Desert Rocks Festival


Desert Rocks is the west’s most secluded fest

By Brian F. Johnson

May 27-29

Moab Desert

Moab, Utah


Desert Rocks is the only Colorado festival that’s held in Utah.

As in years passed, it looks like Desert Rocks has taken bits of a Cervante’s lineup, mixed it with some of Ned Fest’s acts and dropped it seven hours away in the middle of the Moab desert — and that’s exactly the allure for this festival.

With a roster that includes People Under The Stairs, Chali2na, March Fourth Marching Band, The Motet, Great American Taxi and Elephant Revival — to name just the tip of the iceberg — the festival will literally transform its desert pastures into the epitome of Denver hippiedom.

Desert festivals can be tough with their harsh environs, but the promoters are getting a bit swanky this year, and for the first time, will be offering on-site hot showers — which is bound to make the weekend more comfortable, or at minimum it will hopefully control the Wookie stank.

You’re going there to see: People Under the Stairs, Chali2na, Elephant Revival, and Great American Taxi.

You’re going to come home talking about: Denver’s shred-tastic MTHD’s; and fellow Mile High residents Tatanka, who specialize in dub and progressive reggae.

Travel time:

(As calculated by from

Denver, Colo. to Moab, Utah)

Total Est. Time: 6 hours, 57 minutes

Total Est. Distance: 367 miles


YOU NEED TO KNOW: (Note: The keen eye will realize this is the same message as last year’s Festival Guide, but it’s so important, we had to say it twice.) You may be at a hippie festival in the desert, but you’re still in Utah. Don’t be stupid about your drugs, now. In Utah, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is still a misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. If you’re unlucky enough to sell any amount to a cop, you’re looking at a felony charge with a $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail. Utah is also a state with “drugged driving” laws, and while you don’t need to be high, if it’s in your system you’re going to get in trouble. Travel safely in these unsafe territories.

Camping: Plentiful on-site.

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