When a collective of Pomona musicians and artists known as Moon Block Party got invited to host a show in Desert Hot Springs concurrent with the 2012 Coachella festival, they had no idea that they would not only be throwing one of the longest consecutive-day music festivals in the world (11 days with over 120 acts) but would also be inaugurating an annual event that, for its second year, will be held at Sunset Ranch on the north end of the Salton Sea in Mecca, California.
Starting last year, Desert Daze scaled down to a one day/night campout, but what they lost in longevity they are making up for with a choice bill of international artists, including Blonde Redhead, the Raveonettes, Liars, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, DIIV, Autolux, Vincent Gallo, Night Beats, Habits, and about 20 others.
The Coachella Valley oasis bacchanal falls in the thick of festival season on Saturday, April 26 — the weekend after Coachella and the weekend before Austin Psych Fest. When asked what Desert Daze has to offer that some of the more established festivals can’t, organizer Phil Pirrone responds, “Taste and vibe.”
“Sunset Ranch is the perfect size for Desert Daze right now,” Pirrone says. “It has three lakes. It’s surrounded by mountain ranges that go purple at sunset. Palm trees for miles. We can camp there. It’s open. It’s majestic. It’s great.”
Of equal import, both “cheap beer and fancy beer” will be available inside the show grounds for around 5 to 7 bucks.
The most rewarding aspect to producing one of Southern California’s most ambitious alternative music festivals?
“Confirming bands you only dreamt of having at the festival,” Pirrone says, “and watching people have an adventure in this environment that my friends and I created for them.”