Desert Hearts Festival 2024: Walker & Royce, VNSSA, Coco & Breezy & More To Headline

House, Techno, & Love…

Desert Hearts Festival has long been defined by a feeling of belonging and solidarity on its universally celebrated dancefloor. It’s a place where self-discoveries are realized, lifelong family is found, and the boundary between artist and reveler evaporates with ease. 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.

In tune with this mission, Desert Hearts has enlisted artists close to the beating heart of its 12-year journey to raise a flag of unity in its brand new location. 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.

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

He 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 a number of our favorite international touring 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.”

Returning attendees will be no stranger to the returning favorites who have soundtracked unforgettable memories on DH dancefloors past including the likes of 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.

Plenty of world-class international talent will also be scattered among the bill, from 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 the unpredictable expertise of Atish, Andhera label boss Ky William, Burning Man staple Tara Brooks, sister DJ duo Lisbona Sisters, the smooth styling sounds of Life On Planets, the hypnotic sounds of Öona Dahl, cinematic techno producer Rinzen, four to the floor favorites like Kevin Knapp and Gettoblaster, and the party-starting Ardalan – each artist arrives with their own unique story to tell at Playa Ponderosa.

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, and Lubelski.

Of course attendees can expect alluring journeys from Desert Hearts crew who know the crowd and dancefloor better than anyone, represented by co-founders Mikey Lion, Marbs, Lee Reynolds, and Porky. There will also be a special Desert Hearts crew closing B2B to properly close out the festival.

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, bringing their art cars, traveling stage Kalliope, and larger-than-life fire features and installations to crowds for more than a decade.

Desert Hearts Festival 2024 fittingly takes over July 4th weekend to redefine what it means to be truly free under azure skies. Nestled in the natural splendor of Coconino National Forest just 30 minutes outside of Flagstaff, the 75-acre private property of Playa Ponderosa sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet, smack-dab in the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest — notably one of the most iconic sites in the United States. The private venue will allow Desert Hearts to channel the renegade spirit felt at its original home of Los Coyotes Indian Reservation while offering a cool-weather respite from Arizona’s notorious summer temperatures, with average temperatures ranging from the low 50s to the low 80s.

The 2024 edition will move back 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 – set to the 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 camps 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 as well as a variety of food and beverage options. 

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.

Desert Hearts Festival Details

When: Thursday July 4 – Monday July 8

Where: Playa Ponderosa near Flagstaff, Arizona


Follow: @DesertHearts