In a Desert Daze
By Hayley Anderson
Photos by Hayley Anderson
Held for the first time at Moreno Beach in California’s Lake Perris State Park, Desert Daze Music Festival created a gathering filled to the brim with psychedelic music, adventurous festival goers, and stunning views. The atmosphere of the festival was quite idyllic. Surrounded by jagged mountains that stretched as far as the horizon, it seemed as though the festival was happening at the edge of the world. Desert Daze offered a wide variety of activities for its attendees — in between sets, festival goers hiked one of the neighboring trails to hear the mind-altering melodies echo from below. The beach was scattered with interactive art installations and shops with vendors selling trippy art, jewelry, and clothing. Outside the festival gates, those camping played with immersive programs such as soundbaths and shamanic ceremonies located in the Mystic Bazaar tent.
In terms of its lineup, Desert Daze explored all of the different things psych-rock music can mean today. Bands like Warpaint and Kikagaku Moyo affected a hallucinogenic experience, while other performances such as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Death Grips incited giant mosh pits. Projection masters accompanied many of the bands, creating abstract and experimental visuals on the three stages’ large screens.
The whole air of the weekend was welcoming and cheerful, attendees arrived as strangers and left with newly formed connections to each other. The overarching theme of “psychedelic” opened itself up to an eclectic and exciting lineup full of upcoming and distinguished artists. Between the performances, art, and variety of activities set against the backdrop of the southern California desert, Desert Daze proved itself a mystical paradise among American music festivals.