The party that is Coachella is not just confined to the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, Calif. Music fans who will be invading the desert communities in April know there are plenty of after-parties and mini-concerts to crash and/or attend in the area too. And now that the festival has virtually cloned itself for a second weekend (it'll be held April 13-15 and April 20-22), it presents indie festival planners such as Phil Pirrone with an interesting challenge: supplying all those extra road-weary travelers with something to do while they’re in town.
Pirrone and his crew, who are responsible for presenting a regular series of festivals called Moon Block Party in Pomona, recently announced the launch of Desert Daze, an 11-day festival centered at Dillon's Roadhouse in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., about a half-hour drive from Coachella. The plan for the festival, to be held April 12-22, is to present more than 100 bands and DJs from L.A. and beyond who will take over the modest desert venue from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
For Pirrone, who’s been organizing community festivals for years with varying success, providing a platform for local bands during such a crazy two-week period seemed ambitious but not impossible.
“We’ve always wanted to do an extended festival, and all these people being in the desert for an extended amount of time presented a perfect opportunity to make that happen,” he said.
The lineup, while it continues to grow, is already packed with local acts including the buzz-worthy psych rock of Long Beach's Crystal Antlers, Santa Ana's Free the Robots, L.A. favorites Dante Vs. Zombies and the D.C.-bred stoner rock outfit Dead Meadow. Desert Daze will feature an outdoor stage, an indoor stage and an intimate “bus stage” created from a gutted-out Greyhound bus-turned-music lounge.