10 Desert Daze highlights for the music festival’s 10th anniversary in Lake Perris – Orange County Register

When musician and concert promoter Phil Pirrone founded Desert Daze, he set out with a mission to create an intimate experience that could rival the more impersonal festivals in the area.

Back in 2012, the first incarnation of Desert Daze took place in the Coachella Valley ran for 11 days during the same weekends as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio. Desert Daze had an anti-festival attitude from its inception that aimed to preserve its authenticity by keeping it less predictable and more unique than its peers. Its reputation grew organically each year as it secured more high-profile acts. With that came an increase in attendance, prompting the festival to relocated first to Mecca, then to Joshua Tree, before finally landing a new home at the Lake Perris State Recreation Area in 2018.

The three-day festival returns to Lake Perris Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Numerous acts including Tame Impala, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Iggy Pop, and more will perform across three main stages. Festival attendees can also expect to see familiar immersive art installations and a few new ones as well.

“In a way, we’re celebrating that we made it this far, but also the future,” Pirrone said on a recent Zoom call. “It’s finishing what we started, but also kind of setting the tone for the next 10 years.”

Though there have been location changes and upgrades with the art installations, the mission to deliver an intimate and unique experience is a priority to the organizers even a decade later.

“Desert Daze is its own organism with a community of people, and it is a profound experience to them and is something that makes them feel good and rejuvenated,” Pirrone said. “So 10 years in, we are, in a way, still public servants to that community.”

One of the challenges for Pirrone and his team was finding a way to stay true to the festival’s core mission while balancing the finances with sponsorships. In 2016, Pirrone and the Desert Daze team partnered with Morgan Margolis, the CEO of Knitting Factory Entertainment, whose operations include venue ownership and management, festivals and events, touring, artist management, and recorded music production and distribution. Pirrone said that the partnership works because Margolis and his team understand how to keep the festival from becoming overly branded.

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“We like to have an immersive sponsorship, but not placing it everywhere, so it’s not overkill, which is hard at festivals because you need the revenue, but you also have to be tasteful about it,” Margolis said on the Zoom call.

Margolis and Pirrone said that in the next 10 years, their teams would like to compare how festival goers felt in 2012 and whether or not they are still delivering the same type of lineup and experience that was exciting from the start.

“Our goal remains on how do we make it stay magical, with discovery, without changing too much of it,” Pirrone said.

Heading into the 10th anniversary of the festival this year, Pirrone and Margolis reflected on some of the top moments they’ve experienced.

“There are funny and incredible moments like getting your doors open and getting people in, “Margolis said. “Then there are negative moments too.”

According to the pair, here are their top 10 memories of Desert Daze.

11 days of music (2012)

The first Desert Daze happened over the course of nearly two weeks and took over a little road house in the Coachella Valley. Pirrone said that he coordinated the hotels for guests and bands.

“The lineup consisted of over 120 bands,” he said. “It was a wild way to start, and we somehow survived and kept going.”

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/09/20/10-desert-daze-highlights-for-the-music-festivals-10th-anniversary-in-lake-perris/ 10 Desert Daze highlights for the music festival’s 10th anniversary in Lake Perris – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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