This Must Be The Place - Desert Hearts 2018

May 3, 2018 -

Louis Garcia

Desert Hearts is a representation of the exciting year their crew, Mikey Lion, Porky, Lee Reynolds, and Marbs, has experienced in 2018. The festival remained the same size as last year and sold-out quicker than ever. We came to this event wondering how Desert Hearts has continued to bloom as a house-driven phenomenon. They've toured so much these past few years with performances at massive clubs and festivals worldwide- but what does their staple festival have to do with all of this? Although we’ve seen this magic in action the previous years, we returned to explore it once more.

Home is where I want to be.

Pick me up and turn me around.

Desert Hearts is surrounded by hills, trees, and mountains - a scene that would make any happy camper feel at home. The greenery enhances this techno paradise along with its breathtaking art installations that can be found throughout the grounds.



What stands out the most this time around is the level of maturity in the talent booking. When I first visited Los Coyote Indian Reservation for Desert Hearts 2016, I was a "noob" and only listened to surface-level bass house and popular EDM. I could not recognize a single artist on the lineup, therefore making it a blur of monotonous house. Now that I feel more aligned with the genre, I can appreciate the attention to detail when it comes to these bookings. Artists coming from some of my favorite labels such as Crosstown Rebels and Hot Creations are sprinkled throughout the weekend, the kind of music that is more common at European festivals.





The idea of a "main stage", being that one stage is more important than another, is thrown out the window with DH's "One Stage One Vibe" policy. There is nothing that can compete or outshine the stage because it is the only one in the festival. A festival without lineup conflicts? Count me in.

The consistent rumble of house music kept the energy alive all weekend. While the vibe selecting DJs continued to twirl their fingers in the air with the powerful buildups and soulful drops. Aside from the dance floor, many campers found comfort within the realms of sound healing, massages, workshops, fire spinning performances, and exploration among the various activities and themed camps set up throughout the site. A vast world condensed into a small land filled with so many magical surprises made the weekend almost too much to handle!







Meanwhile on the floor - Doc Martin destroys the daytime with funky house jams that only a legend like himself could cook up. Later, Mikey Lion's performance aligned with the sunset, a DH tradition that brings out The Wine & Cheese Party, a crew that serves free refreshments on the floor during this hour.



At this point its Saturday night and everyone is looking crazy sexy as night falls with sets from wAFF, Porky, Lee Reynolds, and Marbs. All of these artists are veterans, they put in work and handle their responsibility, but Porky stood out for his booty bumping 808 ghetto house tracks that felt less deep and more bangin' than anyone we heard all weekend. Edits of David Bowie's 'Let's Dance' and Talking Heads' 'This Must Be The Place' were truly high points of the night.





Later on Damian Lazarus summons ancient demons with a special sunrise tribal house set. This goes on for four hours until 8AM and the dance floor kept vibing through the morning with no sign of stopping anytime soon.

The music eventually came to an end on Monday afternoon with a special closing set from the Desert Hearts Crew at 2PM. It wasn't until the music finally stopped that everyone began hugging each other on the dance floor, an expression that spoke of the true connection that flowed on the floor all weekend.



Within Los Coyote Indian Reservation lies a special home for those who experience life through the lens of house music. Each time we visit here we learn, love, and discover new things about music, people, and most importantly ourselves. As we drove out of the mountains it became clear that we just partied our way through one of the most beautiful and unique festivals around, it's no wonder why people can't get enough of the DH feel.




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