Last year’s inaugural Desert Daze was an 11-day psychedelic bonanza held in the town of Desert Hot Springs, about 30 miles from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which took place during a couple weekend days of Desert Daze.
The roadside music festival featured over 100 acts, including Dengue Fever, Akron/Family, Moving Units, Crystal Antlers, Dead Meadow, DJ Nobody, Nocando, Dante vs. Zombies, Here We Go Magic, the Fresh & Onlys, Breakestra, the Entrance Band, Free the Robots, and Bleached; San Diego’s presence was made known by groups such as the Soft Pack, Tropical Popsicle, Joy, Pilots, and analog visual artists Operation:Mindblow.
“We were asked to throw some Coachella parties,” Phil Pirrone, a Desert Daze organizer with the Pomona-based Moon Block Party collective, told the Reader last May.
“We decided, let’s just go for it and do every single day. It was like boot camp, man. Everyone on our crew is a musician or an artist, and we have experience, but by no means are we production veterans, so we learned it as we went. This was a whole new form of education and I feel we pulled it off. There was a certain energy there that you don’t find at some of these bigger, more corporatized, cookie-cutter events. Ours was a little more handmade.”
Desert Daze was a hit, filling the 400-person capacity Dillon Roadhouse both weekends.
This spring, Desert Daze Music and Art Festival returns as a one-day camping jamboree on (ahem) Saturday, April 20, at Sunset Ranch, “a beautiful desert oasis set against a backdrop of purple mountains and miles of palm trees,” in the town of Mecca, located about 25 minutes southeast of Indio, near the Salton Sea.
Headliners include Tinariwen (a world-music group formed in a Libyan refugee camp), Los Angeles occult drone-folk artist Chelsea Wolfe, Warpaint (L.A.), and the Entrance Band (ex–The Convocation Of...).
For tickets, lineup, and accommodations: desertdaze.brownpapertickets.com.