While the city of Ojai only has 8,202 residents to speak of, this lovely valley hosts one of the best contemporary music festivals in the world for four days every June – the Ojai Music Festival. This outdoor event is held in the Libbey Bowl, which is a small amphitheatre in downtown Ojai. It's charming, quaint and well attended every year. Because of its small venue, there are virtually no bad seats. Almost all of the seats are close to the stage, or you might wish to bring your own blankets and lawn chairs and find a spot on the grass. The Bowl opens about an hour prior to the start of each concert so you can come early and find the perfect seating for your family. Plus, by arriving early, you'll also be able to attend the Chalk Talk lectures which happen about 45 minutes before each concert. Come early and stay late – that seems to be the regular attendees' routine each year. You won't want to miss a minute of the musical magic!
Located 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 35 miles southeast of Santa Barbara in Ventura County, the Ojai Valley is filled with stupendous spas, gorgeous golf courses, galleries galore and lovely trails just perfect for exciting Ojai Valley adventures. It is only a 15-minute drive inland from Ventura.
Getting there is pretty easy. From Highway 101 north of Ventura, take Highway 33 north to Ojai and continue 14 miles to Ojai. When the highway splits at the entrance to Ojai, go right onto Highway 150 east, which will take you into downtown Ojai. You'll find the Libbey Bowl at the center of downtown directly across from The Arcade.
Looking for parking? You're in luck because there is free parking on the streets surrounding Libbey Park, as well as in various lots within a two-block radius. Just remember to get there early so you'll be able to find a premium parking spot and enjoy a walk in Libbey Park.
Its difficult to get a hotel room near the festival, we recommend to stay in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles. Hotel rooms can be booked via Los Angeles Hotels.
The Ojai Music Festival began in 1947, established by music aficionado John Bauer. And that was the beginning of a beautiful thing. Then in 1954, the beautiful festival became even better when Lawrence Morton was appointed the Festival Artistic Director. Morton worked diligently to shape the Festival's future and establish it as unique in the world of music festivals. Mission accomplished. One of the aspects that makes the Ojai Music Festival so special is that every year, the Festival is built around a different music director. Over the years, the Festival's music directors have included: John Adams, Ingolf Dahl, Peter Maxwell Davies, Lukas Foss, John Harbison and Oliver Knussen to name a few.
The Festival continues, six decades since its humble beginnings, and draws thousands of music enthusiasts each year. From contemporary opera to the much celebrated Frank Zappa, you never know what to expect at the Ojai Music Festival. In addition to the enjoyable performances, the Festival offers educational programs for the students of Ojai Valley public schools in hopes of birthing a love for classical music within the hearts of today's students. That commitment and love for music oozes out of every portion of the programming of the Ojai Music Festival, which is why it continues to enjoy notoriety and fanfare.