We recently ventured to the beautiful desert for the Joshua Tree Music Festival. If you’ve never been, let me tell you right now, it is quite the extraordinary music festival experience. And best of all, especially for us parents, the Joshua Tree Music Festival is hands down the best music festival to take your baby, your toddler, your kids, etc.
I’ve taken my daughter (who is almost two years old) to three other music festivals — Arroyo Seco Weekend (while in my belly), Beach Goth and Just Like Heaven — and without a doubt, the Joshua Tree Music Festival was the best for kids.
Pretty much, the Joshua Tree Music Festival is made for families! Super inclusive, you won’t have any shade thrown at you for bringing your child to this music festival.
Scratch that …
I actually did have one young 20-something and his friends scowl at me for having my daughter and her little 16-month-old buddy running around the outdoor bar full of glee, but I won’t get into that. I will say, however, I scowled right back at him and may have said a little clever somethin’ … those naysayers are far and few. The thousands of festival-goers at the Joshua Tree Music Festival welcome all walks of life, especially kids!
Music Festival Camping with Baby / Toddler
My daughter Victoria, is no stranger to the desert. She’s camped with us at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, she’s also camped with us in BLM land in Joshua Tree. Both she’s never camped at a music festival. In fact, she’s never camped in a tent! We’ve always done trailer camping with her. Despite some pretty strong winds, our little girl was a trooper.
She slept through the groove thumps of Vintage Trouble closing out the live stage. She slept through the crazy-loud kids having a ball in what was supposed to be the quiet camping section, and she slept through the late night party-goers coming back to their tents.
She did not however, sleep through the crazy desert winds that rattled our bigass Coleman tent (that tent dope though!). Victoria woke several times, but she ended up snoozing for the long haul once mommy plucked her from her travel crib and reassured her that everything was okay. Poor little thing was afraid of the wind!
The only person that didn’t get any sleep was this here mama. Needless to say, it was all worth it!
Throughout the day we got to enjoy music from husband and wife duo, DEGA. These two brought out the chill wave and had my husband and I glowing from ear-to-ear. We enjoyed their music from front of stage, groovin’ and from the comfort of our lawn chairs that were shaded by the giant canopies hung high over the music bowl. That’s right! There’s plenty of refuge from the sun at the Joshua Tree Music Festival.
Other stand out acts were The Cole Williams Band, who’s red dress was fire! I was awesome watching her sing and dance in that beautiful skirt / dress. It definitely had some flamenco fashion vibes.
Los Angeles’ Earth Arrow had us dancing and pumping our fists to bombastic hip hop. Their words they were flowing were full of power and strength and acted as a sort of call-to-arms for all the injustices many are facing right now.
Shit got real loud, and really cool when Japan’s Dachambo took the stage and melted our faces. So much bass, so much trippy-beautiful sounds. This was the only time I had to put my daughter’s protective hearing headphones on. It did’t really phase her though, she danced her little booty off.
After Dachambo’s glorious sounds, we decided to call it a night and put our little dumpling to sleep. Naturally, she passed the f*ck out! The desert winds, as previously mentioned, woke her up a couple hours later.
A Truly Family-Friendly Experience
Aside from the amazing acts and the shaded venue, the Joshua Tree Music Festival really is a kid-friendly event. Organizers encourage families to attend and cater to young children.
If you’re considering taking your baby/toddler/child to a music festival, I highly recommend the Joshua Tree Music festival be their first experience. And trust, I’ve been attending music festivals for 15 years, since Coachella was underground and cool! I’ve seen them all, and while I do think there are many kid-friendly music festivals, I must admit, the Joshua Tree Music Festival is perfect for kids.
Here’s a few reasons why:
- Kids under 10 are FREE! Most music festivals only give free entry to kids two-and-under.
- Kid Stations where children can participate in games, arts & crafts and more.
- Train rides! Well, not exactly a train ride, but there was this cool boat on wheels that cruised around dirt path around the lake. So instead of you traditional train ride, the Joshua Tree Music Festival had a boat ride!
- Yes, a lake! The lake offered a lot of shade and a nice respite from the live music and crowd. There’s ducks and lots of big fish!
- Kid-only zone! The Joshua Tree Music Festival had this amazing playground that consisted of a bus and a two-story slide. Kids were going bonkers! Plenty of shade here too! In fact, this entire play area was shaded.
- Art Installations galore! Our daughter really enjoyed the giant parasol.
- Sensible sound! The live music was not crazy loud, which is so surprising for a music festival. We were positioned pretty close to the stage and our daughter didn’t have to put on her protective hearing headphones until the evening when Dachambo took the stage.
I honestly can go on and one, but just go experience the Joshua Tree Music Festival with your kids for yourself!
The Joshua Tree Music Festival takes place twice a year in May and in October. The fall festival will take place October 10 – 13.
For more information about the Joshua Tree Music Festival, visit their website (which btw, it totally user-friendly. Kudos to whoever designed it!)
Words: Sandra Burciaga Olinger
Photos: Sandra Burciaga Olinger & Bryan Olinger