This 18th through 21st of May; The Conscious Resistance is going to be covering the Joshua Tree Music Festival (JTMF).

Music touches our souls in deep and natural ways. The Conscious Resistance has decided to send a reporter out to cover an amazing music festival called the Joshua Tree Music Festival, mainly to remind us that music is a reflection and creation of life. and… to ask artist and attendees how agorism and voluntaryism fit’s into their lives here in mid-2017.

Unlike the expensive mega-festivals, taken over by corporate oligarchs over the past decades; the JTMF is an affordable alternative meant for those of us who love fun without the riches it takes to enjoy a decent festival nowadays.

So why is this festival so different than the others? Let us start with Who, What, Where, When and Why?

Founded in 2003, the bi-annual (May & Oct) Joshua Tree Music Festival is held at the gateway to the world-renowned National Park. JTMF is a resource-generating powerhouse of passionate creativity, community empowerment, and arts education for all ages.  A family inclusive global music experience in the magical Mojave. Committed to radical inclusion, these three day (and four night) funky desert-style festivals create experiences where passion, purpose, family, and friends come together, and the boundary between performer and patron is blurred. The music is diverse and eclectic, from dance-world-electro-funk’n groove to soulful global-ethno melodies.  JTMF promotes personal growth through a variety of multidisciplinary workshops, such as yoga and movement, visual arts, music, and myth. A robust schedule of Kidsville activities makes JTMF one of the top family-friendly festivals in the country.  Magnificent art installations and a world market further inspire, intrigue, and invite festival goers. Our mission is to foster social interaction on a deep level, creating positive life-changing moments.

The Organizers

JTMF is produced by a family of friends and funsters working together with the conviction that music is the soul of life, and that art enriches and saves lives. By creating a small, inspired community for a weekend, festival goers enjoy rich and profound positive interactions with other attendees, leaving recharged (not depleted). The experience is enhanced when embraced in the great outdoors amongst fellow music lovers. More than two hundred volunteers and three dozen team leaders work tirelessly and passionately to create this unique & magical environment.

Who Goes?

The festivals are family friendly events, creating an all-ages audience. The eclectic line-ups draw a diverse crowd of discerning live music fans who love the outdoors.  The National Park is one of the premier rock climbing destinations in the world (2 million visitors per annum); people come to climb and dance. Fully half of the folks are from Southern California, yet 25% come from out of state. This is a desirable festival destination. Many come for the festival and stay for a vacation of camping and adventure in the park.  To be sure, the festival is an EXPERIENCE, where groups of families and friends come once or twice a year to truly commune, revel, and bond.

The Music

The line-up features talented artists who are not household names. Most likely you won’t hear these artists on the radio, or see them at other major festivals. We showcase up & coming, white hot, have-to-see-them-now-before-they-get-big type of roster, with artists that are still hungry, honing their craft, and creating unique, original sounds. Artists who have performed at JTMF, then gone on to successful music careers include Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Elle King, the Avett Brothers, Brett Dennen, John Butler Trio, Trombone Shorty, Deer Tick, Trampled by Turtles, Chicano Batman, Railroad Earth, Orgone, Valerie June, Greensky Bluegrass and more. Sprinkle in a few Grammy Award winners and nominees (La Santa Cecilia, Dave Alvin, Kinky, Fareed Haque, Nortec Collective, John Butler) some Rock & Roll Hall of Famers (Bernie Worrell, Dick Dale, Eric Burdon, Robbie Krieger), and some World Music luminaries (Dakhabrakha, Khaira Arby, Gaudi, Wunmi, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Vieux Farka Toure, John Butler Trio, Nortec Collective, Kinky, and Kraak & Smaak) for good measure. Now add New Orleans Funk & Rollers (Ivan Nevilles’ Dumpstaphunk, Porter Batiste Stoltz, Trombone Shorty, Henry Butler, Papa Mali, Rhythm Council, Zydepunks, Bonerama), Jam-Tronic Innovators & Heavyweights (The Slip, Ghostland Observatory, JJ Grey, the New Deal, Garaj Mahal, Heavyweight Dub Champion, Zilla, Toubab Krewe, Railroad Earth, Lotus, Particle), and Electronic Sonic Mavens (Floozies, Dynohunter, Gaudi, Nickodemus, Marques Wyatt, Adam Freeland, Mark Farina, Stanton Warriors, and Ursula 1000) to realize the diversity our rosters.

The Location

The Joshua Tree Lake Campground (Joshua Tree, CA) is home to JTMF. Nestled against the Copper Mountains, bordering BLM land, with sweeping views of the otherworldly National Park, this 40 acre, the privately owned venue is an ideal locale for this intimate festival. This site features plenty of space in the campground, hot showers & RV hookups, and camping is a short stroll from the lake area and music bowl. Two stages, a world market, and organic food purveyors complete the circle that is the music bowl. The live music alternates continuously on two stages in one area so you don’t miss a beat. More than 35,000 square feet of shade cloth flies overhead for comfort. The one-acre oval lake area is surrounded by amazing Visual Art installations, Kidsville, Playshops, the shaded Yoga & Healing Stage, shady nooks, and funky vignettes. Situated in the town of Joshua Tree, which is located in the high desert of the magical Mojave, it is 50 minutes from Palm Springs, 2.5 hours from LA, 3 from San Diego, 3.5 from Vegas, and 5 from Phoenix.

In the Beginning

JTMF founder and organizer, Barnett English, has traveled to, attended and worked at over 650 camp-out music festivals since 1993 with his organic espresso café, JavaGogo.  On a whim, JavaGogo came to the Joshua Tree Lake Campground in October 2002 to serve up fresh bevies at the JT Didgeridoo Festival.  Barnett recounts, “I drove in at night, then awoke to the magical sweeping views of the National Park and the Copper Mountains.  Upon meeting our gracious hosts (Sally & Ken Jayes, JT Lake Campground owners), I told them it’d be a great site for a music festival! Sally said, “If it’s such a great idea, then you should go for it.”  The seed was planted. Joshua Tree was obviously a beautiful place, but what about the people?  That week a stranger invited us to his birthday party. Two hundred inspired folks dancing around a bonfire. The town was/is populated with outdoorsy, creative DIY artists and radically unique individuals.  That sealed the deal. Within 6 months Joshua Tree was my home, and the inaugural JTMF took place on April 11-13, 2003.”

Are they Agorist/Voluntaryist Friendly? YES!

If you are an agorist or support a like-minded school of thought, JTMF also offers trade work for attendance. Visit for more info.

Exchange for attendance at JTMF:

Help out at the festival in exchange for a festival pass, camping, and meals.

Pre-Fest Work Exchange:

Work at the site before the festival in exchange for a festival pass and camping. 20 hours in exchange for a festival pass that includes walk-in tent camping.  Work days at the site are MAY 5-7, and MAY 12-14.

Aside from liking barter and trade, the organizers over at JTMF absolutely love new music and artist! If you are a musician or band and want to be considered for their future festivals please fill out this form. They listen to every inquiry & submission! Although, they are not able to respond back to every email due to the volume of submissions and being a small group of independent organizers.

Artists (Visual):

If you are a performance artist, painter, sculptor, or creator of mad installations, fill out this form to let them know about your creations!

Street Team:

You can also help spread the good word in exchange for a festival pass. To be considered for the PROMO team, fill out this form.

So now that we are done mentioning all the ways to get in to enjoy the Joshua Tree Music Festival, and what it is about. Who is performing at it?

KRAAK & SMAAK (Netherlands)
Friday 6:40pm
Saturday 10pm
HOUSE of HAMSA (Bay Area)
Saturday 11:30pm
Saturday 8:15pm, and playshop Sunday 12:15pm
Friday 9:50pm
Sunday 4:10pm, and playshop Sunday 10:45am
Sunday 2:20pm
Friday 11:30pm
JAMBINAI  (Seoul, South Korea)
Saturday 6:30pm
BARAKA MOON (Pakistan/UK/Bay Area)
Saturday 4:45pm, and playshop on Sunday 9:15am w/ Stephen Kent
GENE EVARO Jr. (Joshua Tree)
Friday 8:15pm
DOWN NORTH (Seattle)
Thursday 9:15pm
Friday 5pm
YAK ATTACK (Portland)
Sunday 6pm
SASHA ROSE (Canada / Santa Cruz)
Thursday DJ Set 6pm, 8:30pm, 10:45pm –  Saturday Acoustic Set 10am
Sunday 12:30pm, and playshop on Saturday 9:15am
Friday 3:15pm, and playshop on Saturday Noon
Friday 11:30pm
Saturday 11:30am
Saturday 3pm, Wally’s playshop on Friday 6:15pm, and Wally as ‘Artist at Large’
Saturday 11:30pm
Saturday 1:15pm
Friday 1:30pm
EDITH CRASH (France/Spain/LA)
Sunday 10:45am
IAN WINTERS (Santa Cruz)
Sunday 7:45pm
CHRIS UNCK (Joshua Tree)
Thursday 7pm
Friday Noon, and playshop Saturday 3:15pm
BAD JAMMA (Long Beach)
Friday 10:45am
Friday 12:45pm
DAVIS (Joshua Tree)
Saturday 12:45pm
MEGAN HUTCH  (Joshua Tree)
Sunday 12:45pm

And, there is even more TBA…

If you can not make it out to the May Festival do not worry. They have two festivals a year. There is another one in October 2017. For more info visit

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