Desert Hearts Heads To Arizona, Partners With Phoenix’s Walter Productions


Desert Hearts is heading to Playa Ponderosa, Arizona, July 4-8 as the festival teams up with Phoenix’s Walter Productions. The house and techno festival makes a major move with its new location, but aims to maintain the roots from its previous home in Southern California.

Starting in the Mojave desert 12 years ago and helmed by Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Marbs and Porky, the festival has maintained a renegade atmosphere since its beginnings. With its move, Desert Hearts hopes to reinvent the meaning of freedom over the Fourth of July weekend at the Coconino National Forest.

“Join us as we write the next chapter of Desert Hearts Festival history on July 4th weekend in Flagstaff, Arizona, amidst mountains and pine trees,” Desert Hearts’ Mikey Lion said in a statement. “our new venue, the incredible Playa Ponderosa, is an intimate and beautiful property owned by friends familiar with the classic DH vibe. The theme of this festival is reconnecting with our roots and embracing the essence of what made Desert Hearts so special during our time at the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation from 2014 to 2019. This means an intimate and free environment with One Stage, One Vibe playing the full spectrum of House & Techno music nonstop all weekend. We are excited to be teaming up with our twin flame community, the Walter Fam, who you may know from their unreal venues in Phoenix, Walter Where?House and Walter Studios, or their incredible Camp Walter at Burning Man that is host to a fleet of radical art carts. We can’t wait to create unforgettable memories under the starry sky as we dance, connect, and celebrate the spirit of freedom, love, unity, and endless possibility! House, Techno, & Love… We Are All Desert Hearts.”

Walter first rose to prominence with the creation of the world’s largest VW Bus, forged from a retired fire truck, that debuted at Burning Man in 2009 and now lives in Phoenix’s art scene. Its art cars have appeared at Bonnaroo, EDC and Life is Beautiful. Desert Hearts is also heavily influenced by Burning Man.

Following COVID-19, Desert Hearts was forced to relocate from its original location on an Indian Reservation in Southern California. When the festival returned post-COVID, it moved to the Lake Perris state park but faced more limitations for what the team could do. On his official Reddit account, Lion stated that the move “will allow us to do everything we could do on The Rez, but among the pine trees and mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona.”

“Everyone at Walter Productions is excited to bring the Desert Hearts Festival to Arizona,” Walter Productions’ Kirk Strawn said in a statement. “We have collaborated with Desert Hearts for more than 10 years and together we’ve grown an amazing extended family. Walter has been part of the festival scene for many years and we can safely say there is no better venue than Playa Ponderosa.”