A Tip of the Hat to Desert Hearts

Anybody who has been to the Woogie knows just how much we love to savor the sweet taste of house and techno. We’re not the only ones either. For the better part of three years the Desert Hearts family has been dishing out some of the most delicious beats in the scene and the signature vibe from their biannual event Desert Hearts Festival has caught the eye of festival-goers far and wide. With major successes at these events and in their local City Hearts tour the crew long ago formed a label to join the forces of Marbs, Deep Jesus, Porkchop, Lee Reynolds, Christopher Kristoff and the top hat sporting front man, Mikey Lion. With their powers combined a vibe emerged unlike anything the festival scene has seen before and that excited us. It was a timely reminder that vibes come from the community and your connection with it. More importantly, there are many – not just us – out there trying to breathe some love into the lungs of this culture with the hopes of reinvigorating the spirit of fellowship inside it.

Why we love Desert Hearts

When other festivals were trying to pack multiple stages into crowded venues Desert Hearts took a different approach. With “One stage, one vibe” the crew wanted to make sure that you saw your friends at the event and if you don’t know anybody the chances of making friends at the central gathering space is much better when you’re frequently bumping into one another. It also means a lot to the musicians performing at Desert Hearts have the chance to let others see what they can do.

In a recent interview, we asked Mikey Lion about his start and he pointed out that one of his first accomplishments as a DJ was playing the Woogie Stage at Lightning in a Bottle. The man behind the Woogie Stage, Jesse Wright, made a huge impact on Lion when he was given the chance to perform at his favorite stage and now at Desert Hearts it makes him feel proud that he can extend that same opportunity to musicians just like he was back then.

In addition to being recognized by the LA Times, Fest300 and the Huffington Post – just to name a few – Desert Hearts stole the hearts of househeads across the southwest and quickly rose to acclaim among festival organizers and national media. For some it was a new kind of event with a fresh kind of flair and for others it was “a love movement” poised to impact the world for the better.

An Announcement that Weighed Heavy

In a recent announcement that went out on the Desert Hearts newsletter, Mikey explained that the Fall edition of their biannual festival would be cancelled for 2016. Unfortunately, this means aside from our own events (Woogie Weekend and Dirtybird Campout) there won’t be as much great house or techno in Southern California this year. In his email Lion said “We want the Desert Hearts community to thrive for the rest of our lives and this means taking time to plan long-term and build the infrastructure necessary to make this happen.” It’s always a difficult decision to know when to regroup to form a stronger battle plan, but we take comfort in knowing that the DH crew is a sturdy brand with a worthwhile ambition. One that affords them the time to strengthen their record label, create more new music and see continuing success of their City Hearts tour. Moreover, they’re beloved by many (including us) so we look forward to their triumphant return in Spring.

For anyone looking to revel in the DH embrace this year we encourage you to check out:

City Hearts – Los Angeles | July 30th

City Hearts – Chicago | August 5th-6th

City Hearts – Denver | August 20th

City Hearts – Symbiosis | September 22nd-25th


Sending Hearts

To Mikey, Lee, Porkchop, Marbs, Deep Jesus and Christopher we have a special message:

Gents, thanks for being there to remind us all that it’s the vibe that holds us together and whether you’re gone for one season or many we’ll be here to celebrate your homecoming when the time is right.

Indeed, “We [really] are all Desert Hearts”.

Featured Image by Watchara Phomicinda