Desertfest NYC 2020 Canceled; Seeking New Venue

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The bummer we all knew was coming. I was reading a news story the other day that was a round-table of virologists, epidemiologists and other doctory-types talking about when they would feel comfortable doing certain things in public again. Way down at the bottom of the list, consensus on attending a concert or other performance was at least a year off. Would you ever have imagined a whole year lost? I don’t think that will be the case worldwide, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the case in the US given the mishandling of the response to the pandemic, and even when things open up again, what’s that going to be like? Will people be comfortable going out? A generation has been traumatized. Will it take another generation before it’s really over?

I don’t think COVID-19 is the end of live music. People have been performing for other people since before homo sapiens evolved. Fish do that shit. It’s how you get laid. But I think we might be in a moment where we see a fundamental shift in how live music happens. Do venues do limited tickets at a higher price? Does scarcity become the commodity? Do you pay $45 to be one 50 people at a social-distance-friendly gig at Saint Vitus Bar? I don’t know where we’re heading.

To the point here, I’m sorry to see Desertfest NYC caught up in this shit. Last year’s inaugural edition was a great time and I was holding out hope that by September things might be back to some semblance of what used to be normal. Twice the bummer here since I didn’t know The Well — the venue that hosted the festival; not to be confused with the band from Austin, Texas — isn’t coming back. That’s a loss too. There are a ton of bars and venues in New York, but not nearly as many can accommodate multiple stages, let alone one outdoors. They’ll have a good search ahead of them, I think. But hell, they’ve probably already got it solved. No one tells me anything.

At least I hope that’s the case.

Here’s their announcement:

desertfest nyc 2020 cancelled

Hello all, it is with heavy hearts that we must confirm the cancellation of this year’s Desertfest NYC due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are a few things we need to clear up – firstly, we want to apologise for this information being communicated via Ticketweb, this happened without our consent. Second, we found out our event was being cancelled and not postponed until Sept 2021 (as discussed with the venue) at the same time you did. It seems our main venue, The Well, are sadly shutting their doors. We understand and sympathise with this devastating time for so many businesses, but we were not given a heads-up to be able to come out with concrete next steps.

We had planned to roll over all our bands to Sept 2021 and were set to announce this, with some new names on the bill, next week. We are still firm on moving ahead with this plan, but will now need your patience and understanding as we try to find a new venue that works within our parameters. In regards to options for refunds, the ticketing is being handled by The Well, so we ask for a little more time here as we try to understand what options there are for our customers.

Desertfest NYC is an independent venture run by 4 people, who run the sister events in London, Berlin & Antwerp. This is not the way we operate and we want to sincerely apologise for this situation, we hope you are able stand with us as we work on delivering a second edition of our US festival. We will be back in Fall 2021…

Thank you for your understanding. Stay safe out there.

Mirror Queen, “Curse the Night” Live at Desertfest NYC 2019

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Desertfest NYC 2020 Makes First Lineup Announcement with Corrosion of Conformity, Conan, Stoned Jesus and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest New York 2020 has made its first lineup announcement, with Corrosion of Conformity, Stoned Jesus, Bongzilla, Dead Meadow, Conan, Crypt Trip, Yatra, Toke, Leather Lung, R.I.P., Huntsmen, High Reeper and The Atomic Bitchwax confirmed. That’s a first North American appearance for Stoned Jesus, and I’ll be honest, I was gonna show up anyway after being there for the inaugural Desertfest NYC this past Spring, but even if I wasn’t, that would be enough to get me on board. Throwing in C.O.C.Dead MeadowConan and The Atomic Bitchwax, along with Bongzilla and, well, everybody, is a righteous bonus. One way or another, you got me early with this one, Desertfest. The calendar was marked. I’ll mark it again just to be safe.

Early-bird tickets are gone, but regular-type tickets are on sale now.

Just off the PR wire:


DESERTFEST NYC 2020 11th – 13th September 2020 | Brooklyn, NY, USA


Desetrfest returns to Brooklyn in September 2020, after a wildly successful first edition in April 2019 the globally renowned stoner and doom event solidifies its position in the U.S.A. Adding an additional day at Bushwick venue, The Well from Friday 11th – Sunday 13th September, whilst moving its already cult status pre-party at Saint Vitus Bar to Thursday night. Early-birds have sold out already, but regular 3-day & 4-day passes are now on sale, as the first 13 bands are announced for the second celebration of underground heavy music.

Desertfest NYC is pleased to welcome genre defining legends CORROSION OF CONFORMITY to proceedings, the masters of Southern boogie will bring their signature stomp and impeccable live show to The Well in September 2020. After the recent loss of founding member Reed Mullin, we can’t wait to show C.O.C some serious Desertfest love.

Joining C.O.C across the weekend will be psychedelic stoners DEAD MEADOW, dreamy trips into a galaxy of guitar laden fuzz and the melodic drawl of frontman Jason Simon puts the band in a league of their own when it comes to genre-bending rock’n’roll.
Making the trip from further afield we are pleased to welcome long-time friends of the Desertfest clan, Liverpool’s most revered doom band of the modern age, the battle-hammer of CONAN will make a mighty blow upon New York with the uttermost ferocity. Britain seems like the town next door compared to the distant lands of Ukraine, where STONED JESUS will make the pilgrimage for their long-awaited American debut at DF NYC. Heavily regarded as one of the leading bands in the stoner/doom scene in Eastern Europe, the bands defiant anthem ‘I’m the Mountain’ is close to perfection in eyes, and ears, across the globe.

After their unfortunate tour cancellation in 2019, we are pleased to welcome back riff-centric power trio THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX for a high octane set of thunder-boogie. Some of our favourite people to get loose with, Wisconsin premier party-starters BONGZILLA will fire off a sativa induced bacchanal of sludge. Street-walkin’ sleaze demons R.I.P have honed a sound, look and attitude that is entirely their own and will make no apologies or explanations for how utterly crushing it is. Whatever’s in the water in North Carolina seems to cultivate some of our favourite sounds and you’re damn right in thinking that includes TOKE, old-school 70’s worship comes in the form of doom metal quartet HIGH REEPER – a band who repeatedly turn our heads with their unique take on breaking new ground. Speaking of new ground, Americana doom pioneers HUNTSMEN have grabbed our attention with their fresh take on metal, an exceptional blend of Springsteen-equse melodies with crushing heaviness makes an otherworldly combo. Finally, to round off this excellent first reveal, we’re pleased to play host to the superb, CRYPT TRIP, YATRA and LEATHER LUNG.

3-day passes (The Well only) and 4-day passes which includes access to the pre-party at Saint Vitus, are on sale NOW via THIS LINK

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