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May 12, 2024

Desert Hearts Festival Announces Lineup

Written by Meagen Surowiecki on May 12, 2024

The definition of Desert Hearts is live, laugh, love, and music. However, Desert Hearts has gone behind those realms for twelve years by building a community that accepts all walks of life and creating intimate events and their infamous music festival. In tune with this mission, Desert Hearts has unleashed a new chapter and new beginnings of its beloved music festival. In the last article, the festival announced new dates and an exciting new location in Flagstaff Arizona. Recently, Desert Hearts has announced their most anticipated lineup in history. 

Desert Hearts Festival has long been defined by a feeling of belonging and solidarity on its universally celebrated dancefloor. It focuses on providing the best experience to every attendee and artist at the festival. It's a place where self-discoveries are realized, and lifelong family is found. This year, Desert Hearts has sought a return to its roots, teaming up with its longtime allies at Walter Productions to reinvigorate their foundational ethos at the beautiful Playa Ponderosa in Northern Arizona, July 4-8.

photo credit eric allen
photo credit Jacob Avanzato

The partnership between Desert Hearts and Walter Productions stems from a decade-long relationship born at Burning Man. Walter is known for its fleet of art cars, most famously ‘Walter’, the world’s largest VW Bus forged from a retired fire truck. Walter has since expanded its influence on the Arizona arts and music scene with its venues Walter Where? House and Walter Studios, the Walter Station Brewery, and its foundational nonprofit arm, the Walter Hive. The Walter team has been a mainstay of numerous events and festivals like Bonnaroo, EDC, and Life is Beautiful. By bringing their art cars, traveling stage Kalliope, and larger-than-life fire features and installations to crowds for over a decade.

In the words of Desert Hearts Co-Founder Mikey Lion, "The festival industry is in a make-or-break moment as it grapples with rising costs, market saturation, and a stalling economy. Independent festivals and the communities that grow around them are the heart and soul of the music world, but they are struggling to survive.”

Mikey continues, “While many festivals focus on recycling the same trending headliners to compete with festival giants, Desert Hearts is taking a different approach. This year our festival is focused on building up our community, showcasing label friends and family, talented local DJs, and international artists. Desert Hearts Festival is “One Stage, One Vibe” playing nonstop House & Techno all weekend long. We’re essentially programming a 72-hour DJ set with the right artists playing the right music at the right time. Everything Desert Hearts Festival does is geared towards creating the best possible vibe, and on July 4th weekend, we're going to throw the best party in the world."

Mikey Lion of Desert Hearts

In 2019, I attended and covered my first Desert Hearts festival, after years of dreams into a reality it finally came true. From the fashion party to interactive camping sites, and incredible sets that are still some of my personal favorites of all time. Throughout the entire weekend, you would run into artists as they were part of the crowd, constantly dancing with the OG Desert Hearts family, and making new long-lasting friends. After five years it's still my top favorite festival because of the best experience I had during that weekend. 

Read the Desert Hearts 2019 Event Review Article

The lineup highlights the mission of Desert Hearts and enlisting artists that define the label and showcase the beating hearts of its twelve-year journey. Each selector represents a different chapter in the Desert Hearts saga, a patchwork of longtime family members, Desert Hearts Records mainstays, and those who have inspired the sonic tastes of the founding group since their humble beginnings.

Forever Desert Heart family artists will make their return to the festival and new location. They have soundtracked unforgettable memories on DH dancefloors past including veteran production duo Walker & Royce fresh off their sophomore album, Berlin techno veteran Anja Schneider, historic clubland favorite Doc Martin, and Los Angeles mainstay VNSSA. Plus the unpredictable expertise of Atish, Burning Man staple Tara Brooks, cinematic techno producer Rinzen, four-to-the-floor favorites like Kevin Knapp and Gettoblaster, and the party-starting Ardalan, and Lubelski. Each artist arrives with their own unique story to tell at Playa Ponderosa.

photo credit Get Tiny

In true Desert Hearts Fashion, the next generation of house and techno superstars will take center stage, with sets in tow from Nala, Mary Droppinz, SHADED, The Soundgarden founder Nick Warren, to, Kater Blau resident Mira, Shanti Radio label head Gorje Hewek, and the unique stylising of Coco & Breezy. Additional acts to discover include, Andhera label boss Ky William, sister DJ duo Lisbona Sisters, the smooth styling sounds of Life On Planets, and the hypnotic sounds of Öona Dahl. Attendees can expect the notorious back-to-back Desert Heart family set to cap off the festival weekend. Performed by co-founders Mikey Lion, Marbs, Lee Reynolds, and Porky.

The 2024 edition will return to its foundational ‘one-stage, one-vibe’ format and showcase its unique festival layout. An interconnected arena of theme camps, live painters, installations, and art cars that border the entire dance floor. A backdrop of the majestic Ponderosa Pines and spectacular views of Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks. For those in pursuit of full sensory immersion, Desert Hearts Festival will provide attendees access to a host theme camp including Pile Palace, which hosts a plush dancefloor lounge and free beverages to patrons, the Dreamscape Collective Art Gallery featuring a tea lounge alongside visionary art, spiritual wellness at the Healing Sanctuary, and a Walter Theme Camp and art car arena around the dance floor. Plus a vendor village with craft and clothing vendors and a variety of food and beverage options. 

pov dh festival
Desert Hearts Festival map

Another key art fixture will be the Black Hole Experience (BHX), an immersive black hole simulation in a mobile format making its USA and festival debut created by Montreal-based environmental organization Age of Union and its founder Dax Dasilva and designed by multidisciplinary artist Kelly Nunes.

Tickets for the 2024 edition of Desert Hearts Festival are currently 70% sold out. Act now to make your Independence Day Weekend even more magical.

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Article written by Meagen Surowiecki

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