story / Ericka Clevenger
DESERT DAZE MAKES COACHELLA LOOK LIKE AN ASSHOLE. Lets face it, unless your best friend’s band is headlining, you work for a music label, or you’re a celebrity — Coachella is the worst festival of all time. The lines are long, the beers are overpriced, and you are forced to sit in the hot sun with a bunch of half naked 18 year olds wearing candy necklaces and bright plastic sunglasses, listening to mostly shitty music. Not my idea of a good time.
Thankfully there is light at the end of the tunnel in the festival world, and that is Moon Block Party’s 3rd annual Desert Daze. Located on the beautiful Sunset Ranch in Mecca California, this psychedelic Oasis is home to one of the greatest nights of the year. Nestled in the middle of the desert near the Salton Sea, this tropical Oasis with soft green grass lays waiting to be filled with the sweaty bodies of music fans young and old.
This year bringing you top headliners like Blonde Redhead, The Raveonetts, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Diiv. As well as local favorites JJUU JJUU, The Allah-las, Deap Vally, Liphemra and more. The festival’s creator Phil Pirrone and his team are dedicated to creating an intimate one-night experience that has today’s best bands playing at an affordable price. Even Vincent Gallo will be strumming some tunes. As well as merch and food vendors making this festival as legit as it gets.
I met Phil a few years ago at a tiny festival on the border of Mexico called Telemagica. He was invited by Telemagica to curate the beach area, which we turned into Party Town. Little did he know at the time, it was the pre-beginning to Moon Block Party. Seeing how big Desert Daze has become in just a few short years is a wonderful feeling. To see the same people in the music community driving a few hours outside of LA, dedicating their free time, and pulling it off perfectly is beyond me. I am so incredibly happy for my talented friends who are helping throw and play at this festival. The way they have the community coming together is a throwback to the laurel canyon music days. Where the entire music community would gather in places like Cass Elliots’ back yard to hang out and play music together. Where talented musicians like the Byrds, Joni Michell, David Crosby, Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison and so on would jam together away from the craziness of the city in a quiet place where the only thing that mattered was humans and music.
Now this is a little different of course, and thanks to the Sunset Ranch it is on a much larger scale, but it has the same feeling. The location and community of supporters make it all seem very magical, very personal. During the day people are lounging on blankets, walking around, or setting up their tents. Bands start to play and day turns to night. You dance until you cant stand anymore and walk a few feet to your bed. You can’t beat that type of confined enjoyment. This is a type of place you make those special memories that are more meaningful than the rest. Moon Block party is super rad and I am stoked to be attending Desert Daze’s 3rd birthday party on April 26th, 2014.
Visit www.desertdaze.org for tickets and more info.