you’ll find plenty of tasty food and drink options at the venue. If you'd like to prepare some of your own meals, it’s a good idea to check in advance what regulations your campsite or RV Park may employ.
Monterey is known for its legendary seafood. People from all over the globe visit the city to eat at its famous seafood restaurants. It is a popular vacation destination, so you will be able to choose between well-known options, mom & pop selections, and fine dining. You can find plenty of great dining destinations frequented by locals in the know, so expect to find your new favorites.
You’ll find plenty of delicious, healthy food choices at Cali Roots. Expect to enjoy some great seafood and deserts apart from the typical festival fare. There are also several vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free food options on offer. Wine bars and craft beer stations will be present throughout the venue offering delicious drinks for purchase.
Your bag will be checked upon entry and security personnel will be present at the venue on all of the days of the event. Anyone violating the festival rules or carrying banned items will be escorted out of the site without a refund. There will also be a lost and found booth where missing items can be reported.
Cali Roots is typically held during the summer, so you can expect plenty of Californian sunshine. The weather is likely to be pleasant, with the cool ocean breeze keeping it from getting too hot. If sudden showers do occur, the festival will still go on since it is a rain or shine event.
First aid stations will be present in different parts of the venue. They will be visible from afar and marked on the festival map. Medical support will be available for attendees throughout the event. Well-equipped, medically trained staff will be making the rounds and will gladly provide assistance as needed.