Coachella's newest fest, Desert Oasis, brought the best in reggae, ska, rock 'n roll, rap and more back to the Empire Polo Club fairgrounds (after nearly a decade of country and EDM-pop stars). It was a nice change of pace, and Day One proved that BIG TIME. Back for more, festivalgoers lined the gate early on Day Two to not miss a minute of what remained of the 1st Annual. Kicking off the smaller Mecca Stage was Irie Junctions, followed by ska sensation Spankshaft who shook up the crowd with their raw skanking energy. As Rich Sheldon and the Mutiny held down the side stage, San Diego's own Through the Roots took over the Oasis Stage for a hot minute. And, it was literally HOT. Covered in sweat in 100+ degree heat, attendees didn't let the high heat detain them from an outstanding time! Scattered about the grounds were enough photo ops, benches and tents to keep concertgoers busy between musical sets, as well as a break from the blazing sun. The 'bad boys of reggae', aka Inner Circle, were up next on the Mirage Stage followed by people's favorite bands Mozaiq and Fortunate Youth. As the night progressed, Warren G brought that west coast rap vibe back out of 90's hibernation and Latin-fusion band Kinky blew everyone's minds with electro beats paired to trippy visual effects. Just in case you weren't having a blasty blast yet, Reel Big Fish surfaced to close down the Mirage Stage and mess with everyone's heads for a good hour or so. Those boys are comedians with a horn section, in case you didn't know. Last, but certainly not least, GRAMMY-nominee J Boog and critically-acclaimed Rebelution closed down the night to riotous applause. Although the turnout for Year 1 was minimal, this newbie fest has the potential to grow exponentially into the reggae version of Coachella. With such an astronomical lineup for 2017, Desert Oasis 2018 will most likely be one for the reggae ages!
Photography by Kristy Rose