Neon Desert 2019 Basics
The multicultural music festival Neon Desert, set for Saturday and Sunday, will kick off in a new location Downtown and under new ownership.
After the festival wrapped up last year, Live Nation, one of the largest live entertainment companies, acquired ScoreMore Shows, the Texas-based company that had produced the music festival in El Paso, as well as other growing music festivals.
This year, organizers and city officials decided to move Neon Desert Music Festival to the area by City Hall, along Campbell Street and Mills Avenue. It formerly was held in Cleveland Square and San Jacinto Plaza.
The entrance to the event will be at the intersection of Campbell and Texas Avenue.
Festivalgoers will be able to park at Downtown parking garages and use the streetcar to reach the event. They can ride free on the streetcars’ Loop 8 with their Neon Desert wristband or ticket in hand.
Festival gates open at 3 p.m. daily. The box office, which opens daily at 2 p.m., will be at the intersection of Kansas and Texas streets. Re-entry into the festival will be permitted.
What’s the weather going to be like for the festival?
Weather for this weekend is expected to be hot, in the 90s, with some slight wind at 10 mph. It will be much cooler in the evening, dropping below 70 degrees. Sunday will be even hotter, almost reaching 100 degrees, with a stronger wind, from 10 mph to 20 mph.
Wear breathable, comfortable clothes and shoes and slather on sunscreen. Also, take a hat and be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Your Neon Desert 2019 lineup
Canadian-born DJ/producer Rezz; R&B singer/songwriter Miguel; electro house musician, record producer and DJ Steve Aoki will headline Saturday. Rapper Wiz Khalifa, Young Thug and Kali Uchis are all set to headline Sunday.
There will be four main stages: Franklin Mountain Stage, Rio Bravo Stage, Paso del Norte Stage and the Homegrown Live Stage.
The Franklins Mountain Stage, in a parking lot near the corner of Campbell and Franklin Avenue, will feature the following headliners Saturday: Tyga, 7:15 p.m.; Steve Aoki, 9:30 p.m.; and Miguel at 11:30 p.m. On Sunday: Lovely the Band, 7 p.m.; Deorro, 9 p.m.; and Wiz Khalifa at 11:30 p.m.
The Rio Bravo Stage, at the far end of Mills Avenue near Virginia Street, will feature the following headliners Saturday: Tory Lanez at 8:30 p.m.; Don Omar at 10:30 p.m.; and Rezz at 12:30 a.m. On Sunday: Gunna, 6 p.m.; Kali Uchis, 8 p.m.; Young Thug, 10 p.m.; and Tchami at 12:30 a.m.
The Paso del Norte Stage, at the corner of Main and Kansas streets, will feature the following headliners Saturday: Ximena Sarinana, 6:15 p.m.; Arizona, 8 p.m.; and Dashboard Confessional at 10:30 p.m. On Sunday: Bane’s World, 6:30 p.m.; Sales, 8 p.m.; and Chicano Batman at 10:30 p.m.
The Home Grown Live Stage and the Silent Disco stages will be inside the City Hall parking lot.
Where to i get my Neon Desert tickets?
One-day general admission passes for Saturday or Sunday are $89, plus fees. Two-day general admission passesare $119, excluding fees, along with J&K weekend VIP passesfor $250 and J&K Platinum weekend VIP passes for $499, excluding fees, available online via Eventbrite.com
To save on fees, you can get your tickets at a variety of places, including Melek businesses, the Good Times store at 2626 N. Mesa St.; the Headstand, 4409 Dyer St.; Bomb Beauty Products, 1212 Yarbrough Drive; and Chuco Relic, 601 N. Oregon St.
GA and VIP tickets also will be available for purchase at the festival. Note that prices may go up. Upgrades to VIP also will be available during the festival but will include a surcharge.
Children 3½ feet tall and shorter are admitted free if accompanied by a ticket-holding adult. There will be no children under the age of 14 allowed in without the supervision of an adult.
To get your Neon Desert wristband, all you need is your ticket bar code — either on paper or on your phone. Present the bar code at the gate and attendants will scan you and give you your wristband.
What’s allowed at the festival
Water bottle — Bring one factory sealed water bottle, a refillable water bottle or an empty Camelbak-type of backpack and find the watering stations at the corner of Florence Street and Mills or the corner of Campbell and Mills.
The right bag — Small clutch bags, fanny packs or drawstring or clear backpacks with one additional pocket, hydration packs with one additional pocket or a plain, clear gallon-size, zip-top bag.
Single-serve Pedialyte packets — They come in handy when the sun gets to be a little too much.
Sun protection — Don’t be a victim: Lather yourself with it, and if you’re prone to burning, bring a hat. Just leave the aerosol kind at home. Hand-held umbrellas are allowed.
Chargers — Nothing worse than seeing 1% on your phone. If you don’t bring a charger, look out for the El Paso Electric Charging Stations and Photo Booths.
Cash — Plenty of vendors accept cards, but it doesn’t hurt to carry some cash.
What not to bring to Neon Desert
Upon entering Neon Desert, you will be searched, airport-style. There also will be plenty of law enforcement and security throughout the festival, and you’re subject to a search at any time. Leave these things at home:
Alcohol — Don’t be the person sneaking vodka in your Camelbak. There will be plenty of offerings at Neon Desert for you to purchase.
Pets — Your dog would probably rather stay home anyway, so don’t even try to bring in Bella.
Bad attitudes — Do we even have to say this?
Weapons — Of course, Neon Desert strictly prohibits weapons, including things like pocket knives and pepper spray.
Certain electronics — You can’t take any audio or video recording equipment. Professional cameras and equipment — including detachable lenses and tripods — are also prohibited. Stick to your iPhone. And no selfie sticks.
Other items — Leave these additional things at home:
- Large backpacks
- Illegal substances (including drugs and paraphernalia)
- Chairs of any kind
- Outside food or beverages
- Large chains or spiked jewelry
- Fireworks or explosives of any kind
- Wagons, coolers, tents or large umbrellas
- Hula hoops
- Laser pointers
Things to be aware of
- Strobe lights will be in use.
- Intoxicated people will be asked to leave or will be refused entry.
- No outside alcohol allowed on any festival property.
- No crowd surfing, moshing or stage diving allowed.
Where can we park for Neon Desert?
Here are some parking options for getting to Neon Desert:
Anywhere legally possible — Pay close attention to meter locations, rules and limits. Don’t forget you have to pay on Saturdays. And parking close to the festival could mean being among the last to leave.
Garages and lots — There are some garages and parking lots available to park in or around Downtown. The El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center, Mills and Union Plaza parking garages are $10 per car on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ride your bike — Neon Desert organizers support bicyclists by offering an area on the perimeter of the fest to lock up your bike near the box office at the intersection of Kansas and Texas.
Just get a ride — Avoid the hassle of parking and take an Uber or a bus ride. The nearest bus stop to the festival entrance is the Oregon-Missouri Avenue stop. Look up the Sun Metro bus schedules.
Streetcar — Take advantage of free parking in the Glory Road Transit Center, 100 Glory Road, if you are among the first 440 attendees taking the streetcar to the fest. The streetcar will pick up passengers on Glory Road and Oregon, then drop them off at the Official Neon Desert Street Car stop at Kansas and Mills near the entrance of the festival. Travel time from Glory Road to Kansas and Mills is 12-13 minutes with average midday traffic.
Additional parking is available north of Mesa Street for those taking the streetcar to the fest.
Service on both Saturday and Sunday will run until 3 a.m.
Hungry? Here are your food vendors
At some point, you’ll want to grab a bite. Here’s a quick glimpse of the food trucks that will be available:
- Crave Taco Truck
- Panini Bus Food Truck
- Smoked Brisket Loaded Tater Tots
- Shawarma Point
- Clasico Kitchen
- Tacos Chinampas
- Delicious Mexican Eatery
- The Baked Bear
- Big Daddy’s Eats and Treats
- Geske Concepts
- Ladies Night Sushi
- Būjē Bev
- Crave Kitchen and Bar
- Ron’s Hot Pizza
- Farah’s Mediterranean
You’ll be able to find portable restrooms on Mills, near the back of the City Hall building, on Texas, near the box office, and on Franklin.
What else is there to do or buy?
From live muralists to a skate park and free wings, there will be a myriad of activities going on at the fest. Here are a few highlights.
- Professional luchador wrestling will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each night at the corner of Main Street and Campbell.
- The Paso del Norte Stage will have a Southwest University lounge and viewing deck for first-come, first-served attendees until capacity is met.
There also will be some free sampling at the Patron’s on-site tequila sampling for 21 and older, and Wingstop’s food truck wings. Try the Tito’s Handmade Vodka lounge with free swag in the VIP section.
And don’t leave without buying some cool fest merch at a booth, next to the Home Grown Live Stage or along Mills, close to the J&K Platinum VIP section.
María Cortés González covers entertainment and trending news in the El Paso area. She may be reached at may be reached at 546-6150; email@example.com; @EPTMaria on Twitter. Support more coverage like this with a subscription.
Past Neon Desert Music Festival’s:
2018: Fashion at Neon Desert
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