Desert Daze 2017 is upon us!  Now in it’s second year at the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Institute in Mental Physics in Joshua Tree, Desert Daze looks to improve upon what was one of our all-time favorite festival experiences this weekend, Oct. 12-15.  Not calling it a “music festival” is intentional – Desert Daze strives to be more than just the music.   A recent editorial from LA Weekly sheds light on the founder’s intent to create a music-based “religion” whereby the focus of Desert Daze is to shy away “from rock’s cheap thrills and glamorous associations” and instead toward music’s “potential to heal, to bind and to overload your senses.”  Based on our experience last year, we each agree that after leaving Desert Daze 2016 we did not feel physically drained like one would expect after a 3-day music festival.  Rather we each felt a sense of calm and enlightenment that we carried with us for some time afterward (and no, we actually did not do any psychedelics this time around :p).


The Setting 

The two large, picturesque main stages and tented side stage from last year, the Sanctuary Hall, the Marketplace, and the Mystic Bazaar (a multi-use venue located in the campgrounds) are all set to return to the festival grounds.  The only addition we’ve noticed so far is that of the indoor Nobel Hall venue, which will host movie screenings (like The Icarus Line Must Die film), Q & A’s, intimate performances (like with Emily Haines), and more.  Just some of the extracurricular activities include: an Intro to Astrology session, Death Metal Yoga, Body Based Mediation, and sound baths.


The Merch

Desert Daze also returns with lots of dope swag!  That weed grinder looks sweeeet.  If you have not yet peeped all the amazing posters that will be available, we suggest you take a look!  And pro tip: you can pre-order posters now so you don’t have to worry about missing out on the one you want or having to carry it around all day.  Hit + Run will be on the scene with their live screen printing, and it sounds as though you can have your choice of exclusive DD designs printed on any shirt or fabric of you choice.


The Music

But alas, there is the music… With so much good stuff, we always suggest planning ahead. Download the new app to make sure you don’t miss a thing.  To help navigate all the bodacious sounds, we put together a list of acts you MUST SEE:


Desert Dance Party – La Femme (Fri. 4:25pm; Moon Stage)

Où va le monde” is my favorite song off La Femme’s latest album, Mystère. I’ve probably listened to it a thousand times. I don’t know what the song is about, but it sounds sexy and cool and makes me wanna dance and smoke with cigarettes. But then again, most of their songs make me feel like that. – Crystal

Update: The lyrics are beautiful and heartbreaking. Translation found here.


Out of this world, man – Spiritualized (Sun. 8:40pm; Moon Stage)

No better way to lift off than with Mr. J. Spaceman behind the wheel!  The out-of-this-world sounds of Spiritualized are mystic, ethereal, and boundless… coincidentally, those are all feelings that can be used to describe the other-planet vibes of the Joshua Tree desert.  Gentle walls of sound; weightlessly floating through space; don’t forget to breathe. Hearing “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Now Floating In Space” in this setting will prob make me hang a tear or two. – Mat


Bust Your Eardrums – SLEEP performing Holy Mountian (Sat. 6:00pm; Moon Stage)

SLEEP are epic and Holy Mountain is their masterpiece. They’ll be performing this stoner metal classic in its entirety and we couldn’t be more excited! A SLEEP set is heavy, sludgy and will leave you headbanging the entire time. It’s also one of the loudest sets you’ll ever hear. So bring your earplugs and don’t miss it, because this will be like a religious experience – Sergio

+++ Honorable mention: Boris (Fri. 6:10pm; Moon Stage) +++

Boris are a band from Tokyo, Japan that purposely defy being associated with a single genre. Their 25 studio albums range from doom-metal and stoner-rock to shoegaze and dream pop. But their live show is HEAVY! You can expect plenty of drony, sludgy guitar, heavy bass lines and crushing drums. Oh, and they go heavy on the fog – Sergio


Living Legends – Iggy Pop (Sat. 10:15pm; Moon Stage) & John Cale (Sat. 9:10pm; Block Stage)

I mean come on, it’s Iggy f*ckin’ Pop. He’s been thrashing for over 50 years since his days in The Stooges, and now at 70 he’s still ripping. Don’t miss this living legend perform in a magical venue, because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. He’ll be playing a mixture of solo and Stooges songs, all of which are sure to be hits. I’ll be there the whole time, headbanging and thinking, “Damn, this is tite!”

John Cale has had a lasting impact on music, and it’s safe to say he’s inspired many of the artists playing “psychedelic” music today. Beginning with his days as a founding member of The Velvet Underground, Cale has blended avant-garde, classical, minimalism and rock n’roll in ways that no one else can. This set is going to be beautiful. – Sergio


Witching Hour – Frankie & the Witchfingers (Sat. 1:20pm; Moon Stage)

Frankie and the Witch Fingers are a perfect band to play Desert Daze. They encompass that 60’s/70’s pysch rock spirit, while also being heavy and modern. Excellent music for conducting a séance, doing mushrooms, or casting a spell on your ex. – Crystal

+++ Honorable mention: L.A. Witch (Sun. 5:45pm; Block Stage) +++

L.A. Witch was pure magic during their sunset set in 2015. I still remember the full moon hanging above the stage as the sun melted into the desert. Expect some supernatural vibes this weekend. – Crystal


Stir the Dirt Pit – GØGGS (Sun. 8:35pm; Wright Tent)

GØGGS might be the perfect punk band! Chris Shaw (of Ex-Cult) stumbles around the stage and delivers vicious vocals, while Ty Segall’s fuzz driven guitar and Charles Moothart’s flurry of drums create a wall of energy that will be sure to get the pit going. Bring your bandana because this one will get dusty! – Sergio

+++ Honorable mention: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard (Sat. 8:05pm; Moon Stage) +++

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard play high energy, psychedelic garage rock that will instantly have the crowd moving. Their songs are fast, catchy and they play non-stop. King G were one of the highlights from last year’s Desert Daze and I expect that will be the case again this year. – Sergio


Chill ‘n’ Groove – The Babe Rainbow (Sunday 3:15pm; Moon Stage)

Ever think about surfing a rainbow? If not, The Babe Rainbow will get you there! These Australian psych-surfers tap a serious Pacific vibe that they themselves described as sounding like “God picking flowers.”  I imagine their set will feel like a kaleidoscope of colors, flowers, kisses, and those special good vibrations. – Mat

+++ Honorable mention: Kruangbin (Sunday 7:20pm; The Wright Tent) +++

Kruangbin are a Texas trio that dabble at the intersection of worldly psychedelics and a more subdued funk.  The sort of vibe that’ll lift you up out of your celestial body for an ultimate chill sesh. – Mat


Garage Gospel – The Make-Up (Saturday 8:40pm; The Wright Tent)

The Make Up bring their special brand of “Gospel Yeh-Yeh” for a seemingly rare opportunity to catch the band IRL.  Led by the prolific and highly influential Ian Svenonius, expect The Make-Up spazz out their soul-fuled garage punk while calling upon the masses to join in saying, “Yeah!” This is certainly going to be an uplifting occasion. – Mat

+++ Honorable mention: The Gories (Sat. 5:05pm; Block Stage) +++

If the Gories were a gospel band, then you best believe I’d go to church. The Gories formed as a three piece band in Detroit during the 80’s. Their sound is a mix of 60’s garage rock, punk and blues. One of my fav bands and one not to be missed. – Crystal


Dynamic Duos – Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile and The Sea Lice (Fri. 10:15pm; Moon Stage); DRINKS (Fri. 5:25pm; Block Stage); Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions (Sun. 7:45pm; Block Stage)

Nothing better than a sincere collaboration; two artists coming together to vibe, to learn, to create.  Friday night will see one of the first performances by the new folk duo of Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, with backing from The Sea Lice, which looks to be made up of Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), and Rob Laakso (The Swirlies).  We also have folk-pop duo of Cate La Bon and Tim Presley (White Fence) performing as DRINKS – if you have not yet heard the ultra-infectious single “Hermits on Holiday,” then I suggest you hop on that sugary goodness ASAP!  Lastly, we wanted to highlight the dreamy vibes that the duo of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval and My Bloody Valentine’s Colm Ó Cíosóig will bring as something not to be missed as Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions help wind down Desert Daze on Sunday evening. – Mat


Get Some Soul – Lee Fields & The Expressions (Fri. 8:30pm; the Wright Tent)

Do you got soul running through your veins? Are you a fan of James Brown? Did you cry when Charles Bradley died? Then don’t miss Lee Fields & the Expressions. Lee Fields has been making music for over 47 years and is most definitely bringing the soul to the desert. – Crystal


The Dirty Details

Single day, weekend, and VIP options for Desert Daze 2017 are still available, but we’ve been hearing the phrase “sold out” creeping up!  If you don’t have accommodations figured out yet, camping passes are still available, as well as RV camping and Stout Tent rentals (which sleep 2-8 peeps, has real mattresses, and looks to include all the basics you’ll need).  Look over the list of what you CAN and CANNOT bring, and be sure to wear layers as weekend temps look like they’ll be dropping below 50° at night.