Important info for DF 2019

Hello all!

Not long until the 8thedition of Desertfest London kicks off and we can’t wait to open the doors to the DF family once more! As always, we thought it best to send you some information on where to collect tickets, general policies, after parties etc…

Firstly, due to email filters, social algorithms and all that internet malarkey, not everyone will receive this message – PLEASE SHARE this post with your friends & on socials!

Like previous years, Desertfest is a multi-venue festival in London, meaning there is a limited capacity allowed in some venues - please make sure you plan well in advance and give yourselves plenty of time to get in to the venues to see your favourite bands.

Within this post we will cover:
- Ticket Wristband Exchange 
- Hotel and Hostel Info
- Programme & Merch
- Re-Entry
- After Parties


The ticket exchange will be open the following hours on Greenland Place, opposite The Black Heart on Friday + Saturday for you to pick up weekend passes and individual day tickets. SUNDAY’S TICKET EXCHANGE WILL BE AT THE ROUNDHOUSE ONLY! Greenland Place will still be operating with bars & merch and your Sunday ticket gives you entry to all venues, it just must be picked up at Roundhouse:

FRIDAY - Midday - 9pm
SATURDAY - Midday - 8pm
SUNDAY - Midday - 9.15pm
Please note this and tell your friends!

If you purchased a weekend, Friday or Saturday ticket, you will need to bring your ticket confirmation either in paper form or on your smart device in exchange for a wristband. 
The Sunday ticket will be a Roundhouse paper ticket that must be provided to the venue.

We’ve once again produced an incredible, collectable 72-page programme put together by some of the top heavy music journalists in the world – with interviews, quizzes, clash finder & information on all the bands. This will be available from the ticket exchange.

Our merch stall will be once again be on Greenland Place, we’ve got a huge array of brand-new festival shirts, Desertscene London shirts and some exclusive band collabs along with some special handmade leather goods from Pine Baron USA.
Merch for bands will be available from the venue they play in. 

Hotel - Britannia Hampstead Hotel.

Check in : Friday 4th - 2pm
Check out: Monday 7th - Midday
To check in please give the name you purchased the ticket under. 

Hostel - Smart Hostel Camden
Check in: Friday 4th– 2pm (if you arrive earlier, you can store your luggage for free in the storage room and come back later_
Check out: Monday 7th- 10am (if you need to store luggage we do have this service and you can keep your items up until midnight. This service costs £2 per item)
On arrival please give the name you booked your ticket under and the hostel will be able to accommodate you. 

All venues will offer re-entry (capacity dependant) until 30 minutes before the headliner's finish time.

We have a bunch of utterly insane after parties in place for this year’s Desertfest for those of you who still have enough fuel in the tank.

Friday 3rd May - Old Empire DJ’s @ Electric Ballroom - 23:30 - 12 followed by The Shrine Live12am - 12:45am 
Friday 3rd May - Family Woodward @ The Black Heart - 23:00 - Late
Friday 3rd May – Street Can Collective @ The Dev – 23:00 – Late
Friday 3rdMay – The Lounge 666 w/ DJ’s Ben Ward + more @ Nightclub Kolis – 23:00 - Late

Saturday 4th May - Saint Vitus Bar NYC @ The Black Heart 23:00 - Late
Saturday 4th May - Amenra DJ Set @ The Dev - 23:00 – Late

Sunday 5th May - She’s So Heavy @ The Dev - 23:00 - Late
Sunday 5th May - Desertscene After Party - Rich Harris @ The Black Heart - 23:00 - Late

Look forward to welcoming you to our festival! 


Shimmy on Down to the Black Deer Takeover at Desertfest

With Desertscene invited to host some of our favourite acts - including Yawning Man, Brant Bjork, Radio Moscow and more - on The Roadhouse at Black Deer Festival from 21st to 23rd June, we’ve returned the favour by bring the Black Deer Stage to The Dev on Desertfest Sunday. Hosting four of the UK’s best American bands, it will be a nice shake up to our most diverse weekend yet.

To let us know about the bands playing the Black Deer Stage, and to explain all about the crossover between our scene and country, we asked Olivia Cayce of Little Criminals and formerly of prairie doom band Black Tremor to tell us more.

The link between stoner metal, desert rock and blues is well known, but what’s less talked about is the overlap between heavy music and old time music. There’s a large collection of folk and country side projects associated with doom and sludge bands, like Iskra’s traditional folk band Knacker’s Yard or Weedeater’s country/bluegrass spinoff BarStul. Nobody does it better than Hank Williams III, though; this goddamned outlaw country hero who plays in Superjoint Ritual drunkenly stumbles between bluegrass and metal with undeniable style.

If nothing else, blues, bluegrass, country and metal share a common penance to Black history and resilience. As Henrique Prince from the Ebony Hillbillies says it, “All of this stuff, this music, has been in the Black community, in the Moor and Arab community, since the 11th Century. This stuff goes back, back, back, back, back beyond Appalachia.” Jim Bower himself (Eyehategod) roots the entire NOLA sludge scene back to Black communities resisting slavery by jamming in Congo Square on Sundays; the only day this was permitted publicly. Anything anchored in Sabbath is also anchored in this history. What is truly incredible about bluegrass is its unprecedented capacity to push you right out the other side of your hangover and back into the bottom of a bottle of whiskey before you even know what’s happening… and if that’s not metal, I don’t know what is.

The Vanguards
Those of us who walk in both worlds of bluegrass and doom will tell you that our love of one deepens our appreciation of the other. Bluegrass lets us scratch the itch to thrash when we’re out in the bush, which seems to be a common occurrence for metal heads, whether we’re drawn to fishing or shot-gunning beers by the canal. We can’t drag our cabs around, but we also can’t be without music. In the absence of stacked rigs and distortion pedals, a bluesy rip and a country drawl – even a shredded Irish reel – somehow fill the perpetual void. This five-piece from London absolutely does justice to traditional bluegrass and undoubtedly will not be slowed down by a weekend of heavy riff partying.

The Fargo Railroad Co.
In a scathing Pitchfork review of Xasthur’s bluegrass release ‘Doomgrass’, Grayson Currin makes the point that bluegrass and folk music are full of doom. Fargo Railroad Co’s ‘The Well’ almost feels like a gentle nod to Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’. Their singer lightens up the twang for a wailing intro into a song about two brothers fighting each other in the American Civil war, and we share a sweet moment in doom halfway through the tune when the drums drop, just before the vox return to a country rock twang. Instead of trying to hear metal, try letting the country wash over you and remember that Lemmy covered Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash in his side project HeadCat.

The Southern Companion
After a weekend of nonstop desert rock and stoner metal, Southern Companion is a handful of espresso beans to freshen your pallet. This group brings some elements of the ‘70s scene that gave birth to Deep Purple and Aerosmith. The guitar riff in ‘Billy’s Brother’ suggests that there’s also some Guns ‘N Roses influence happening here; that said, the general vibe of this band is closer to Van Morrrison. Van Morrison but make it country. Fun fact: Southern Companion is influenced by the Allman Brothers, whose lap steel player Warren Haynes plays on some Corrosion of Conformity records.

The Outlaw Orchestra
Dishing out a distinctly Devil Makes Three vibe, the Outlaw Orchestra undoubtedly dabble in doom. The banjo, the twanged-out three part harmonies and the upright bass (!!) anchor this band firmly in the realm of bluegrass / rockabilly, but Roux’s vox bring to mind Primus’ cover of ‘Devil Went Down to Georgia’. Don’t be fooled by these acoustic instruments and the band’s placement in the lineup: these dudes have obviously ripped their fair share of joints and spun no shortage of Sabbath records. This opener really sets the vibe of the stoner-rock – bluegrass connection that this whole lineup highlights. Don’t miss.

Words by Olivia Cayce, a permanent member of Little Criminals (Facebook) and former member of prairie doom band Black Tremor (Bandcamp), plays with mantra doom band Zaum (Bandcamp) and fiddles in the likes of Montreal’s Old Time Honey (Bandcamp), the After Eleven Blues Club (Website) and Quebec City’s street band Bosko Baker (Bandcamp). This article owes much to her bandmate Taylor Jade (Bandcamp) whose deep love of stoner and sludge has heavily influenced the Little Criminals’ trajectory.

The HDP/WPC Stage Returns at Desertfest 2019!

It wouldn’t be Desertfest without our brothers at The Human_Disease_Promo / WhenPlanetsCollide, who once again return to the underground’s biggest party. This year, the HDP/WPC Stage takes place on Saturday 4th May at The Underworld, bringing with it six colossal acts just itching to cause an earthquake that breaks the riffter scale.

Headliners for the day are Savannah, Georgia’s Black Tusk. Perhaps one of the heaviest out and out party bands ever to walk the Earth, Black Tusk have one hell of a bounce to them. Somewhere between the abrasive power of sludge, the driving pace of thrash and the raw energy of punk, they are pure headbanging insanity forged through the shit the world has thrown their way. If any band over the weekend is guaranteed a pit in the crowd, these are that band.

Joining them are The Skull, a band birthed by members of doom pioneers Trouble, who have gone on to carve out their own place and a well earned respect in the ever expanding doom scene. Hearkening back to a time when doom was all about no-nonsense chugging instrumentals, banging solos and powerful vocals, The Skull’s classic doom sound is masterfully executed and will be something to behold at Desertfest.

Two Glasgow based acts occupy the middle of the bill; first up, the two-piece riff n roll madness of Acid Cannibals. Made up of James T McKay (The Cosmic Dead) on guitar and vocals and Robert Marley (Droves) on drums, Acid Cannibals are short and sweet and barrelling towards you at a frightening pace. Their debut EP, last year’s Why Not Every Night is a ten-minute, in, oot, nae bother punk explosion which leaves a mark. Live, this should be intense.

Their city mates, Headless Kross, are, by their own description, “the ideal soundtrack to the slow unravelling of the world as we understand it”. Sludgy, doomy, fuzzy, psychy, and well tasty, their tripped-out, low-toned aural assault is something to behold. Flipping from plodding moments of anxiety inducing bleakness to the universe expanding spaced drones in a heartbeat, Headless Kross will be one hell of a journey.

The Grammy award winning Norwegians Årabrot return to Desertfest bringing their caustically unique and pummelling noise-rock immensity. Hanging in the air like a guillotine about to fall, the imposing sound of Årabrot manifests in many undefinable guises, but every part of their output lingers on the ears like the sentiment from some kind of lurking, opaque, spectral force. Truly unique on any and every lineup, if you miss these, you won’t get even a taste of what they offer with any other band at Desertfest.

Opening the day in the harshest, most jarring way possible, are Kalloused, a diamond within the burgeoning UK black metal scene. Providing an abrasive soundtrack of blackened doom, tinged with hardcore, noise and post-metal elements, their 2016 album Damn You Believer, comprised of six utterly brutal parts, will shake you awake on Saturday afternoon and then keep shaking you.

So, with your six acts introduced, one of the men behind the stage, Staggerin’ Matt, tells us “The goal of the HDP/WPC stage each year at Desertfest is to bring a mix of no nonsense, heavy as is out there, earth moving bands to the festival. Those which we not only dig personally, but who bring a dynamic and sonic force to ramp up the proceedings. For 2019 we’ve assembled another motley crue of riff rollin’, mind twisting, and sense engulfing bands to tear your heads clean off, as well as some to simply start a goddam party!”

Be sure not to miss what is always one of our liveliest, most destructive stages every year at Desertfest; catch The Human_Disease_Promo / WhenPlanetsCollide Stage at The Underworld on Saturday 4th May. Grab our last remaining tickets now while you still have the chance.

RidingEasy Stage to Take Over The Underworld on Desertfest Friday

Continuing the proud history of diverse curated stages at Desertfest, 2019 sees our friends at RidingEasy Records take over a slab of the underground’s biggest party. Taking place on Friday 3rd May at The Underworld, the RidingEasy Stage sees five rifftastic acts who give us a taste of what the label has to offer.

Headlining the stage are Cincinnati’s Electric Citizen who have been the epitome of the underground’s resurgent 70’s infused riff obsession since their 2014 debut album, Sateen, hit the streets. Composed of a tight as hell instrumental section and the powerful vocals of Laura Dolan, Electric Citizen have become masters of the to-the-point, short-and-snappy rock n’ roll style that has come back to the forefront in recent years. Last year’s Helltown, the band’s third full length, sees them in top form, confident of who they are and what they want to do; show up and rock out.

The Portland, Oregon four-piece, R.I.P. stride onto the RidingEasy Stage after carving out half a name for themselves slamming dirty rock shows up and down the West Coast and then shaping the other half with the releases of In the Wind and Street Reaper respectfully. Make no mistake that R.I.P. are firmly in the doom metal canon, but we’re talking, really fast, loose doom held together with squealing riffballs and chugging frenetic, punk-scuzzed rhythms.

Los Angeles based Zig Zags are pure and simply punk rock. Well, they’re more psych punk. Well, actually, they’re more psychedelic punk rock with a healthy dose of acid rock mixed in for good measure. Their no nonsense self titled debut, recorded and mixed by Ty Segal, is a breath of fresh air in an underground scene which can often forget it’s all really about getting the good times going. These will be a big old party at The Underworld.

Mixing up the US heavy stage for the day are Sweden’s Alastor, bringing over a hearty slice of doom from those musically hallowed lands. Low and slow is the order of the day with this badarse quartet, whose debut full length Slave to the Grave is a crunchily produced and mammothian fifty-six minutes.

Blackwater Holylight
did the world a favour last year and released their self-titled debut album through RidingEasy Records, collecting psychedelic washes and drifty, dreamy melodies together for an ethereal brew of hypnotic potency. Bringing together doom, heavy psych, grunge, stoner jams and volume-devouring dynamism, these will be a hypnotic opener to a solid as all hell takeover of The Underworld.

Daniel Hall, owner of RidingEasy Records and the man responsible for this stellar bill, tells us,”I’ve been going to Desertfest the last few years now and it’s a great time!  The music is always on point, the people enjoy themselves, and it’s always well run. When given the chance to take part in having a stage that showcases some of the RidingEasy bands I jumped at the chance.  We’re excited to take over The Underworld on May 3rd with our music and full merch booth as well.“

So be sure to get down to The Underworld on Friday 3rd May where, after the excellent Vokonis have warmed up the venue, the RidingEasy Records takeover of Desertfest is sure to be beer swilling, riff chugging affair. Don’t miss out. grab the last remaining tickets at the link below now.


After a heavy first day of Desertfest, we can all do with getting our mind and body realigned, that’s why this year we’re proud to be partnering with Do.omyoga to bring a special free session to a limited few on Saturday 4th May at 12:30 - 1:30 PM.

Do.omyoga is honoured to bring you Nada yoga (union through music and sound) with a very special session for free at Desertfest London for those who reserve their space at the links below. Soundtracked to a specially curated playlist of doom, drone and psychedelic vibrations, you will be taken on a sonic journey inwards, connecting to yourself within, raising your consciousness for an fuller experience without.

DO.OMYOGA is a very immersive and deeply connecting Yoga practice. Equal focus is placed on Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, Philosophy, Mantra and Music using ‘Nada Yoga’ for a holistic practice. Nada Yoga - meaning "union through sound" - is an ancient Indian system and science of inner transformation through sound and tone. It is described in the "Hatha Yoga Pradipika" as one of the most powerful and fruitful meditation techniques to calm the mind by using music and sounds to connect to a higher state of consciousness. Practiced always alongside loud atmospheric Doom/Drone/Ambient/Avant-garde/Psychedelic music. The practice as a result serves as a moving meditation as well as a deep listening meditation encouraging deep introspection.

Led by Kamellia Sara, DO.OMYOGA, as an Asana practice, is a dynamic-restorative slow Vinyasa based yoga with a strong emphasis on balancing dynamic ‘active’ postures with deeply connecting 'passive' postures.

The intensity of the music acts as a driving force invigorating strength, yet at the same time compliments the pace of the practice and has the capacity to aid releasing tension and help sustain holding asana postures for longer through its emotive nature.

A selection of music from the slower, heavier, vibrational and, at times, ambient end of the music spectrum is chosen to also serve as the 'active' principle balancing the energy of the practice into a harmonious integrated whole.

This special session of Do.omyoga, taking place on Saturday 4th May between 12:30 and 1:30PM is FREE, but spaces are limited to the lucky 15 who reserve their space at the link below. ALL LEVELS ARE WELCOME from beginners to regular practitioners, with mats provided. Don’t delay, book your place now to start Desertfest Saturday in the best possible way.

Desertfest 2019 After-Parties

Building on an already riff-roaring weekend extravaganza, Desertfest are ready to announce another onslaught of gnarly after-parties to keep you going well into the wee hours each & every night. After-parties are free to all ticket holders, but make sure to get in early to avoid hammering on the windows.

Once again taking control of the Black Heart decks on Friday, and kicking the weekend off in whiskey induced style, are the raucous brother-sister duo of Family Woodard, spinning heavy metal for boozers and losers late into the night. We hear there will no requests unless it’s in the form of 'Rainbow Rising'. 

If that’s not degenerate enough for you, look no further than Street Can Collective at the Dev, dishing out everything from sludge, doom, funk, grind, soul’n’punk far past your bedtime. 

Making their Friday night Desertfest debut with a plethora of DJs is The Lounge 666 which is barely even beer spitting distance from The Dev - they’ll be covering ground from industrial and darkwave all the way through to 80’s sleaze bangers. 

Old Empire will also bring a half hour power-hour of the greatest tunes known to man right in-between OM and California skate rockers The Shrine at Electric Ballroom on Friday night. 

Hot off the heels of hosting Desertfest New York, the legendary Saint Vitus Bar bring their penchant for downing cheap beer and busting a move to Thin Lizzy over the pond from Brooklyn to the Black Heart on Saturday Night. 

Saturday Night headliners Amenra don’t let up, returning for the second time in one night for a danceable DJ set at The Dev. Frontman CHVE tell’s us to expect nothing but 80’s ballads and disco tunes - “Guns n Roses might possibly be the most extreme thing you hear from them all night!" 

She’s So Heavy fly the flag for female musicians at The Dev on Sunday Night - powered by a shared love of massive riffs, Julia (Grave Lines), Harriet (Black Moth), Fed (Black Moth) and Jess (Psychomagik) return not just to bring fist pumping heavy jams, but to celebrate women in rock everywhere.  

Quite possibly the unsung hero of Desertfest, DJ Harris brings his famed annual Desertfest closing party back to the Black Heart on Sunday Night. Lucha libre masks, stage diving off the DJ booth and rivers of tequila will ensue to hammer home the final nail into the bank holiday hangover coffin. 

Stage Times and Final Bands for Desertfest 2019!

We’re now just under a month away from Desertfest 2019 and we’re pleased to round off our most diverse bill to date with a dozen more bands who’ll be bringing the party to Camden this May. Plus, we’re ready to release those all-important stage times so you can plan your mad dash around Camden; and no, Fu Manchu and Mondo Generator will not clash..

First up we’re pleased to reveal another brilliant stage curation, this time with a hearty group of maverick story-tellers whose ethos wholly lies in the underground culture - please welcome our good friends at Black Deer Festival to the family. As followers of Desertscene may have already noticed, we will be bringing a slice of the underground to their Americana Festival this June, so to give you a taste of what the deer park has in store we’ve handed over the reins of The Devonshire Arms to the BD crew for the final day of DF 2019.

The four hand-picked choice cuts appearing on the Black Deer Stage will include headliners for the night The Vanguards, who will bring a taster of traditional bluegrass after a hefty dose of heavy-riffs all weekend. The five piece mix their own original bluegrass recordings, inspired by the legends of old right through to present day influences, with faithful recreations of lesser known compositions of the genre.

They'll be joined throughout the day by the likes of Sheffield's The Fargo Railroad Co. letting loose a swampy dose of southern rock drawing from the groundwork laid down by Lynyrd Skynyrd and '38 Special. The Southern Companion, whose mastery of the Americana blend has been propelling them to exciting new heights. Plus openers for the day are The Outlaw Orchestra, a swaggering force of good old fashioned hillbilly-country rock bringing to mind ZZ Top filtered through Aerosmith. The Black Deer Stage will be unlike anything else that’s ever been showcased at Desertfest and we can't wait to hear The Dev steeped in an Americana strut.

That's not all for The Dev though, headlining Friday will be the DIY-ethic, violence-above-all-else ethos of Whoremoan. The quarter of a century (and then some) veterans of the punked-out, noise-rock underground, their approach is simply, here's a riff, we like it, you'll love it, and we're gonna hammer it home until it's ingrained in your DNA.

Please also welcome Cities of Mars, proving once again that Sweden has a legacy of riffs going back longer than time itself. Somewhere in a place between densely-packed grooves and ambitious, progressive atmospherics, they'll be an experience in the packed-out Dev. Orbital Junction also play the Camden boozer with their fuzzed-up to the eyeballs striding stoner sounds and finally kicking off the day are Oxford's Drore, whose collision of noise/doom/grunge is bound to be a sharp wake up call to anybody just drifting into Desertfest.

Elsewhere across the weekend are the Grammy Award winning Årabrot, who round out the Human_Disease_Promo / WhenPlanetsCollide Stage on Saturday at The Underworld. Staggerin' Matt gives a feel for the band, saying "Hanging in the air like a guillotine about to fall, the imposing sound of Årabrot manifests in many undefinable guises, but every part of their output lingers on the ears like the sentiment from some kind of lurking, opaque, spectral force."

Two more complete the Friday - at The Underworld we have Vokonis, a prog doom power trio drawing their genetic make up from Baroness to Pink Floyd, their melodic, yet distorted, menacing, but at the same time peaceful, approach drinks deep from the diverse well of heavy. Over at The Black Heart on Friday are Tel Aviv's The Great Machine, who bring righteous music from the Holy Land. Sounding like a sun dried Motörhead, their fusion of punky stoner is drunk and high at the same time without ever once greening out. Last, but by no means least are Wren who stroll up to The Black Heart on the Sunday. Taking in elements of noise rock legends Unsane and Shellac, as well as sludge heavyweights Neurosis, Kowloon Walled City, and Saturday headliners Amenra, Wren destroy in a live setting and should not be missed.

So, there you have it… our biggest showcase of the underground scene's finest is complete for another year! Plus, we’ve still got all the info on those messy afterparties to come next week. As ever, it's going to be a gigantic party right in the heart of Camden that you won't want to miss, so if you have left it until now so snap up your tickets – get to it and roll on May.

Ghold and More Kick Things Off at the Desertfest Pre-Party

Desertscene, in association with Crypt of the Wizard are proud to announce the Desertfest Pre-Party 2019. Once again, we take over The Black Heart on Desertfest Eve, serving up a tasty starter to whet your appetite for the three day feast that follows. Featuring Ghold, Rainbow Grave, Primitive Knot and Bible, before we continue the party into the early morning, if previous years are anything to go by, it’s going to be another messy, riff-filled night. The Wizard of the Crypt himself tells us more below:

The Wizard hath performed an archaic conjuration hitherto unseen in this here realm, and from this black magic an evening of simply wondrous darkness hath emerged! In conspiracy with the evil folk of Desertscene - Crypt of the Wizard brings to you the Desertfest Pre-Party 2019. Performing are four bands of such weight and bleak brilliance, even the gloomiest of souls shall be possessed by the rites of ancient evil and will be compelled to voyage to yonder Black Heart to enjoy some potent brews to a soundtrack of madness decayed by decadence.

Ghold push weight bringing forth experimental sludge rock breaking backs with brute force.

Like a sledge hammer slamming into a human face forever.

Rainbow Grave play primitive sludge punk...Featuring founder members of Napalm Death, Doom and Scorn, their bleak mantras channel the blank despair of negative punk through layers of distorted psychedelic damage...Freeform pedal abuse and robotic vocals coagulate around cyclic bass and drum rhythms in repetitive and minimal structures...Low rent caveman hate music...Disappointment guaranteed...

Hailing from Manchester, UK, Primitive Knot have created a cult underground following with their prolific output and aura of arcane mystery. Primitive Knot cover a lot of musical ground, from motorik Krautrock to primitive thrashing doom metal, dark ambient and black metal death rock. Yet at all times, the sound is pure Primitive Knot.

Shadowy forces play pulsating synth driven black metal awash with droning agony. Appearing in this realm for one of the first times.

So if you’re in London early for Desertfest, be sure not to miss out on one extra night drinking riffs and headbanging to beers. Be sure to get your tickets to the Desertfest Pre-Party 2019 today.

Advance Tickets: £10