Desolation Center

You could classify director Stuart Swezey's Desolation Center documentary as a vanity project, as it focuses on his efforts as an events organizer and includes him on camera talking about the logistics and meaning of throwing off-the-grid concerts in the '80s. But in this case, the vanity is earned. From his Southern California home base, Swezey facilitated some of the most extraordinary multimedia extravaganzas of the pre-internet/pre-smart-phone era. The five shows he memorializes in Desolation Center went on to inspire such well-known festivals as Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Burning Man. And he did it with no corporate sponsorships. Swezey and crew were true DIY entrepreneurs, and their risks paid off much more in cultural capital than actual currency.

by Dave Segal
Showtimes & Tickets


Stuart Swezey
Perry Farrell, Thurston Moore, Mike Watt