Desert Daze started this year with a thunderstorm, and I am not talking about the music, I am talking about a very real and severe weather report…. But let’s start from the beginning, which unfortunately doesn’t sound good either. The new location, a beach on Lake Perris, forced the festival attendees to use the Moreno Beach entry, although there was another entry on the south, which was closed. Since most people drove to the festival mid-afternoon, the traffic jam at the entrance was massive. It took me 3 hours, yes 3 hours, to drive the 2 miles that separate the gate of the State Recreation Area to the entrance of the festival. I was not the only one, of course, hundreds of cars, bumper to bumper, slowly made it to the grounds of Desert Daze, and it didn’t put me into a very good mood, as I missed half of the afternoon festivities.
Then, just before Tame Impala’s set, the unexpected arrived,… not too unexpected if you had looked at the meteorology report, but it was not supposed to rain before Saturday! A lightning storm lit up the sky, and after maybe 3 songs, Kevin Parker told us they had to stop. An organizer came on stage and said we had to go back to our cars or tents and find shelters because the situation was very dangerous. ‘The band is not canceling’, he said, ‘they will play later, but right now, find shelter!
Everyone was a bit confused about what later meant, but the weather was decided to spoil everything, as soon it was pouring, truly pouring rain! Many of us had to walk to our cars and the drive back to the hotel was very difficult under this curtain of rain.
I am not sure whether Tame Impala will play Desert Daze in the following days, the schedules are already very tight, so how could this be possible? The parking situation was a nightmare, although I have no idea what was slowing down the process to this point. They never asked for money, they never checked the cars… So why was it so slow?
At the end of the day, people have many questions:
– Will people who had a Friday pass be reimbursed? After all, they were robbed of the headliners and were sitting in their cars for 3 hours while other bands were playing.
– Will people who had a pre-paid parking be reimbursed? The parking seemed free…
– Will they find another time slot for Tame Impala?
– What is going to happen on Saturday if the rain doesn’t stop?
I feel sorry for Desert Daze… which started like another Woodstock.
Update: here is a Message from Desert Daze:
‘We’ve been planning our move to Lake Perris for many months and are working side-by-side with Park Rangers to make this a special and safe event.
Last night, due to extreme lightning storms rolling in a few songs after the start of Tame Impala’s set, we unfortunately had to ask all guests to exit the Desert Daze grounds, return to their cars and seek shelter to remain safe. We worked closely with CalFire, Park Rangers and meteorologists to make the difficult decision to halt the show and immediately implement our event’s contingency plan. We decided to end the remainder of the evening’s programming once it was clear the weather was going to continue to be a safety issue. The safety of our guests is our top priority.
We also acknowledge that patrons experienced difficulties entering the venue in a timely fashion and we have been proactive in trying to resolve this. We redirected all vehicles to Transition Road and Via Del Lago, changed the location of the Main Box Office, and shifted all campers to be processed directly via the camping entry, alleviating some of the congestion. All parties involved are confident that this new strategy for getting fans into the Moreno Beach grounds during the remainder of the festival will be faster and more efficient. Parking will remain free for the remainder of the weekend and all Friday Single Day tickets will be honored today, Saturday, October 13.
Due to scheduling, Tame Impala will not be performing today or tomorrow, and we are working with the rest of the Friday evening performers to reschedule as many of them as possible. Updates will be shared via social media and via the Desert Daze app.
The Desert Daze staff spent the rest of the night and morning remaining available to any patrons in need of assistance and preparing the grounds for a safe and enjoyable second day on site at Moreno Beach, Lake Perris State Recreation Area. The Desert Daze grounds are open today and we look forward to welcoming fans back for the rest of the weekend.’
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