Few festivals encompass it all and even less do so with authenticity. Sure, we can gallop off on a weekend excursion to Coachella for hundreds of dollars, witnessing mainstream alt bands from afar, all sweaty and dirty alongside strung out strangers. Let the self-indulgence and vanity consume you, hopefully heading home STD-free (#fakenews???). Big name corporations channel millions into these extravagant events, returning on investment year over year from the abundance of attendees ready to escape the mind rather than expand it. What a loss of brain cells. What a blurred reality. What a pity.
… Desert Daze is traversing the line of mainstream attention and underground novelty.
Luckily, for Hunter Thompson types living outside of The Doomed, there are festivals that remain true to its mission; their essence raw, rabid and infectious (without the spread of herpes, sorry Coachella). One southern California destination deemed worthy over others is the annual Desert Daze Festival, now in its seventh year around the sun this October 10th-13th, 2019. Boasting major names in alternative music last year, like Tame Impala and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Desert Daze is traversing the line of mainstream attention and underground novelty. It’s the Goldilocks of musical events, in a word. What curates this general approval? Well… it’s hard to describe. You know when you’re all hopped up with a head of acid and someone asks you how you’re doing and you don’t even know how to begin to answer that question? Desert Daze is that existential enigma rolled into a weekend experience. Let the transmission begin.
Following the opening ceremony, led by Ian Svenonius and special guests yet to be announced, the Desert Daze 2019 trip takes off with the best in psychedelia, jam band and alternative music, adjacent to nonstop visual sensations coming at you from all angles in the form of artworks, talks, workshops and more. Four full days of music will be split between two main alternating stages, with a third smaller stage nestled in the camping areas. And, believe us when we say that camping is part of the all-immersive adventure. Located on the shores of Moreno Beach at Lake Perris, Desert Daze attendees are encouraged to tune in and drop out while wading in the waters of the beachfront Moon Stage. Cabanas are available to up the ante of this sandy setting, as well as access to the Moreno Beach Club bar if you’re strapped with a shiny VIP wristband (dubbed the Azurite Pass, affordable for its amount of benefits at only $449). But, before we dive headfirst into ticket spiels, let us elaborate first on the eclectic rundown just announced for Desert Daze 2019.
This festival exists for Flaming Lip fans; all curious creatures are welcome to freak out outlandishly and lavishly together. The idiosyncrasies of both The Flaming Lips and the festival are too similar to believe that this is the first year they’ve crossed paths. And, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of The Soft Bulletin, The Flaming Lips are set to perform the album in full. By the way, have you listened to that record recently? The Flaming Lips’ 1999 sound transcends all today’s alternative two decades later. Regale in the band’s understated stature. Speaking of unequivocal genius, Wu-Tang Clan has also signed on for DD19, bringing forth their debut 1993 36 Chambers album to life. If that wasn’t enough, early 90s rock duo Ween joins the mix with their Chocolate & Cheese 1994 album from start to finish. Okay: rock, hip hop and all-out weird is accounted for… let’s add the final ingredient of New Wave to headline this delectable audible concoction. 80s hit-makers DEVO whips into the mix, marking the launch of their Farewell Tour at Desert Daze with additional dates to be announced. (Farewell forever?? Sad emoji).
If you’re not combusting from excitement yet, wait till you hear the whole dispatch: Parquet Courts, Flying Lotus 3D, The Locust, Alvvays, Khruangbin, Stereolab, The Black Angels, Animal Collective, The Claypool Lennon Delirium and so many others complete the extensive list of the impressive impetus known as Desert Daze 2019. Comedian Fred Armisen is even making an appearance, apparently performing “comedy for musicians, but everyone is welcome”. Well, isn’t that a relief? If it all gets too overwhelming (and ingesting mind-altering substances shifts this predicament from possible to probable), Desert Daze has designated an oasis zone, fittingly named ‘The Sanctuary’. Let calming interstellar dimensions brought forth from Epicenter Projects chill you out for a bit, set to the soundtrack of a grip of ambient artists. Breathe, just breathe.
You’re the captain of this trip, so grab the helm and steer into any realm you want.
Meanwhile, back at the lab we call the campsite, Desert Daze’s Mystic Bazaar will be up and running all weekend long, offering gypsy trinkets and treasures to tickle your heart’s fancy. Partake in yoga sessions, sound baths, shamanic ceremonies and guided plants walks. Or, just nap off. You’re the captain of this trip, so grab the helm and steer into any realm you want.
Tickets are available now, starting as low as $259 for all four days general admission. VIP gets you premium viewing, private bar areas and, of course, a snazzy shwag bag commemorating the experience. Parking passes and camping are not included with initial entry, so make sure to check all the boxes before you checkout on the website. For more information, visit the links below or www.desertdaze.org.