While others will be traveling to the desert this October for Desert Trip, another crowd will be tripping out in Joshua Tree at the ever-growing Desert Daze Festival this October 14th-16th brought to you by Moon Block. This year the lineup hosts headliners like Primus, Television, The Sonics, The Black Angels, Washed Out, Thee Oh Sees, Brian Jonestown Massacre and the general who’s who of the underground psych, rock, alternative, and electronic realms.
This year the festival, in its expansion, has moved to a new location; the transcendental grounds of the Institute of Mentalphysics, which boasts architecture by the infamous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. If you didn’t score a cottage, studio, or pad constructed by Mr. Wright, glamping options and good old fashioned camping are still available for those late to the party, and the spiritual premises are sure to make for an enlightening weekend. We spoke to founder of Moon Block, Phil Pirrone, and head of artist relations Jenn Bootow about what festival-goers can expect for their weekend in the desert.
OC Weekly (Kim Conlan): What made you want to change venue location?
Jenn Bootow: I think we just outgrew our old location. It was also pretty rough as far as the terrain goes and as time went on we just needed something more. The new place is out of this world, pretty much our dream venue. We can't wait to share this beautiful new location with everyone this year.
Phil Pirrone: Seeing the new location made me want to change locations.
What's the major appeal of this new space?
Pirrone: There are cottages on site with private bathrooms. Repeat. We are doing a festival at a place where you could get your own toilet. Think about THAT for a second. But in all seriousness, the land lays on an aquifer and you really can feel the magnetic pull and you actually feel lighter when you're there. Or at least I do.
What bands are you most excited about being on the bill?
Bootow: Excited for all the bands of course, but getting to have legends like Television and The Sonics on the bill is really a huge honor. Also, two of my favorite albums this year were Nonagon Infinity by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and Glow in the Dark by Death Valley Girls, so definitely stoked on having those guys and gals on the bill as well!
Pirrone: Very excited to see Thee Oh Sees (as always). My buddies in Vinyl Williams released one of my favorite records this year, so I can't wait to see them play it live. Here's the insider tip—Friday: Kiev and SUUNS. Saturday: Yonatan Gat. Sunday: Lumerians.
What amenities, overnight options, and available food will be provided this year?
Pirrone: Cottages and camping on site, and hotel packages in town. There will be an on site diner! An actual restaurant run by our good friends from Lobos Truck. There will also be a bunch of food trucks ranging from healthy to not so much. Juice guys. Ice cream. Fruits and Veggies. Lots of drinks. Free water!
What keeps you motivated to continue booking events like this?
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Bootow: It's a labor of love, there is nothing better than seeing all your work in motion and everyone having a killer time making memories. Every so often some random attendee will stop one of us to say thanks and let us know they just had the best day of their lives. I know that really resonates with all of us and keeps us super excited to keep pushing on and doing the best we can.
Pirrone: I'm a workaholic, so I've really found a good match in planning festivals. Seeing people have the best day of their lives is pretty rewarding too. I live for live music. It's my religion and my philosophy. I'm a servant to live music on both sides of the scenes.
Losing Alan Vega of Suicide was a major blow this year. Do you have plans to celebrate his life during the festival?
Bootow: We were super bummed about Alan, it's always terrible to lose a legend like him. Suicide was an incredibly influential band and have been on our wish list for awhile. We will be doing a special tribute to Alan with some other artists and friends of his.