Desert Rocks Festival | 05.28-05.30 | Utah

Words & Images by: Jared Dayley

Desert Rocks Festival :: 05.28.10-05.30.10 :: Moab, Utah

Desert Rocks 2010 was the culmination of hard work by organizers over the past six years. The location outside the legendary town of Moab, Utah is a magnet for many other reasons besides a festival. The festival has gained steam and presence in the minds of those not just in Colorado and Utah, and although they may have been the majority of attendees, the license plates represented at Desert Rocks showed diversity from across the country.

The festival started with a couple flat bed trailers as stages by organizers who, to my knowledge, had little to no experience running a festival. Over the years, bands like Derek Trucks, ALO, Hot Butter Rum and The Mother Hips have headlined (and in many cases returned multiple times), have performed, and this year featured greats like Melvin Seals with the Jerry Garcia Band (who sincerely brought about the spirit of Garcia), The Mother Hips,Groundation, Emmitt-Nershi Band, The Motet, Equaleyes, Chali 2na, Wisebird and David Gans.

The toughest part about attending Desert Rocks is knowing when to retire for the day because you're afraid you'll miss out on something great after 2 am. However, the music can be clearly heard all over the campsites and parking lots. The festival is located in a natural sort of amphitheater with a 30 foot cliff circling the grounds. One of the best parts of this festival is getting out of one's vehicle or tent in the warm morning and finding a Grateful Dead style atmosphere – telltale paraphernalia, converted school buses and waking up to "China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider" being played from the second story of a VW bus.

Desert Rocks may be a little smaller than many more widely publicized gathering but that's what gives the festival a free and easy feel. The distant snow capped mountains, the desert rock formations, the flowering cacti, interesting lizards afoot, and good vendors with interesting clothing and food make for a fine atmosphere and experience that for some folks marks the beginning of the summer music season.

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[Published on: 6/10/10]

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