October 7th & 8th, 2017 at Empire Polo Fields
Desert Oasis Music Festival will take place on October 7th & 8th, 2017 at the Empire Polo fields in Indio, CA, and is presented by Empire Music Ventures, the same company that produces local favorite Rhythm, Wine & Brews Experience.
This brand new 2 day festival will feature 24 live bands, on site camping and a food line up that rivals the best festivals in the world. Festival headliners include Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Rebelution along with Steel Pulse, J Boog, and others, giving this initial program a solid reggae vibe. E-40, Reel Big Fish and Los Lobos expand the sonic selection into hip hop, ska and Latin rock genres, offering fans diversity and an opportunity to experience some amazing bands.
“Desert Oasis Music Festival is not genre specific. We do have a solid reggae line-up in our inaugural year, but we want to keep the festival’s line up diversified with other types of music,” said Alex Haagen, IV, Producer of Desert Oasis Music Festival and CEO of Empire Music Ventures.
Truly an oasis in the desert, Empire Polo Club is a world-class festival destination. The palm tree-lined grass polo fields, refreshing fountains, unique statuary and lush landscaping, coupled with ample parking and camping areas make it an ideal venue for a festival in October.
There will also be four, large art installations created by local artists placed throughout the festival venue. The Flowbox performance troupe will dazzle the crowd with their stilt-walking juggling and LED performance art.
A Desert Oasis Mobile App will be released on Friday, Sept. 29th on the Desert Oasis Website. Guests can download it from the https://desertoasismusicfestival.com.
The official 2017 Desert Oasis Music Festival app is a great resource for festival information. Check out the Desert Oasis lineup, discover new artists, explore Desert Oasis with festival maps and more. The app contains all information needed and offers features to enhance your festival experience.
During a recent interview with Haagen IV he shared the difference between the RWB festival and Desert Oasis.
“We’re dialing in last minute details as we speak. This is the first time we have done a big festival like this and we’ve really stepped it up in every way from RWB. I think everyone is going to be surprised. RWB is almost like 2 different events; part of it’s a beer and wine tasting event and then there’s the music element of it. We’re hoping that this festival will grow into a larger scale event in the future.”
I asked what inspired him to do Desert Oasis and what made him decide to have it be heavily reggae.
“We’ve been toying with having a reggae style event for a couple years now and after the fantastic job that Goldenvoice did last year with Desert Trip and knowing that they weren’t going to be doing it this year we wanted to provide a festival for everyone to enjoy this fall,” shared Haagen IV.
“While it is heavy on reggae it’s still a multi-genre event that has a little bit of hip hop and Latin in there as well. So we’re blending those 3 genres together and those seem to be our niche market at the Date Shed.”
I asked if he booked the bands or if Kristen Reinhagen did and how they chose the several local acts.
“Kristen and I collaborate and bounce ideas off each other and she’s the Booker for Date Shed and RWB and I rely on her heavily to give good recommendations for the local bands as well, and she hasn’t let me down yet, so it’s working out really well.”
I was curious as to whether Desert Oasis will become an annual event.
“I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t say. If it’s received well this year then perhaps we will do it again. No matter how well it does I’m going to want it to have done better,” laughed Haagen IV.
“I think we will change the genres up for future festivals. I mean for this one we got all the reggae heavy hitters so where do you go from there? It’s almost like the Big 4 Metal Show… you can’t have a big metal show with bands 5 through 8. Once you already have done the top bands in a genre you’ve done it. I already have some ideas for next year, but I don’t want to spill anything right now. But I can see where the next one could be more hip hop oriented or even Latin themed. I think there’s a spot for both those genres to be represented.”
I asked him what his favorite genre of music is and he shared that it’s all over the board from Beatles to Zeppelin to Avett Brothers to Foo Fighters to Johnny Cash and a lot of Alternative bands from Coachella. Asked who he is most looking forward to seeing perform at the festival he replied, “I’m really looking forward to seeing Rebelution and Murs and E-40. I’ve seen Damian Marley and he’s fantastic live.”
Haagen IV also shared a few things that he’s excited for us to experience at Desert Oasis Festival.
“We’re trying to bring in some specialty food and craft cocktails at the bar. We’re building a bar around the lake like nobody has seen before where we’re going to have a rum tiki bar. This is an area that at other festivals like Coachella it is cornered off as a backstage area, so this will be the first time that the public will really get to experience the vibe there and I think it’s really going to blow people’s minds.”
Haagen said there’s a lot of work and effort that goes into doing a festival of this size and it does have its challenges.
“Logistics and lots of details are what have to be taken care of, but I have a really great team so it’s going to be great!
DAMIAN “JR. GONG” MARLEY
STEEL PULSE, LOS LOBOS, E-40
THE GREEN, MURS, FISHBONE
HIRIE, JANELLE PHILLIPS, QUINTO SOL
DAVID MACIAS MUSIC, COURTNEY CHAMBERS
JBOOG, REEL BIG FISH, KINKY
WARREN G, FORTUNATE YOUTH, INNER CIRCLE
THROUGH THE ROOTS, SPANKSHAFT, MOZAIQ
RICH SHELDON AND THE MUTINY, IRIE JUNCTIONS
FOOD and DRINK
The Craft Brew House Bar will be serving a huge selection of craft beers on tap including Firestone Walker 805. Wines include The Dreaming Tree Wines, Charles Smith and Mark West. Tito’s Handmade Vodka will also be served.
Multiple bar locations will offer refreshing craft cocktails, distinctive wine selections and chill beverages. The secluded Tiki Bar will serve rum-based cocktails as guests enjoy views of Medjhool Lake, a tropical lagoon surrounded by a tropical garden.
The food line up at the Desert Oasis Music Festival includes fare from a variety of choice restaurants. Festival favorites include delectable ramen, savory tacos, juicy burgers, tasty pizza, classic barbecue and much more.
Restaurants include: Remix Ramen/Spicy Pie/Strictly Vegan/Jamaican Place/Taste of Brazil/Jackalope Ranch Burgers/Jackalope Ranch Tacos/Desert Coffee Trader/Campfire Concessions Sodas/Campfire Concessions Kettle Corn/Sage Vegan Bistro/Two Guys Chicken and Fries/West Coast/Up In Smoke Barbecue/TLC’s Sidewalk Café.
Festival admission and camping passes can be purchased online at www.DesertOasisMusicFestival.com. Festival passes include one-day and weekend packages along with on-site camping opportunities. Ticket payment plans are available for purchases over $150.
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 7th and Sunday, Oct. 8th, 2017
- Time: 1:00 PM – Midnight
- Location: Empire Polo Grounds, Indio, CA 92201
- General Admission Passes 1-Day $99/2-Day $175
- VIP Admission Passes 1-Day $175/2-Day $325
- On Site Car/Tent Camping $60 + Fees and RV Camping $180 + Fees.
- Three Stages/24 Live Bands