Mongolian Rock to Electro-pop: The ‘Joshua Tree Music Fest’ is Back for Fall 2019

Amritakripa at the Joshua Tree Music Festival, Spring 2019. (Photo by Bill Green, Courtesy of the Joshua Tree Music Festival)

The 14th Annual Fall Joshua Tree Music Festival, which is opening this weekend, October 10-13, 2019, at the Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground, will feature a line-up of over 30 bands, songwriters, and entertainers on five stages, along with a variety of art installations, family-friendly activities, yoga, and informative and empowering community and speaker events.

This desert festival prides itself on not scheduling bands right on top of each other, but alternates sets between its stages, and provides 35,000 square feet of sheltering shade cloth across much of the site’s acreage.

The Fall Festival featured headliners for JTMF are the “Hill Country trance blues maestros” the North Mississippi Allstars, the “New Orleans meets Bay Area” bluesy soulsters, The California Honeydrops, and the danceable funky electro-pop instrumentals and swing of Yak Attack. But one of the most exciting headliners, and new to the festival this year, is The Hu from Mongolia, who, after releasing just two cinematographically epic videos, went massively viral. 

The first Mongolian band to hit a Billboard chart, The Hu brings atmospheric heavy metal while incorporating traditional Mongolian instrumentation–including the Morin khuur and throat singing–to create a Hunnu sound, resulting in an overall vocal rock sound reminiscent of Germany’s Rammstein. So be prepared for a fan following at the festival as they are in the throws of their highly anticipated first North American headline tour.

A southern-New Orleans theme will also flow through the festival with the super-cool funk of Zach Deputy of Georgia, the soulicious deep funky sounds of “New Orleans AfroPunk” queen Cole Williams, the “gospelized New Orleans” hyper-funky grooves of Water Seed, and the New Orleans-based electronica future funk fusion of The Russ Liquid Test.

The Joshua Tree Music Festival, Spring 2019. (Photo by Damian Riley, Courtesy of the Joshua Tree Music Festival)

With a history in deep house and drum and bass, English record producer and DJ, Adam Freeland, will bring his brand of massive electronica mixes, and DJ Marques Wyatt will feature his eclectic blend of global, Afrobeats, house, electronica, and hip hop, mixing select tracks from artists like Donna Summer, Childish Gambino, and Ima Sumac, into unique and danceable mixes.

Sometimes jazzy and danceable, Orchestra Gold from West Africa, with vocalist Mariam Diakité, brings traditional orchestra songs from Mali, mixing in rock and funk as well. Gato Preto, via Ghana and Mozambique, will bring their “new school Afro grooves,” and Balkan Bump intermixes bits of drum & base, house, and some middle eastern themes, global funk, and instrumentation with a jazzy-bluesy big band sound.

Earth Arrow from Los Angeles will bring hip hop, indigenous African rhythms, and Afro-beat with big voices and guitar rich sounds into a big funky danceable mix. The Gold Souls from Northern California will bring their brand of funky blues and R & B. And break out your boogie shoes and go-go boots for Elektric Voodoo and their “World Beat Rock & Roll” eclectic funky-latin-jazzy sound.

Get mellower with the bistro cafe rock sounds of Myshkin Warblers or go full-out chill with the acoustic guitar and velvet vocals of Diana Gameros.

From a local line-up, expect a funky and heady atmospheric mix of tribal beats along with the vocal stylings and chants of Amritakripa from Joshua Tree. The festival will feature several bands from the Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and Coachella Valley music scene, including Davis Music, the live blend of burlesque and music of Cactus Wine Experience, the ska to soulful sounds of Desert Rhythm Project, Gabriella Evaro, Long/Division, the psychedelic cumbias hip hop/funk Latin Fusion rhythm mix of Ocho Ojos, the party-punk of Megafauna, and the surf rock of The Flusters.

Here’s the  14th Annual Fall Festival Spotify Playlist.

In addition to the music, the family-friendly festival features a Kidsville section with crafts, Flowbox Circus roaming performers, and special music performances by Cole Williams and Steve Poltz at the School Bus Stage, as well as visual art installations throughout, playshops, shaded yoga and healing, and a positive vibration station.

New this year is “This Land is Your Land,” a brand new area created for keynote speakers and organizations who cover and discuss community topics related to culture, art and sustainability.

Festival daily schedule and line-up:

The 14th Annual Fall Joshua Tree Music Festival, is Thursday through Sunday, October 10-13, 2019, at the Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground, 2601 Sunfair Rd, Joshua Tree, CA. 92252. For more information and to get FALL tickets, visit JTMF.

About Monique A. LeBleu

Monique A. LeBleu is a writer, photographer, videographer, and shameless foodie and wineaux. A love of film history and a background in film production, post-production, and film theory provide unique insights into her movie reviews. As well, a background in technical theater fuels her passion on all-things theater. As a foodie, living in the ever-growing and diverse culinary landscape that is the City of Los Angeles feeds her never-ending pursuit of the perfect comfort food—the world's best Mac n' Cheese!
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