Now that the dust has literally (and figuratively) settled, we’ve found some time to recount the amazing time that we had at Desert Daze music festival.
It had been a few years since our last brush with this particular fest, and boy, how the times have changed (in a good way!). In short – there was just MORE to it. More stages, larger production, more art installations, more alternative programming. Desert Daze has evolved into a well-rounded festival experience, where you can learn in various workshops, play within interactive art, and rock out to your favorite bands.
We all know how festival stress can be very real. Most of the time, you’re agonizing over schedule conflicts and running around from place to place. That’s not the case at Desert Daze. It’s a way more laid back vibe, where it kind of feels more like hanging out than festivaling.
IGGY. F-ING. POP.
This man is a legend, through and through. Just raw power and energy on stage. We had seen Iggy one time before, at FYF earlier this year in Los Angeles. We were amazed by his performance chops then, but his performance at Desert Daze blew that show out of the water. Iggy spent the better part of the night running around stage, jumping into the crowd, and keeping everyone’s intensity at a 12/10. If we’re half as cool as him when we grow up, we will be eternally grateful.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
This was another high energy rock set that energized the crowd. After this performance Friday night, it seemed impossible to go longer than fifteen minutes without hearing someone singing out “Rattlesnake” for the rest of the festival. The set lingered on in your memory long after these rockers left the stage, and that’s the sign of a great festival performance.
Lee Fields and the Expressions
Love a good soul band. We have seen Lee a handful of times and he never disappoints. His performance at Desert Daze was no different. Lee is a charismatic personality that gives you that warm, comforting feeling like that of an old friend. You best believe we were dancing at this set!
Solid dudes & solid psychedelic sounds. Very much enjoyed seeing these pals play a large stage. Hats off to Phil Pirrone as well for masterminding this whole shindig. What a party!
Honorable mentions: Black Moth Super Rainbow (they sounded amazing but overlapped with Iggy… damn you, festival gods!), Thurston Moore, Death Valley Girls
Other fun encounters:
The artwork at Desert Daze was so on point this year. There were so many secret nooks to explore, with interactive installations around every corner. Plenty of decorative sitting areas for brief escapes from the roaring stage sounds. The festival grounds themselves were a work of art. The Institute of Mentalphysics was built by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son Lloyd Wright, and everywhere we looked there were stunning views. The beautiful desert landscape was only enhanced by all the incredible art we encountered.
The Mystic Bazaar. Even though we only made it to this circus-esque tent one time over the course of the weekend, we were so thankful to have that moment. The Mystic Bazaar offered workshops, sound healings, yoga, and much more. We opted to check out a Plant Activation Meditation session that was being offered on Sunday afternoon. The hustle and bustle of a festival can be intense sometimes – you’re running around from stage to stage and trying not to miss things. This meditation was a little break from that chaos – a quiet moment that we didn’t know that we needed at the time.
Daze Gone By:
All in all, our return to this festival was an amazing time. It’s cool to see just how much growth has happened with Desert Daze in just a few short years. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store for us, as we know this will now be a permanent addition to our annual festival lineup.