We Asked the Beautiful Hippies at Desert Hearts to Describe Their Style in One Sentence
Jamie Rosenberg


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We Asked the Beautiful Hippies at Desert Hearts to Describe Their Style in One Sentence

We went deep into the Mojave for the San Diego crew's third annual bacchanal. Radical self expression is an understatement.

As a New Yorker, I'm pretty used to giving high-fives when meeting someone new on the dancefloor. At your more conventional nights out on the town, you may even experience a tepid handshake when exchanging names with dancing passersby. But at Desert Hearts' third annual fall bacchanal, which erupted for 100 consecutive hours of house and techno at the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, in Warmer Springs, California this weekend, that shit just doesn't fly.


Founded in 2012 by the San Diego-based crew of Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Deep Jesus, Marbs, and Porkchop, the now bi-annual festival is one of a growing number of grassroots, renegade, bring-all-your-own-shit-and-do-whatever-you-want festivals that have been popping up throughout California over the past few years. Come across a new face as this event—another successful entry into the state's flourishing roster of so-called "transformational"—festivals, and you gotta hug it out.

Jamie Rosenberg

With Desert Hearts, the music goes night and day non-stop on a single stage, with a steady focus on Playa-friendly tech house styles that always keep you moving. And while the floor boasts some truly stellar Funkworks sound and a beautiful disco ball positioned within a sparking heart ("House, Techno, and Love" is Desert Hearts' longstanding motto), the focus is less on production and the glitzy amenities than your average corporate electronic event. You won't find an overwhelming main stage of lasers and terrifying neon octopuses there; nor is there even much of a special focus on the headliners, which this year included the likes of Claude Vonstroke, British house legend Eddie Richards, and Berlin tech star Andreas Henneberg.

Here, the star of the show is the festival's 3,000-ish attendees themselves. As with Burning Man, you'll be hard pressed to find people as friendly as the crowd at Desert Hearts. Smiling is near-mandatory, gifting and trading is rampant, and the way people dress is just as inviting—the kind of colorful and otherworldy garb that looks fancy, but most of the time will run you less than a tank of gas in your local thrift shop.


Jamie Rosenberg

As with Burning Man, an event that's greatly influenced Desert Hearts, you'll feel the urge to look as outrageous as humanly possible amidst this non-judgmental crowd. Look out into the swaying mass of people, and you'll see everything from a psychedelic airline pilot to a half-naked turquoise neptune dude with his dong hanging out. With the weather dipping down into the low 30s at night, the need for layers allows partiers to creatively layer hoards of faux-fur with sparkling vests and glowing boas; at one point during the weekend, I even spotted somebody in the crowd wearing a full-body cactus jumpsuit.

Because we thought it'd be the perfect way to gain some insight into this alternative universe, we singled out a handful of Desert Hearts attendees and asked them a single question: how do you describe your style in one sentence? Here's what we found out.

Angelov, Colombia

THUMP: Describe your style in one sentence
Angelov: Ancient explorer from the old colonies of the Anatolian Peninsula empire circa 1500 BC.

Scott, San Diego

"I enjoy making others enjoy you."


THUMP: Describe your style in one sentence
[Right]: "Chalupa by day, gordita by night." And your friend?
"That's J Han, the Asian gilded princess!"

Loversaurus Rex(s)

*"Star-crossed furry dinosaur lovers riding the hue of the rising sun, while hiding from Lenny Kravitz and his friend, techno star DJ Wizard"


"Vintage gentlemen realness, old world ring master."


Eliot, San Diego

"At the edge of naughty, but not over it." [Editor's note: debatable]

Eamon, Tesla

THUMP: Describe each other's styles in one sentence
Eamon: Intergalactic disco high priestess, admiral of the ostentatious ass armada.
Tesla: Purple opulence with a slash of dandy, and a dash of fabulous.

Erin, Oscar, San Diego

THUMP: Describe each other's styles in one sentence
Erin: Chicano smoove.
Oscar: Any color that matches rainbows and unicorns.

Matthew, Orange County

"Aladdin in an efficient sling."

Jules AKA Pixie Dust & Papa Rage Rabbit

THUMP: Describe each other's styles in one sentence
Pixie: The most charismatic, intelligent, energetic, loving, accepting, fun, raging rabbit there ever was!
Papa Rage: She defines humble elegance. [Editor's Note: Awwww]

Zoe, Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles

"Psychedelic Chilean goat herder."


*"Idk, but have you seen my car?"

Grant-pa, San Diego

"I love to make my friends laugh but really don't care what anyone else thinks."

David (author)

"Jewrabian prince"

David has dust in his heart and it feels so good. Follow him on Twitter

Read more about Desert Hearts:

Desert Hearts: The Story of the West Coast's Fastest Rising Party Squad

Desert Hearts' Two-Year Was the Shangri-Lawless of House and Techno

Desert Hearts Brought The Mojave To Brooklyn on Their New York City Debut

* indicates captions written by author