Roman Barham and the team behind New Mexico festival Monolith on the Mesa have announced the passing of event co-founder Daniel “Dano” Sanchez on Sunday, September 26 in Taos, New Mexico.

Dano is survived by his wife Ashley Sanchez, and his children, sons Dylan and Ashton, and daughter Rowan. Dano, who succumbed to complications associated with COVID-19, made a name for himself and for his artwork at Magical Tattoos, in addition to becoming known internationally for building an independent three-day music and immersive arts festival.

“We sincerely appreciate the abundance of support we are receiving from all those who loved Daniel as we do,” Ashley Sanchez states on behalf of the family. She continues:

“We are hurting, and FAR from peace but the message I received from Daniel was that he is now traveling intergalactically without human limitations and riding those cosmic waves with an infinite joint in hand.

Our family is so grateful for the emotional, spiritual, and financial contributions from near and far. Through the pain, we are held up by those who are willing to share photos, earth-bound experiences, and even visits from the beyond. We will continue to honor Daniel at Magical Tattoo as the sacred space it is, to experience the expressions and artistic influence he left with us.”

“We would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all the love and support for Dano and his family,” says Barham, Dano’s business partner and close family friend. “The GoFundMe fundraiser has surpassed our expectations and showed us how much Dano meant to so many people. So again, thank you to everyone who donated. Please take care of each other out there, and be safe.”

Jayson Wylie, owner of Taos Mesa Brewery where Monolith on the Mesa is held, told Taos News: “Dano’s vision was an inspiration to me and those around him. He will be sorely missed.”

Barham plans to continue producing Monolith on the Mesa as he and Dano had intended for 2022. Barham says, “Dano was one of my best friends, a true inspiration and a kind soul. He’d want the festival to go on. Right now, I am planning a fundraiser/memorial for him on October 23 at the El Rey in Albuquerque, NM. I’ll announce the line-up and more details soon.”

Conceived as a yearly event, Monolith on the Mesa takes place at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, and on the grounds of Hotel Luna Mystica, just outside of Taos, New Mexico. The festival is focused on heavy riff-rock acts from across multiple sub-genres including stoner rock, heavy psych, doom metal, sludge, drone, and retro rock. The dramatic vistas and multiple stages, along with immersive art installations, make this festival a unique experience that attracts artists, bands, and fans from around the globe.

“I want this festival to keep alive the spirit of DIY! Monolith is real, nothing artificial here.” – Dano Sanchez (RIP)

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been created for the Sanchez family and can be found here.

Follow Monolith on the Mesa here and Magical Tattoos here. 

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