The Desert Daze Music and Art Festival, the psychedelic, creatively curated three-day rock festival in Joshua Tree, is back this fall. And its lineup, announced in part Wednesday, is already stacked, particularly for those with a taste for adventurous and esoteric rock & roll.
The festival takes place Oct. 12 to 15. Topping the “lineup preview” are the trance-inducing British band Spiritualized, who have said they will release their final album this year, and a new collaboration between rockers Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile (billed as “Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile and the Sea Lice”).
Highlights from the undercard include garage rockers Eagles of Death Metal, former Mazzy Star frontwoman Hope Sandoval and her band The Warm Inventions, local beach stoners Allah-Las and legendary minimalist composer Terry Riley (!), along with son Gyan.
The festival will announce the remainder of its lineup at a later date.
Southern California, of course, doesn’t lack in music festivals, from Coachella to FYF to the myriad smaller fests that dot the landscape. But Desert Daze, which marks its sixth year in 2017, continually earns a coveted spot in the constellation with a proudly independent outlook and an aesthetic that draws heavily from its mystical, hallucinatory surroundings.
Once more, the fest will take place at the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Institute of Mentalphysics in Joshua Tree, a semi-surreal retreat center and “sacred site.” A dispute last year with local residents, who worried about noise and the festival’s impact on the environment and culture of the area, raised the possibility that the festival might relocate this year; obviously, that's not the case.
Unlike its mammoth neighbor in nearby Indio, Desert Daze has developed a rep as a sort of niche festival, designed for those who, for instance, have waited their whole lives to see Spiritualized unspool their classic “Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space” in a live setting, or whose heart skipped at the news of the Barnett-Vile collab. Fest bookings cater particularly to those with deep, rock-leaning record collections; few major festivals, for instance, would find room for a longhair like Riley, much less Japanese noise-rockers Boris, who also appear on this year’s lineup preview poster.
The festival, according to organizers, will include three music stages, plus art installations, a market featuring fest-curated vendors, workshops and meditation classes, among other activities.
JJUUJJUU, the crusty, droney band of Desert Daze organizer Phil Pirrone (whom L.A. Weekly featured in this year's People Issue), round out the lineup preview.
Desert Daze 2017 Lineup Preview
Courtney Barnett + Kurt Vile And The Sea Lice
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Hope Sandoval + The Warm Inventions
Eagles of Death Metal
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Terry Riley + Gyan Riley
Melody’s Echo Chamber
Black Moth Super Rainbow
(Ft. Ty Segall, Chris Shaw of Ex-Cult & Charles Moothart of CFM/Fuzz)