The Music provides the Journey
“A Day in the Desert” is not your normal festival experience. This isn’t the madness of multiple stages, endless food trucks and drink concessions surrounded by the Coachella party crowd. No, with “A Day in the Desert” Marisa and Oli Isaacs are creating within the beautiful scenery of Joshua Tree a happening which is all about intimacy and nature.
So, why a festival in a desert?
Marisa Isaacs: Initially we wanted to put a show on with legendary doom band Earth in the desert so that sparked the idea. When we stumbled upon Boulder Gardens through friends of friends, the venue inspired us to make it much more of an event. The landscape is breath-taking and the 640 acres of private property has the exact same terrain as Joshua Tree National Park, but it’s private so it’s like you have it all to yourselves. And plus there is the music, camping, hiking, yoga, delicious food, etc. It’s a real community spirit and a nice vibe without being too ultra-hippy.
‘A Day in the Desert’ is part of your wider commitment to more natural events right – what’s the story there?
Everyone is so connected but disconnected. We stare at screens instead of the stars. People’s lives play out through Instagram instead of in the real world.
‘A Day in the Desert’ is about beautiful experiences in beautiful places. We curate music line-ups to match each location and that change with the time of day. The landscape provides the backdrop and the music provides the journey. We are working on a larger conservation project and hope to bring more attention to natural locations that deserve to be preserved for everyone to enjoy.
What sort of artists suit your festival?
Relaxed! Because the location is off the grid and so otherworldly, it’s not the type of event for high maintenance people! That goes for everyone, not just the artists. We book all types of talent from Americana finger-picking guitar players like Daniel Bachman to the most heavy discordant nose like The Body.
What can we expect from the 2015 festival?
We have Simian Mobile Disco headlining the desert in October, which we are super excited about! We’re working on events in Topanga in February and Ibiza in June. Every year the desert event gets bigger the more we learn about the venue. It’s someone’s private property and they don’t do many events so we are always working on ways we can give back to the land and leave less of a footprint.
For Europeans it’s quite a trip, what else do you suggest they do while they’re here?
It’s so worth spending an entire week just in the area around Pioneertown, Joshua Tree, Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs. The desert offers lots of hiking and spas and Palm Springs has really nice hotels. We are also doing the festival this year on 3th of October which is the weekend after the mostly electronic music festival Decibel in Seattle.