West Coast Weekender is a multi-day boutique music festival that takes place in Alpine, California, every year. It was started in 2016, making it one of the newer events on the festival scene. It is held at the Viejas Casino & Resort, nestled in the Cuyamaca Mountains of San Diego County.
The musical lineup highlights the vibrant underground music culture for which the region is known. Artists who have performed at West Coast Weekender in the past include Claptone, Harvard Bass, Purple Disco Machine, King Britt, Oliver Dollar, Walker & Royce, Sunshine Jones, Jose Marquez, and Halo Varga.
In addition to the world-class live music, there is a conference component to the event. The focus of this is to highlight local industries and artisans. Lively panel discussions, workshops, technology showcases, and Q&A sessions featuring industry experts will take place during the day, and several networking events will be held at night.
West Coast Weekender is a great experience for young people trying to find a foothold in the industry. There will also be daily yoga sessions and pool parties for guests to enjoy. Lovers of EDM and music professionals flock to San Diego to be a part of the event every year.
Patrons can choose between one-day or weekend music festival passes for West Coast Weekender. VIP tickets are also available. Weekend passes start at around $160, and VIP passes cost about $240. A shuttle ride to the venue may also be included in the price of the pass.
The event is only open to patrons above the age of 21. You’ll need to produce a valid ID along with your admission pass at the gate before entry. Tickets might be transferable, but no refunds will be given.
The festival takes place at Viejas Casino & Resort, which is less than 40 minutes from Downtown San Diego. The best way to beat the crowds is usually to get on Interstate 8 and take the East Willows Road exit. This route will give you access to the parking lots on the east side of the venue.
Free car parking is available on the grounds for festival-goers. Patrons with disabilities will have access to ADA parking spaces. If you’re in an RV, you’ll need to park your rig at your campsite and head to the event using the free shuttle service or an alternate mode of transport.
There is a shuttle service that operates between Viejas Casino and different parts of San Diego. Guests can ride the bus for free by producing a valid ID, but some restrictions may apply on return trips. If you're unable to board the shuttle, you can get to the site using a ride-hailing service.
Onsite camping is not allowed at West Coast Weekender. Fortunately, you’ll have a number of options to choose from in the vicinity.
The nearest RV park is less than a mile away from the festival venue. It offers sites with full hookups and pool access. San Diego Metro KOA is about 40 miles away and comes highly recommended by fellow campers. It has large sites with full hookups and is close to many of the major San Diego attractions.
Bicycles, scooters, Segways, skateboards, and other individual transport devices will not be allowed on the grounds. The venue is accessible and ADA compliant. Patrons with disabilities can get around using wheelchairs and other mobility devices but may appreciate having a friend to help navigate any rough spots. They will also have access to special viewing areas. There are several ADA entrances, as well.
While the conference portion of the event tends to be a slightly more contemplative affair, anything goes at the concerts. While most festival-goers will be dressed in casual summer clothing, you’ll also see quite a few costumes and elaborate headdresses. Be sure to carry some warm outerwear for the nights, which tend to be cooler in Southern California.
Only small purses and backpacks that fit West Coast Weekender's dimension will be allowed into the venue. Take sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Glass containers will not be allowed into Viejas Casino & Resort. Make sure you pack camping essentials like flashlights, can openers, batteries, and extra blankets.
Don’t let dehydration get in the way of your fun. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and eat at regular intervals. Keep your cell phone charged so you can stay in touch with your group and use the buddy system. Totems, laser pointers, drugs, and weapons of any kind are prohibited.
Stock your refrigerator with the fresh, seasonal produce that’s often available in the region. If you encounter one open in May, you can visit one of the local farmer’s markets. While most campgrounds in the area permit fires, there may be fire bans in effect at any time of the year in California. Always check with your camp manager before lighting an open flame.
While your options may be limited close to the venue, you’ll definitely come across a few local gems, especially if you head west on I-8. At these, you’ll find classic American comfort food, wholesome desserts, and great drinks. If you’re looking for more variety or want to try different cuisines, you can head to nearby San Diego.
There will be no shortage of great food at the casino. In addition to the food stands in the event space, visitors can also dine at one of the award-winning restaurants within the Viejas Resort and Casino grounds. Guests are sure to find plenty of vegan and vegetarian food available, as well.
Bags and belongings will be checked at the entrances to the West Coast Weekender, and you may be subjected to an airport-style search as well. Trained security staff will be present throughout the grounds of the casino and resort. Make sure you’re not carrying any banned items like glass containers, weapons, drugs, or drug paraphernalia.
The weather is often warm and pleasant in May in Southern California. In the rare event of unexpectedly severe weather, measures are in place to evacuate guests and staff safely. If it does rain, some of the outdoor shows may be moved indoors. Check the festival’s social media accounts for weather updates and road alerts before starting on your trip.
A first aid station will be present on the grounds, where guests can get assistance from trained medical professionals. ADA support can also be found here. Medications or outside food will be allowed in with the proper documentation and a valid ID. Only certified service animals will be permitted on the grounds.