We attended in 2019, and we are excited to be back in 2022!
So you’ve never heard of Northern Nights? Well, let me describe it in one word: Magic.
Let’s set the scene. This event takes place in the Redwoods Forest. These trees are so large that the minute you enter the land, your mind, body, and soul immediately grounds into the forest. This festival becomes a powerful one since you are experiencing a surrounding of all earth elements. Massive trees, beautiful flowing bodies of water, and the burning of cannabis create fire and air. Not only will we be surrounded by a beautiful environment but beautiful creators as well, finding inspiration through music art, and wellness.
Northern California is known for it’s beautiful woodlands, stunning cliffside ocean views, and of course it’s home to the OG California Cannabis Culture. The Emerald Triangle, as it is known, is the region in Northern California, made up of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties. These counties make up the largest cannabis-producing region in the United States! The Emerald Triangle is synonymous with quality farm grown cannabis, making it the perfect destination for any cannabis inspired events and conferences. As more and more flock to this hideaway destination, some festival organizers have spotted opportunity, with the legalization of cannabis…cannabis and festivals seem to go hand in hand, and Northern Nights musical festival has created the perfect harmony with this combination.
WHAT IS NORTHERN NIGHTS MUSIC FESTIVAL?
Northern Nights Music Festival (NNMF) is pioneering the festival space by designing an innovative journey for adventure-seeking souls featuring a lineup of emerging artists that bring together people from all backgrounds. Rooted in Northern California’s community and culture, the vision is to actively participate in the preservation and promotion of small business and the cannabis lifestyle across festival grounds.
The event also embraces music and arts, camping, yoga, and of course the electronic artist lineup. Northern Nights maxes out around 7,000 attendees, almost all of which camp at the facility. This leads to an intimate atmosphere among lazy rivers, swimming holes, and the largest Redwood grove in the nation with camping privileges.
WHEN IS NORTHERN NIGHTS?
The Music, art, and cannabis festival will be taking place July 15th – July 17th, 2022. A perfect mid-summer experience to make your year amazing, be prepared for the heat!
WHERE IS NORTHERN NIGHTS TAKING PLACE?
The Northern Nights Music Festival is hosted at the Cooks Valley Campgrounds, on the banks of the slow winding South Fork Eel River and under the canopy of the Redwoods. Just south of the Reggae on the River site on Highway 101. This Mendocino County campground provides the perfect scenic venue for music festivals and gatherings alike.
When looking at the drive times, Northern Nights is approximately:
- 1.5 hours south Eureka
- 2.5 hours north Santa Rosa
- 1.5 hours north Ukiah
Northern Nights provides an excellent, back to nature atmosphere. Thanks to the location, cell phone reception is limited and allows you to immerse yourself in the environment. Turn off, unwind, and enjoy.
MUSIC AT NORTHERN NIGHTS
The Main Stage
The main stage was the centerpiece of the campgrounds. This is where the main line artists would perform and was the largest open space at the campground. The back of the main stage had a small area set up for shops to sell drinks and other goods, along with a slightly raised seating and observation truck. To the right of the stage was the VIP section, providing a comfortable and relaxing location with plush chairs and benches.
Situated at the banks of the Eel River, this stage was wet & wild! Festival goers would chill and float on the river, while a dance floor was set up on the beach to let people get their groove on. There’s nothing like floating in a river all day in a giant inflatable raft listening to house music with a bunch of your friends and even bumping into new ones. Don’t forget water shoes or sandals! Protecting you feel is the key to surviving the whole weekend dancing.
Undoubtedly one of the most unique and exciting installments at Northern Nights, The River Stage hosts a day long cast of diverse DJ’s throwing down an appropriate mixture of heavy and playful tunes to get the party started right by the waters edge. As the sun kisses the air warm, attendees begin to trickle into the river coloring it into a rainbow sea made of various inflatable mythical creatures, wild animals, sweet snacks, and other creative plastic contraptions. Whether you’re looking to nap the day away on your floating slice of pizza, commandeer a runaway unicorn, or shake your booty to the bass, the river is the place to be until the sky begins to fade orange and purple.
This stage was located in the heart of the Redwood Groves, with massive primordial trees enclosing the dance area.
Full of mattresses and yoga, the Grove stage is a great place to get a massage. With light music, burlesque shows, meditation, this stage is where to come late at night or during the day if you need to get away from the bass music, the sun and chill out for a little while. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Silent Disco Stage
Silent disco took place at the main stage after-hours. Shortly after all of the main performers completed their acts, three DJs spun mixes until sunrise.
Northern Nights has the best silent disco set-up we’ve ever seen. After the music’s done at the main stage at 2 a.m., everyone heads over to HUSH Concerts’ silent disco to keep the party going until six in the morning. It’s filled with audiovisual tents to trip out on, plenty of room to dance, and secret special guest DJs.
The Bunker Stage is a dance party! One of the larger stages bumping with house and Djs, this stage is situated in a natural bowl, allowing for dancing upfront and great viewing angles from all around.
Submerged Sessions Stage
The Submerged Sessions Stage is a new addition located under a glowing tent with special guests and features!
Neon Joint’s Music Highlights
Let me tell you, I did not recognize a single name on this lineup, but these artists to not disappoint. You will find just about every genre of music playing at this festival. Expect a lot of clubs, DJ, and producer mixes but lots of refreshing touches of hip hop, pop, soul, rnb, and even rock. Lucky for you I’ve curated a playlist of just about every artist that’s going to be there and the songs that I enjoyed most.
Some special artist shout outs go to:
French producer Chloe Herry brings a new meaning to ascension in her music. Her electronic, upbeat melodies will allow you to let your soul free and be one with the higher self that is this magic. Bringing new textures into beats that you didn’t even know were possible! I cannot wait to experience her sounds live!
Cinematic sounds give pop, electric and harmony. Something about his music cases you into every word he sings. If you’re anything like me and you love a good cry he just recently released a guitar ballad truly pulling at your heartstrings with beautiful and vulnerable lyrics that we all relate to. With such a versatile sound i know he will be a thrill to watch this northern nights.
A star on the rise. Hitting us with old-school style rap and Hip Hop that fuels the soul. With so much character and personality in each song, I have a feeling this performance will not let anyone down.
CAMPING AT NORTHERN NIGHTS
With most camping festivals, you can expect camping in large fields lined with rows of tents. The sun is glaring down on you with intense rays, your only escape is to rig up a tarp system or head into the festival grounds. At Northern Nights, most campsites are shaded with some trees, or located along the river providing a decent breeze. Want to sleep in? No problem, your tent will stay at a reasonable temperature while your friends prepare a recovery breakfast. Trying to sleep in a hammock between two redwoods? Make sure you grab some redwood camping early, it is the most popular site! Note unless you have car camping, you will need to carry your gear by hand through from the parking lot through the festival grounds. Many groups bring a small rolling cart to help speed up the process and lighten the load.
WHAT EXPERIENCES AND ACTIVITIES WILL TAKE PLACE AT NORTHERN NIGHTS?
Tree Lounge/Cannabis Vendors
Now that marijuana is legal, Northern Nights Tree Lounge is here if you want a place to kick back and smoke a bowl while listening to the beats around you. They also highlight the best of the emerald triangle cultivators and are offering guided cannabis farm tours. You’re not going to find that at Coachella.
Not only will there be music bumping throughout this entire weekend but actual dispensaries and a cannabis tree lounge located in these woods. Allowing all ticket holders to buy incredible dispensary products at your disposal from 10 AM to 10 PM. Some brands that will be there to grab and go include Farmer and the Felon, Select, and Humboldt Seed Company. A tree lounge farmers’ market will also be taking place, allowing those to share their flowers, as well as grow demonstrations!
Most camping festivals include a short yoga component usually around noon before the music gets started for those select few brave enough to embrace the morning. Northern Nights instead dedicates half a day to a full lineup of professional practitioners representing various forms of the meditative practice which festival goers of all shapes and sizes may engage in. Found at The Grove stage each day from 9:15am – 6pm one could choose whichever enlightening exercise from Open Earth Yoga to Cosmic Yoga to Freedom Flow to many more that might most soothe their soul. Choose your healing my friends and together we can transcend human limitations.
Unlike many other festivals that have art pieces scattered around the venue before gates open, Northern Nights decided to breathe life into their event by including a lineup of incredibly talented and diverse artists painting original masterpieces on blank canvases live. Beginning on the first night and carrying on through to the third, you could either take some time to stand and appreciate the magic unfold before your eyes or quickly glance the impressive new additions each time you walk by. Every brilliant and unplanned brushstroke was a reminder that we are all here together right now in the midst of this transformational experience.
Forget some food at home? Don’t feel like cooking a meal? No worries – Northern Night’s has you covered.
Food vendors on site include: Cook’s Valley coffee, Pizza & Burgers; Bombay Station; Kalikos Hawaiian; Spiros Gyros; Sustainable Sushi; and Tacos El Pueblo. Vegan and vegetarian options are available.
Plenty of local and regional vendors will make an appearance, selling unique wares ranging from festival fits to Grateful Dead pins. Make sure to bring plenty of cash for those can’t miss items, and a few extra bags to store them in.
2019 – A QUICK REVIEW:
2019 was a historical year for Northern Nights, it having been the first compliant three-day, overnight and camping festival in the country to allow the recreational use and sale of cannabis on-site outside of the state fairgrounds at the Tree Lounge. Making the most of a permit that’s been years in the making, Northern Nights also incorporated cannabis into its wellness programming with participatory events like Stoned Yoga and CBD Self-Massage. All of this resulted in an unforgettable success which is only expected to evolve with 2022’s edition.
Kudos to the event organizers – from regular press releases to on-time acts to multiple cleanings of the portable restrooms, everything seemed well organized and prepared. The festival layout made for an easy walk between camping and music sections, with clear pathways around the festival grounds. The main alley in the center provided plenty of fantastic wares and goods for sale, ranging from festival gear to floaties, as well as plenty of vendors. Porto-potties were well maintained and cleaned twice a day, and trucks sprayed water on the heavy dirt paths to keep the dust down.
Grab a float and hit the river, or bring a yoga mat for interactive group sessions. Northern Nights 2019 also featured for the first time a guest speaker series, hosted in the Press Tent, the festival organizers hosted several cannabis industry leaders and music artists to discuss the industry, their personal journeys, & other relevant anecdotes.