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What you need to know about the family event - Press Enterprise

Barnett English began selling coffee at music festivals in 1993 and even set up shop inside the first Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 1999.

As a music enthusiast, he made the rounds at several music festivals before hitting Joshua Tree, deciding to host his own in April 2003.

“The location, the city, and the really special people inspired me,” English said. “I thought, ‘How hard is it to have a music festival? “Fortunately I was naive enough to do that.”

The Joshua Tree Music Festival takes place twice a year, once in May and again in October and will celebrate its 17th iteration. This year’s Fall Festival will return to Lake Joshua Tree Camp October 6-10. The festival consists of a band of music of various genres, art installations, yoga, and health workshops.

The festival is also suitable for all ages and is family friendly, with different activities for the kids to enjoy. The English said it’s a smaller festival and usually attracts about 3,000 or so people who may end up meeting each other over the weekend.

“It’s really a shared experience and makes the community bonds tighter,” English said.

Here’s what you need to know before heading to the Joshua Tree Music Festival. For the latest entertainment listing, ticket information, and more, go to

Music for the masses

English said the set was made in different genres, including Electro, funk, groove, and New Orleans style, to give audiences a range of different sounds to experiment with. The shows will alternate between two different stages throughout the day, allowing everyone to watch the same shows.

He added that, over the years, the festival has included many just-starting bands that have toured the world and won Grammy Awards. Artists this year include blues and psychedelic band Giselle Woo & The Night Owls, who most recently played Coachella, the Argentine folkloric group Fémina, and London-based group Ibibio Sound Machine, whose music has been inspired by West African disco, and electro. And punk-funk talk.

“There are some music festivals that have playlists where a lot of the music sounds the same,” English said. “I find it more inspiring where there’s a variety of music, and that’s what we’re really trying to do with artists all over the world.”

Family friendly

While he was attending other music festivals, the English noted that some of those who declared themselves as child-friendly were not even though children were allowed in. He said that most festivals don’t have space for kids and families to hang out in, which limited the amount of fun families could have, so he decided to make that a pillar of the festival.

“As with bands, we think it’s more fun the more diverse they are, and that includes audiences from old to young,” English said.

The festival has a separate campground for families who want a more family-oriented camping experience. There’s also Kidsville, a shaded pavilion located in the middle of the campgrounds where kids can play from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. It includes children-oriented shows and various activities not far from the main stage, which the English said allows parents to feel connected to the festival by continuing to listen to music while spending time with their children.

“Speaking as someone who has a daughter who’s 17 now, and I’ve been going to festivals this whole time, and just because I have a kid with me doesn’t mean I don’t want to go out and listen to some great music.”

welcome wellness

In addition to Joshua Tree’s desert landscapes, the city is also known for its focus on spirituality and wellness, which will be incorporated into the festival.

There will be opportunities for festival-goers to learn different styles of yoga and attend workshops that offer hands-on experiences with breathing exercises, vocal healing and mindfulness.

“We’ve been doing it from the start, and I feel like it’s a huge part of people’s day and lifestyle,” English said. “It is multifaceted and not just a meeting. There is a little more to it.”

How to get there

The Joshua Tree Music Festival takes place from 5pm to midnight on October 6th. 10 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. October 7-8; 10 a.m. to midnight October 9 at Joshua Tree Lake Campground located at 2780 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree.

Prices for one-day tickets range from $40 to $90; Four-day tickets range from $75 to $110 for children and $225 and $300 for adults. Camping tickets are priced between $95 and $155; On-site parking is $15 – $25.