It’s music festival season in the desert. From Garden Jam to Opera in the Park to the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals, our calendar helps keep you in the right place at the right time. In addition to so much great music, you can also enjoy the great outdoors with Earth Day events as well as on-the-land art exhibitions such as Joshua Treenial and Desert X, which comes to a close this month. Plus, there’s lots of action on theater stages across the Coachella Valley. Here are our staff’s best bets. Visit our website,, to see the full calendar.

Above: Colombia-born, Paris-based artist Iván Argote created A Point of View, a set of five staircases near the Salton Sea, for Desert X, which ends April 21. The artist will be in conversation with co-curator Matthew Schum April 11 at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. Photograph courtesy Lance Gerber.



DAN KILEY: UCR Palm Desert presents a photographic retrospective celebrating the work of the modernist landscape architect through April 12. Info

HUGH KAPTUR: Organic Desert Architecture continues through June 17 at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center. The exhibition offers a deep dive into the career of an architect with more than 200 built projects in the Coachella Valley. Info

WALKER GUEST HOUSE: Tour a replica of the Paul Rudolph’s Walker Guest House, an icon of Sarasota modernism, in downtown Palm Springs through March 2020. Info



ASERE! This show features a variety of beats, from the cha cha to the rumba to the salsa, with an energetic cast of musicians and dancers from the Havana Cuba All-Stars. The fiesta takes place April 3 at McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert. Info

EARTH DAY: Spend your day April 13 at Cabot’s Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs, where your can celebrate Earth Day, learn about the environment and recycling, and tour one of the cultural treasures of the Coachella Valley. Info

GARDEN PARTY: The birds and blooms take center stage April 21 “In the Gardens,” the final Family Day of the season at Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage. The Easter fun and games unfold on the Great Lawn. Info

POSTCARDS FROM MECCA: The California Desert Photographs of Susie Keef Smith and Lula Mae Graves continues through May 15 at La Quinta Museum. The exhibition and a new book by Ann Japenga and Warner Graves follows the story of the photographers capturing the 1920s desert outback. Info



DOC FEST: The American Documentary Film Festival rolls March 29 through April 4 at theaters in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Palm Desert. The event includes screenings, Q&As with filmmakers and actors, panel discussions, and awards. Info



GARDEN JAM: Lucas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, Lucie Silvas, Jimmie Vaughan, and Brian Culbertson take the stage April 5–6 at the Garden Jam Music Festival at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Info

OPERA IN THE PARK: The 21st annual (and wildly popular) Opera in the Park returns April 7 to Sunrise Park in Palm Springs. The concert is free. Reserved seating is available to purchase. Info

MOVIE MAGIC: The California Desert Chorale performs its spring show, “Magical Movie Music,” featuring the greatest songs from a century of Hollywood film music. The show is April 7 at Indian Wells Theater at California State University, San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus. Info

CIRQUE SHOW: The Green Fairy guides you through a whimsical “Ritual” cirque show April 19 featuring aerial dance and psychedelic mischief with the French elite at Valerie Mahabir’s studio in Rancho Mirage. Info

COACHELLA: Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande are the big names at this year’s Coachella music festival, which takes place over two weekends, April April 12–14 and 19–21, and also includes large-scale art installations.

CHELLA: Los Tucanes de Tijuana and Mon Laferte featuring Cole Boyy and Giselle Woo & The Night Owls headline Chella, a Goldenvoice concert set for April 17 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in the Fullenwider Auditorium. Info

STAGECOACH: Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, and Jason Aldean are the headliners for “California’s country music festival” — which includes Guy Fieri’s Stagecoach Smokehouse — April 26–28 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. Info

THE HUE: Mecca Community Park hosts the return of The Hue Music and Arts Festival on April 27. Info



SEX AND MONEY: Desert TheatreWorks presents Love, Sex, and the IRS, a comedy of mistaken identities centering on two heterosexual men who’ve been roommates for years. In an attempt to save money, Jon has filed income tax returns listing the pair as married. But the plan quickly goes awry. The play runs April 5–14. Info

MAYTAG VIRGIN: In this Dezart Performs production, April 5–14, a high school teacher is on a leave of absence after the sudden death of her husband when a mysterious man moves in next door. The play explores the ideas of moving forward and self-enlightenment, and the bridge between the two. Info

ONE-ACT PLAYS: Desert Ensemble Theatre presents a pair of plays April 19–21 and April 26–28. In Graceland, Presley fans Bev and Rootie camp out, each determined to be first to enter the sacred precincts. Asleep on the Wind takes place 10 years prior, when we learn about a family event that served as a catalyst for Rootie’s life path. Info

ANNE FRANK: Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s play, The Diary of Anne Frank, is based on the true story of a young Jewish girl who kept a diary of her time hiding from the Nazis in an attic of her father’s office during World War II. It runs April 25–28 at Palm Canyon Theatre. Info



ARTIST TALK: Cat Chiu Phillips, an ArtsTank Greater Palm Springs grant-winner, presents Power Plants this April at College of the Desert in Palm Desert. On Earth Day, April 22, she will give a free artist talk titled “Making the Transition from 2D to Public Art.” Info

IVAN THE GREAT: Paris-based Colombian artist Iván Argote, who created the Desert X installation A Point of View near the Salton Sea, will be in conversation April 11 with curator Matthew Schum at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. Info

JOSHUA TREENIAL: A weekend of art installations and performances, featuring 20 artists from near and far, unfolds under the theme “Paradise::Parallax” April 12–14 at boxoPROJECTS in Joshua Tree and other venues in the High Desert. Info

DESERT X: Sterling Ruby, Superflex, Iván Argote, and more than 15 other artists from around the world converge on the California desert with site-specific installations throughout the Coachella Valley and down to the Salton Sea. The exhibition continues through April 21. Info

UNSETTLED: This sweeping exhibition, which runs through April 30 at Palm Springs Art Museum, features more than 75 artists living or working in the Greater West, including Ed Ruscha, Gerard Murillo, Sonia Falcone, Ana Teresa Fernández, Edgar Arceneaux, Andrea Zittel, Nicholas Galanin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, and Phillip K. Smith III. Info

LOCAL COLOR: Members of the Artists Council present the group exhibition Metamorphosis, featuring a selection of works in different media by locally based artists. The show runs through April 12 at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert. Info

149: Contemporary Thoughts on the Lynching of Mexicans in California 1848-1895 revisits a dark time in the state’s history at a critical point in the nation’s history. The two-artist exhibition continues through April at the Coachella Valley Art Center. Info

FLIGHT PLAN: The Birds of Sunnylands exhibits 52 photos of the more than 130 species of birds that migrate here every year, all photographed at Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage over the past two years by wildlife photographer and ornithologist Tim Laman. Info

LINES IN THE SAND: The exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum explores the history of the desert through four themes: land, light, people, and place. It features highlights from the museum’s collections of indigenous art, depictions of the California desert through painting and photography, and contemporary art inspired by the physical and cultural environment of the state. Info

LOVE ACROSS THE USA–CALIFORNIA: Celebrate the community-sourced crochet mural led by street artist OLEK at the dedication April 6 at the Palm Desert Civic Center Park. The Desert X Parallel Project is presented by CREATE Center for the Arts in partnership with the city of Palm Desert. Info