One of the beautiful parts of life is that no experience, no matter how beautiful or life changing can ever be achieved twice. It is in these individual experiences that we are able to appreciate the different things that life has to offer us. Two years ago I went to Desert Hearts for the first time and the weekend I spent there absolutely changed my life more than I could have foreseen. Under packed and completely unprepared my friend and I made it through the weekend solely on the love, compassion and donations from our more experienced festival friends. For those who are unfamiliar with the festival Desert Hearts, it is a nonstop Tech House haven set deep in the mountains of Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. Since throwing their first Desert Hearts this group have made a name for themselves across the world with a vibe and atmosphere that allowed this year’s edition to sell out.
During that first time out my friend and I quickly realized that Desert Hearts was a festival with much more to offer than just great music. Desert Hearts was about bringing together a community of like minded individuals to share and express themselves without fear of judgment. It was a place where you were the art and you were encouraged to add more and more of yourself to the festival. It was one of the few places that demanded you bring out your inner child and leave the mentally of everyday life behind. Clearly the Desert Hearts crew had captured a magic that needed to be preserved, and they achieved it by capping the festival to 3000 people all vibing to one sound.
When we arrived Friday Afternoon the party was already in full swing, as you could feel the thumping bass and light tech melodies floating through the mystical trees. Everyone was in full spirits as we said our hellos and set up our home for the weekend. Even the birds were excited as they sang along in unison to the music. With camp set up there was nothing left to do but get down to exploring the playground that lay out before us.
Not much had changed in the two years since I last attended Desert Hearts, the layout of the festival remained largely unchanged. The most noticeable changes were just in the overall increase in production value. Every spot in the forest flowed together to create one of the most visually appealing festival s. This is an aspect where Desert Hearts really shines as attendees contribute to the overall experience with theme camps. Regular favorites such as Pile Palace, Wench Toast and Shangri-Lawless were all there to serve up cuddles, drinks and the best dance floor French toast you can find anywhere. This year also marked the first year of the soul palace, a wonderful haven tucked behind the dance floor that transported you straight to your childhood.
After a full night of killing it on the dance floor to the likes of Pawsa, Detlef and Ardalan (who dropped a song a friend of mine wrote) we were ready for another stacked day and night of music. Not only were the Desert Hearts DJ’s up on the bill for Saturday, but so were Justin Martin, Christian Martin, Doc Martin and a special Super Bash Bros set featuring the two sets of brothers from the Desert Hearts and Dirty Bird crews. Saturday turned out to be the perfect day weather wise and it seemed like everyone busted out their most fashionable threads and used the vendor village to show off their own unique style. Desert Hearts is definitely a festival that encourages everyone to embrace their inner dance floor diva and strut their stuff with a little more confidence.
One of the more memorable sets of the weekend came as the day went from Saturday to Sunday and Lee Reynolds brought the sexy to a dance floor that had already had its mind blown from a masterful Bash Bros set. The party kept going early into the morning with sets by Deep Jesus and Marques Wyatt and by the time Atish begin we braced for one more night together dancing in the cold. After Atish ended the real techno fans were in for a treat as Rybo and Sacha Robotti got super deep in their sets. After a quick break from the dancing we made our way back to catch Fritz Carlton B2B Lubelski and we watched the crowd explode with jubilation as the two weaved a musical journey that got better and better as the set progressed. We ended our night at our Desert Hearts with an intense set by the wonderful Tara Brooks, who took control of that beautiful stage and dared everyone to not move their body.
A lot has changed in the two years since I first went to Desert Hearts, they have taken their brand across the United States and then Globally. They cut their winter festival and focused on making their party in spring even bigger. Although Mikey Lion and the crew have expanded their once small renegade they have with the help of the community preserved the essence that is Desert Hearts. Of all the festivals I’ve ever had the pleasure of covering for Daily Beat, Desert Hearts presents the biggest challenge because it isn’t something that can be properly described with words. Desert Hearts is something that needs to be lived, it’s something that needs to be fully experienced, and for anyone who is a lover of techno and house this is one festival you can’t miss.