WHAT IS JTMF MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL?
Joshua Tree Music Festival is a boutique music, learning, arts and yoga festival in the desert setting of Joshua Tree’s Mojave desert.
|WHO||Youths and adults coming from all over the Western USA and Canada, creating a vibrant collection of happy, like-minded people.|
|WHAT||A 4-day festival of diverse live musical acts, late night dancing, yoga classes, progressive workshops/speakers, a market of sustainable fashion & organic food vendors, live art painting and installations. Permaculture, Spirituality, Movement, Art, Music, Community, Health and Eco Building.|
|WHY||To learn, connect, dance, make new friends and impart lasting memories on ourselves and others.|
|WHEN||May 18– May 21, 2017|
|WHERE||Joshua Tree Lake Campground- 2601 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. About 1 hr by car from Palm Springs. You can take public transit with two connections (best option), schedule a group bus, or pay up to $100 for a cab ride.|
The 15th Annual Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival (JTMF) is happening May 18-21, and it’s our favorite boutique transformational music festival. If you want an intimate, family friendly global music experience to attend this spring, then the Joshua Tree Music Festival is it! This will be our 3 time, and we wouldn’t miss it.
The spring lineup features the live electronic funk’n disco of Kraak & Smaak, the gritty 8-piece Los Angeles-based band, Orgone, delivering raw soul and heavy funk, the transcendent progressive intergalactic wizardry of House of Hamsa, and the Korean folk rock of Jambinai (more a force of nature than a band). Plus celebratory New Orleans high life from the California Honeydrops, Zimbabwe’s hottest export, Mokoomba, seminal house music pioneer Marques Wyatt, otherworldly grooves from Liberation Movement, and the Prince-meets-Stevie Wonder soul-funk of (Joshua Tree’s own) Gene Evaro Jr.
But if there is one musical act we are incredibly excited to see it’s that of Trevor Green. His music is fresh and distinctly new: a folky rock and roll with deep, thoughtful tones. Surrounded by 5 guitars, 3 didgeridoos, an array of percussion instruments, Green’s stage becomes a musical playground doling out rich, driving rhythms such as in our favorite track ‘Desert Sand’. As a powerful advocate of Native American voice, he was adopted into a Navajo family and is often graced by the power of Native American grass dancers who take to the stage. Don’t miss this captivating performance!
In the festival world, where lineups can make or break ticket sales, JTMF stands out from there rest by looking for artists on the rise: the wildly talented dream chasers who deliver passionate performances as if their lives depended on it. Many artists have performed here as unknowns, and now have thriving music careers, such as Brett Dennen, the Avett Brothers, Trombone Shorty, Deer Tick, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Trampled by Turtles, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ghostland Observatory, California Honeydrops, Greensky Bluegrass, Gene Evaro, Valerie June, Orgone and many more. We promise you will find something to surprise you should you make your way into the Mojave desert to dance the night away in the Music Bowl.
During the day, Kidsville is brimming with interactive, hands on projects for the little ones, so adults can take in a full spectrum of yoga classes, or speakers on varied subjects, or live music. All around the pretty lake that sits in the middle of The Joshua Tree Lake Campground, you will see circus street shows, creation station projects, slack line instruction, free-range art and the Love Boat, keeping the child in all of us inspired. The Positive Vibration station will feature workshops from meditation, to interesting instrument instruction, to learning how to ‘move with the music’, to poetry sessions, to hearing from speakers on varied subjects. At night, dancing carries on in the Music Bowl (which is adjacent to the lake), and continues into the morning in the Boogaloo lounge with its own lavishly decorated area complete with couches, a bar, and lots of room to dance and hang out, making us all feel VIP. But that won’t be the only things happening, you can take in the late-night Astronomy theatre, walks by the illuminated lake, pop up performances, and a World Market to further inspire and intrigue you.
The festivals activities and music runs from 5pm-midnight Thursday, all day until 2am Friday and Saturday, and until midnight on Sunday. Plenty of time to explore all the festival has to offer, including after-hours shenanigans to get into, such as campsite hangouts and crowd-sourced jam sessions, so if you want to keep going there will always be a way! And to nourish your adventures, you will find lots of healthy food options in the Music Bowl, with recipes including superfoods such as quinoa, avocado, sweet potato, raw cocoa and other goodies. There will also be fresh sushi, Indian food, and a homemade pizza!
On the other side of the lake from the Music Bowl is the camping area against a backdrop of rocky hills and mountainous desert stretching for miles, with sections for tent camping, RV/car camping and a family zone. Pick your spot (first come first serve) and create your own ‘camping metropolis’ complete with easy-up’s, tapestries, tables, floor mats, and fairy lights. There aren’t really many rules when it comes to camping here, as long as you pay to get a sticker for your RV or car and keep the sound down late-night. Showers are free, and a huge parking lot is available for day trippers. The festival and camping area is about 4 miles north of Twentynine Palms, which is also close to the town of Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley, where you will find accommodation/hotel possibilities if you do not wish to camp; it is just a short drive to the grounds from there with free parking.
JTMF definitely is a boutique transformational festival in the spirit of Burning Man, and it will leave you charmed. If you are open to exploring, trying a meditation workshop, flying with acroyoga, or learning a bizarre instrument, then you should come. You will not regret it. We believe at Sparked that small festivals are where you can develop the experience that will then serve you well at larger festivals of 15,000 people and more, where navigating can be an overwhelming experience.
The fashion is anything goes!! From attendees enjoying the festival in a simple shirt and shorts, to people clad in light-up hats, glasses, furry coats and bright pants… you can really do whatever you want at this amazing little freedom festival. We would describe the clothing worn here as eclectic- Burning Man-esque- with lot of fun patterns, beautifully crafted jewelry, faux-fur, tie dye garments, and the kind of personal expression we champion at Sparked. Get creative and express yourself; it makes it more fun for all of us! Be sure to pack for the heat during the day, and the cool at night (mid 60’s). Bring sunscreen, and make sure to visit the “Cool Down Station!”
Festival Amenities – Other Stuff To Do
Positive Vibration Station– The magical place where all the workshops are held: from a “Cosmic Jam” Jam Session, to a really amazing “Chakra Balancing with Essential Oils and Yoga,” to different types of mediation with sound, to Acro Yoga, to instruction workshops with instruments such as the guitar, hardpan, didgeridoo, or even a kazoo – this was definitely the place to go to open your mind.
Yoga Slackers Slack Lining – A representative from Yoga Slackers will be there teaching a few classes every morning, and there are multiple slack lines set up to play with all day, every day. So fun!
Kidsville – There is a specific area just for the miniature festival attendees – with different art workshops all day and even a kids yoga class and fun things to play on!
Live Art – A few dozen artists are chosen to set up wherever they would like and do live art at the festival. On the last day, all the art is displayed in “The Bowl” and people can bid on the art to take it home themselves.
Astronomy Theater – In the corner of the venue, there is a big sectioned-off astronomy area with a very powerful telescope, and the image it sees can be seen on an adjacent screen.
JTMF Shirts – This is one of our favorite things to do! You can purchase a shirt or bring an article of your own clothing and then screen print really cool JTMF designs onto it for only $10. Pretty cool!
Hooping area – Inside “The Bowl,” there is an area dedicated to hula hooping and learn/play with other flow toys.
Roaming Sounds Recording Studio – There is even an opportunity to record your own song! At this “roaming studio,” you could set up an appointment to record your very own jam.
JMTF is produced by a family of friends and funsters convinced that music is the soul of life, and that art enriches and saves lives. With just one stage ‘live’ at a time, everyone enjoys each performance together. Those ‘shared experiences’ are where you find the magic. “This is a festival community that will take you in as a family member, and send you home with more than you came with; recharged and energized!” The desert is freedom, music is power, and community is crucial.
This festival really wants us all to get away from the processed world that has become our reality and back to where we find our true happiness: in health, in nature, in positive meaning, learning valuable knowledge to move our lives in the direction that makes the most sense.
To get you in the mood, check out the Official JTMF 2016 video recap: