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The Best 4/20 Events in America 2019

April 9, 2019
Snoop in Vegas or Action Bronson in DC? America is preparing for its biggest 420 yet. (AP, Courtesy of Action Bronson, Courtesy of Green Rush)
Snoop in Vegas or Action Bronson in DC? America prepares for its biggest 4/20 yet. (AP, Courtesy of Action Bronson, Courtesy of Green Rush)
This 4/20 will be one to remember, no matter how much you puff.

One in five Americans now lives in a state with legal, adult use cannabis laws. From sea to shining sea, concerts, contests, film festivals, and expos are going off on April 20, which falls on a Saturday this year.

What was once high school code for meeting up and getting lifted (“420!”) has transformed over a generation into a rallying cry for cannabis culture and liberation.

With 10 legal adult-use states, plus Washington, D.C., the parties are bigger than ever. We rounded up this year’s absolute biggest, baddest throwdowns on April 20th and the surrounding weekend, so mark your calendars and stock up.

Top 5 Best 4/20 Parties in the US

  1. Kaya Fest 2019 with the Marley Family, Bayfront Park, Miami, FL
  2. Snoop Dogg + Ice Cube at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
  3. Ludacris + Action Bronson at National Cannabis Festival, RFK Stadium, Washington, DC
  4. High Times Cannabis Cup at Central Valley, Cal Fair Expo, Sacramento, CA
  5. SPLIFF Film Fest at Revolution Hall, Portland, OR

What Is 4/20?

The term “420” began in San Rafael, CA, in the ’70s as a high school clique’s code for “let’s go smoke some weed at 4:20 p.m at the pre-designated location.”

The clique known as The Waldos spread ‘420’ locally. San Rafael’s intersection with the Grateful Dead music scene passed the code phrase along to the Grateful Dead’s touring culture, who shared it internationally.

The rise of cannabis law reform in the ’90s, first with medical marijuana in 1996, brought the term “420” aboveground, where it became a symbol of support for reform efforts. Over two decades, informal, non-sanctioned public observances of a day-long ‘cannabis holiday’ honoring 420 on April 20 (4/20) have morphed into licensed, permitted events—the biggest of which draw tens of thousands of people each year.

Northern California’s Best 4/20 Events

Best Bet: 420 Trippie Hill w/ Berner & Friends

Join the man behind the Cookies strain craze, Berner, with other Bay Area musical guests Nef the Pharaoh, Los Rakas and Kool John for a day and night show.

  • Date: April 20
  • Where: The Midway, San Francisco, CA
  • Tickets: $40 (ages 18+)

High Times Cannabis Cup 2019 – Central Valley

(Courtesy High Times)

(Courtesy High Times)

Musicians Rae Sremmurd, Schoolboy Q, Soulja Boy, Too $hort, and Afroman lead off the festivities in Sacramento April 20-21—alongside a consumption expo and cannabis contest that is High Times’ namesake.

  • Date: April 20-21
  • Where: Cal Expo Fairgrounds, Sacramento, CA
  • Tickets: $50 (ages 21+)

Exploratorium After Dark: Cannabis

Two days before 4/20, San Francisco’s world-class exploratorium delves into the social, judicial, economic, and environmental impacts of legalization. Also, a cow eyeball dissection.

  • Date: April 18
  • Where: Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA
  • Tickets: $20 (ages 18+)

The 3rd Annual 420 Bud Drop at Hippie Hill 2019

Grab a patch of grass early and get reeeaaally comfortable for a massive, daylong smokeout in San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Park. Sponsors pay for extra trash cans, bathrooms, and security.

  • Date: April 20
  • Where: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
  • Tickets: Free

Also in the Bay: Snoop Dogg at Oracle Arena

Southern California’s Best 4/20 Events

(view Southern California 420 deals)

Best Bet: Phish’s Trey Anastasio at the Greek Theatre

In terms of 4/20’s cultural north pole, it’s going to be hard top the iconic jam band’s lead vocalist at the hallowed Los Angeles venue on Friday, April 19. Anastasio plays at the other Greek in Berkeley, CA. the next night.

  • Date: April 19
  • Where: Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
  • Tickets: $39.50

Shred 420

Get into the “laissez faire vibe” of one of the best Grateful Dead cover bands, Grateful Shred, as they headline an irie day at the Echo + Echoplex on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

  • Date: April 20
  • Where: Echo + Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA
  • Tickets: $35 (ages 21+)

Also in LA: The Budtrader Ball with NBA’s John Salley; Baked Eggs brunch with Netflix’s “Cooking on High” Chef Andi Leon and host SweetTatas

Oregon’s Best 4/20 Events

(view Oregon 420 Deals)

Best Bet: SPLIFF Film Fest

The inaugural “first film festival created by the stoned, for the stoned” features about 20 shorts, experimental films, and headscratchers.

  • Date: April 20
  • Where: Revolution Hall, Portland, OR
  • Tickets: $20 (ages 21+)

Washington’s Best 4/20 Events

(view Washington 420 deals)

Best Bet: Cheech & Chong

Can we talk about this for a second? Cheech and Chong are playing a casino off the I-5 in Tacoma on 4/20. The actual comedians Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong. Good for Tacoma, you know? All hail the kings.

  • Date: April 20
  • Where: Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma, WA
  • Tickets: Sold Out

SPLIFF Film Fest

From the creators of HUMP! and Savage Love— the “first film festival created by the stoned, for the stoned” has show dates both in Portland and Seattle.

  • Date: April 19-20
  • Where: SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Seattle, WA
  • Tickets: $20 (ages 21+)

Also in Washington: 4/20 Fair; Lil Pump & Lil Skies; Tech N9Ne

Nevada’s Best 4/20 Events

(view Nevada 420 deals)

Snoop Dogg

Reserve a bottle ahead of time for Snoop’s official gathering at Drai’s Nightclub to celebrate 25 years of his debut album Doggystyle on the last stop of his 420 Wellness Retreat tour.

  • Date: April 20
  • Where: Drai’s Nightclub, Las Vegas, NV
  • Tickets: $40 (ages 21+)

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Enjoy a thuggish, ruggish musical legacy almost 30 years in the making at the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas. Guests get special discounts at Caesar’s Palace.

  • Date: April 19
  • Where: Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV
  • Tickets: $30 (ages 18+)

Colorado’s Best 4/20 Events

(view Colorado 420 deals)

Best Bet: Merry Jane’s 420 Wellness Retreat

(Courtesy Merry Jane)

(Courtesy Merry Jane)

Snoop Dogg kicks off his sixth annual 420 Wellness Retreat tour with Ice Cube and Warren G at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

  • Date: April 18
  • Where: Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
  • Tickets: $75

420 Eve on the Rocks

311, Method Man, and Redman return to headline this pre-4/20 concert.

  • Date: April 19
  • Where: Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
  • Tickets: $59.95

Mile High 420 Festival with T.I. and Jermaine Dupri

An admission-free public gathering with music, food trucks, and cannabis vendors galore in front of the Colorado Capitol in downtown Denver.

  • Date: April 20
  • Where: Civic Center Park, Denver, CO
  • Tickets: Free

Also in Colorado: Stick Figure with Steel Pulse at Red Rocks

Washington, DC’s Best 4/20 Events

Best Bet: National Cannabis Festival

(Courtesy National Cannabis Festival)

(Courtesy National Cannabis Festival)

Ludacris, Action Bronson, DJ Biz Markie, and much more perform amidst exhibitions, munchies, and cannabis in the country’s capital.

  • Date: April 20
  • Where: RFK Festival Grounds, Washington, DC
  • Tickets: $49.50 (ages 21+)

Also in DC Area: Charm City Smokefest, Baltimore

New York’s Best 4/20 Events

Full Spectrum

Humble Bloom presents the launch of New Highs CBD, with signature cocktails by Warren Bobrow with Gem & Bolt, live music, movement, and other goodies.

  • When: April 20
  • Where: The William Vale, New York, NY
  • Tickets: $40 (ages 21+)

Also in New York: Higher Etiquette Live; GRN DAY 420

More States

What events are you hitting up on 4/20? Comment below!

Amelia Williams contributed to this report.

David Downs's Bio Image

David Downs

David Downs directs news and lifestyle coverage as the California Bureau Chief for He's written for WIRED, Rolling Stone and Billboard, and is the former cannabis editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as the author of several cannabis books including 'Marijuana Harvest' by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs. He co-hosts The Hash podcast. TW: @davidrdowns | IG @daviddowns

View David Downs's articles

  • Dawn Abraham

    are people able to smoke or consume cannabis in Mt. Pleasant Michigan?
    It is not an approved recreational smoking state yet.

  • 360dunk

    Those of us who enjoyed cannabis back in the 70’s are happy for you millennials, who will never have to experience looking over your shoulder for police, getting arrested, and losing a job simply for exercising your freedom of choice……not to mention, the quality of weed is so much better these days.

  • Karima Firewalker

    420 is the police code for cannabis. THAT is what it REALLY means. Now you can tell the world you learned something new, rather than continue to disseminate false information.

    • DoomedNY

      You sound like you need a smoke, homie!

    • Highway 69

      No it’s not.

    • Gerade Kerl

      That is not an actual police code so it looks like you are the one spreading lies dude! That info can easily be looked up on google. It’s called fact checking ,you should try it. The story of 5 high school students in San Rafael, CA using it as code is the most accurate origin use of 420. That being said. Have a happy 420 😁

  • Robby Reyes

    Headed to the Austin Reggae Festival in Austin, Tx. which has been benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank for the past 25 years.

  • Beyond Releaf

    If in Maine, come out to Windham and join MAC, Maines Alternative Caring for a parking lot celebration. Look us up on FB.