Desert Daze Festival
What is the Desert Daze Festival?
Each year, approximately 250,000 people travel to the California desert to attend Coachella. One California festival, however, is not competing with Instagram moments, celebrity sightings, or flower crown making for your attention. The annual Desert Daze music festival is held approximately one hour from the Coachella campgrounds. After establishing a reputation over the past decade, the resident psych-rock event has become the anti-festival of choice for those seeking a profound experience rather than a three-day bender.
Desert Daze began as a fortunate accident. Desert Daze was founded by Jjuujjuu musician Phil Pirrone and his wife Julie Edwards Pirrone in 2012 as Moon Block Party; an 11-day event in Pomona, California featuring 120 bands across multiple venues.
The original Desert Daze was a series of outdoor and indoor concerts held in Palm Springs over the course of several days. Over the course of nine years, the event expanded and became more like a traditional music festival with multiple stages and performers.
Desert Daze is not solely focused on music, although acts such as Tame Impala, Iggy Pop, and My Bloody Valentine have performed there in the past, making music the main attraction. However, Desert Daze is also focused on creating an experience.
The festival grounds are covered with interactive life-size art installations, some of which have been present since the event's inception. Numerous workshops and retreats have also evolved into a central component of the festival.
What transpired at the Desert Daze Festival 2021?
Desert Daze's ability to evolve in its ninth year does not necessarily entail growing larger; rather, it entails burning brighter.
Given the issues facing the concert industry, including COVID-19 (Desert Daze, along with almost everything else, was cancelled in 2020) and the recent tragedy at Astroworld, it was a welcome relief that the festival, held Friday through Sunday in Lake Perris, California, reduced its capacity this year from approximately 5,000 fans per day to approximately 2,000.
Hosting over two dozen acts on a single main stage meant squeezing the festival's psychedelic buffet into a small space, allowing fans to remain in their beach chairs and blankets. At Desert Daze, there are typically multiple stages simultaneously showcasing the finest music and talent.
The year's rendition, however, was on a much smaller scale than previous years due to the significant impact the virus has had on festivals and the music community as a whole. Despite the scaled-down nature of the year's event, it contributed to a more intimate and therefore significant viewing experience. With everyone on one stage, the performances flowed in a seamless manner, it was easier than ever to organize a dance party, and with a solid dance crew, the festivities were practically turnkey.
Friday's festivities kicked off with Tropa Magica performing the opening ceremonies, and it was immediately apparent that Desert Daze 21 would not disappoint. La Luz and Deap Vally performed during the day, with DIIV performing in the evening.
Tim Heidecker and Weise Blood performed a beautiful folk rock set on Friday night, but it was Ty Segall and Freedom Band who absolutely annihilated the competition. There is so much talent in the band, most notably bassist Mikal Cronin, who effortlessly switched between his Moog and Rickenbacker basses, producing so many sounds for a single human being.
The War On Drugs concluded Friday's festivities with a beautiful, emotional, and enthralling performance that capped off the evening. Saturday had its share of intensely groove-filled moments and feel-good vibes, which did not disappoint in any way. This is evidenced by the legendary Budos Band's rhythmic beats and hypnotic bass lines.
Andy Shauf's smooth and psychedelic set was completed by Devendra Banhart, who effortlessly captivated the entire audience with his voice, rhythm, and melodies. Desert Daze festival founder Phil Pirrone and his band JJUUJUU did what they do best and made their love for everyone in attendance audible and visible.
Saturday, however, belonged to Kamasi Washington, who delivered arguably one of the most comprehensive Afro-centric jazz performances ever. On a spiritual level, you just experienced something that was significantly more poignant, heartfelt, and profound than any previous performance.
All eyes were on Sunday, the final and most important day, as Saturday's accomplishments came to a close. Since everything was already exceptional, one could only anticipate that it would get even better...and it certainly did. Spelling and Sasami kicked off the third day's festivities, with Black Angels returning to Desert Daze to bless the crowd with a rock 'n' roll sunset that could only be imagined.
Crumb's airy R&B vibes accompanied the wild psych rock sounds of Kikagaku Moyo throughout the evening. Kikagaku Moyo, originating from Japan and returning to the festival, arguably stole the show on Sunday with their hypnotic and flawlessly orchestrated psych symphony. Japanese Breakfast was also incredible, with her playful and whimsical vocals complementing the horns and synth to create such a dreamlike atmosphere.
The festivities culminated with a dance party hosted by none other than Toro Y Moi, raising the bar throughout the day and night. Those willing to give the festival a proper send-off then attended the closing ceremony with JJUUJJU and their friends. It was an unforgettable one-hour jam session that utterly melted minds.
Desert Daze cannot be compared to anything in terms of atmosphere. Since my initial experience in the Joshua Tree deserts, the spirit of this festival has imbued all attendees with a desert landscape bursting with neon, noise, and nature.
The art installations reached far into the trees and out to the Lake Perris beaches, where, at night, they transformed the formerly uniform sands into a wavy, textured backdrop for a projector light show. One was hypnotized by the enormous pyramids of television screens emitting images of distorted figures in unison. And when one looked up above the stage, the canopy was adorned with a psychedelic portrait of colors and shapes.
If ever there was a time when music could be seen as well as heard, it would be now, as each band is accompanied by a visual performance of equal calibre. On top of everything else, the crowd was filled with festival-goers dressed to the nines, with the weekend's wardrobes surely rivalling those of Studio 54. For all the weirdos, maintain your coolness and make sure it shows. Desert Daze is crafted with meticulous attention to detail.
From the jerk chicken crew, the yerba mate crew, and the Indian food stand, the festival food this year was simply exceptional, with the yerba mate saving my day on two separate occasions. The clothing vendors were also extraterrestrial, offering looks ranging from that of a local desert bandit to that of a gipsy queen and everything in between.
The staff of Desert Daze 2021 laboured tirelessly day and night to create such an epic experience for all to enjoy. Desert Daze distinguishes itself from other music festivals by displaying a higher level of compassion and genuine concern for its attendees.
When is the Desert Daze Festival?
- CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF DESERT DAZE
- 9/30 – 10/2, 2022
- LAKE PERRIS, CA
- LIMITED PRE-SALE HAS ENDED
Where is the Desert Daze Festival?
Desert Daze returns to Moreno Valley for its annual psych-rock convention, which promises to be one of the highlights of the year. This festival is not to be missed, as it is held in the picturesque surroundings of Moreno Beach at Lake Perris.
Art that will blow your mind, immersive performances, and a variety of acts will keep you entertained all night long. There are two outdoor stages, two indoor stages, and an additional stage within the campground. Additionally, campgrounds feature clean restrooms, hot showers, and RV hookups for electricity and water.
The Mystic Bazaar offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including movies, workshops, yoga, and more. Relax and unwind with a massage or realign your vibrations with a sound bath featuring crystal bowls. At The Outer Space, installation artists and performances are available. The Marketplace is filled with boutique stands selling a variety of artisanal goods and delectables.
Guests can immerse themselves in the Desert Daze experience, which offers a distinct atmosphere that promises a transcendent, relaxing, and rejuvenating experience, as well as excellent onsite facilities and RV accessibility.
Lake Perris is near the 60 and 215 freeways, 1.5 hours southeast of Los Angeles, CA, 1.5 hours northeast of San Diego, 2.5 hours from Las Vegas, and 4 hours or less from Phoenix and the majority of Southern and Central California cities.
Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the nearest airport. Depending on traffic, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County are 1.5 to 2 hours from the site.
As with all great stories, our protagonists must be surrounded by a grand, wondrous, and expansive landscape as they begin their quest. To everyone's good fortune, Lake Perris is not devoid of majesty, with the valley surrounded by distant mountains and the lake's gentle waves offering relief to the hot and tired.
All those in attendance felt a sense of comfort and stability throughout the day and night due to the tranquillity of the atmosphere. It would be sufficient to wear a shirt during the day if the lake did not compel one to swim in board shorts or even their underwear. The nighttime climate was in stark contrast to the daytime climate, but such are the ways of the desert.
After sunset, jackets, scarves, and blankets were the norm, but most individuals warmed themselves by doing what they do best: dancing. At the conclusion of the festival, you retire to one of the campsites conveniently located nearby for the closest rest and relaxation.
If you aren't camping or are only visiting for a day, Lake Perris's location makes for an easy 2-hour commute to Los Angeles or a 1.5-hour commute to San Diego. There you have it; you have no reason not to make the trip next year.
Is the festival for all ages?
Yes. Attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a person aged 18 or older. Kids under 10 get in free.
What may I bring / What is prohibited?
Bring your identification, a beautiful smile, and cash to purchase drinks, food, band/event merchandise, and items from our vendors.
YES, a small backpack or bag for your personal belongings YES, one factory-sealed water bottle per attendee is permitted at the event. YES, a 30-pack of canned beer AND a sealed bottle of wine OR a sealed 750-ml bottle of spirits are permitted ONLY in the campgrounds. YES, please bring one (1) empty, reusable water bottle to be filled at our water station. YES, prefilled canteens, and opened and sealed water bottles are permitted in campgrounds. YES, nonalcoholic beverages, food, and snacks are permitted in the campgrounds, but NOT on the event grounds. YES, they are comfortable (closed-toe shoes are encouraged) YES, if you are allergic to scorpions or fire ants; their stings have the same effects on humans as bee stings. YES, hats + bandanas YES, a swimsuit and a pool float YES, bug spray YES, sunscreen YES, blankets YES, Enclosed Propane Stoves with Less Than One Gallon of Propane Canisters – ONLY in Campgrounds YES, consumer cameras without detachable lenses Coolers are permitted in the campgrounds, but not in the event area. YES, a fabric-back and seat chair that measures no more than 8" from the floor to the front of the seat bottom and no more than 30" to the top of the chair back in its highest position. YES, good vibes
No outside Alcohol Allowed On Event Premises No glass receptacles No fires are permitted outside of designated fire pits. No liquid fuel No home-made barbecues No charcoal barbecues No candles are permitted No sound amplification No professional camera equipment / detachable lenses No laser pointers No illegal drugs/substances No firearms No drones / remote control aircraft No ATVs or dirt bikes No personal generators No large sound systems are permitted on campsites. No coolers are permitted on the event grounds No smoking is allowed in camping areas No "space-saving," such as cordoning off a section for your friends who will arrive later. Please arrive together or make new friends with your neighbours to claim your campsite. No camping allowed on roads or fire lanes No uncomfortable folding chairs No specialized recording equipment No stickers, flyers, banners, or posters are permitted. No animals or pets, including emotional support animals (Service animals are permitted; see the ADA page). No Refunds or Exchanges No unauthorized/unlicensed vendors No unauthorized solicitations, sample distributions, or giveaways No skateboards allowed on event premises (Campgrounds OK)
PLEASE NOTE: Medications MUST be in their original prescription bottles bearing your name. Individual medications MUST be packaged individually; only one pill type per bottle. Any items deemed dangerous are not permitted inside the venue. The decision lies with Event Security.
REQUIRED FOR ENTRY
Desert Daze will require:
• A NEGATIVE RESULT ON A COVID-19 PCR TEST (within 72 hours)
• PROOF OF FULL VACCINATION for entry.
To be considered "fully vaccinated," you must receive your final dose of vaccine at least 14 days prior to your entry date. Please note that vaccination (and booster shots for those who were vaccinated more than six months ago) is recommended but not required for Desert Daze.
To expedite entry for everyone, we strongly advise you to obtain your test results in advance and purchase parking in advance. Please obtain test results prior to visiting Desert Daze.
As protocols for public gatherings continue to evolve rapidly, so do our recommendations for best practices to be observed at the event.
Please observe Both WiFi and cell signals are weak at Lake Perris.
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you save a photo of your vaccination card, negative test result, and photo identification on your phone.
If you are unable to use the CLEAR app, you may present the following documents along with your Physical Photo ID:
Physical duplicate of your Vaccination Card
Copy of your Vaccination Card
Smartphone image of your Vaccination Card
CA Digital Vaccination Card.
Digital or printed copy of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained within three days (72 hours).
Your photo identification must correspond with the name on your Vaccination Card and/or test result.
In Perris, California, Desert Daze is an alternative and psychedelic rock festival. Back to its lakeside home, the festival has developed into one of the country's top boutique music festivals.
Desert Daze is one of the few remaining festivals that creates a one-of-a-kind musical experience by annually curating a lineup of influential established acts and buzz-worthy up-and-comers. Check out Turntablelive to know more about a variety of music and people because you deserve a space you can call your home.