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The Desert Hearts Bucket List (17 Things to do in 2017)

April 7, 2017 - by Molly Sinclair

Over the past 5 years, Desert Hearts has grown from being a modest musical gathering in the Mojave to the cherished treasure it is now - an entire cult community of followers spanning beyond Southern California, more of a loyal tribe than a faceless festival.

Surprisingly, the reiterated fact that the festival does not change its alluring essence, and instead only improves the minute details surrounding the production, is something that would certainly hold back other events. In this case, Desert Hearts is the antagonist - the consistency each year is exactly what keeps us coming back! Like crazy glue, the consistent game plan of nonstop music in the high desert keeps us stable - from our rituals and routines, to our sanity, our hearts, and of course, those epic structures we all like to swing on.




Photo by Mel Marcelo


So how do you make each year memorable? Fanciful fun is always around the corner when you are open to new experiences. Cue in "The Desert Hearts Bucket List" - an opportunity for you to curate an unprecedented, novel adventure every time, even for the most seasoned veterans. The strange responses I received were astonishingly unique, to my delight, proving the point that ultimately you are in charge of manifesting your own destiny every year. (Like, who knew Mikey Lion would ask you to hold his trophy?)

Here it is: the Desert Hearts Bucket List - 17 things to do in 2017, collected from dozens of attendees and myself. Let us know what we missed!




Photo by Miles Najera


1. Party with Lee Reynolds.

Everyone wants to do it.

"I actually got to party with Lee Reynolds in Mexico once on top of a water fall, doing Solar hits. So much fun!"

"As my friend Nicole said, 'I'll have what Lee's having!'"

...or any of the other artists.

"I danced on the speaker while Mikey Lion spun and used my party popper when the bass dropped! Afterwards, we were both on a good one and he told me to hold his trophy!"




Photo by Denise Torres


2. Dance on the speakers. (Just don't fall).

"I checked off dancing on the speaker with my LED hoop on Saturday night during Lee Reynold's set. It was slightly terrifying because the speakers were way higher than they looked and the speakers weren't wide so there wasn't much space to move. It was super cold so I was nervous my hoop was going to crack, so I didn't want to smack it against the side of the stage... but it was super fun!"

Don't the best stories always include risk of death? 'It was super fun though!'

"I climbed a bit... and fell."

"I never got to dance on the Funktion Ones."

Sorry bud. There's always City Hearts.


3. Watch a fire show (or get approved to participate in one).

"The fire shows are always super fun to watch."

"I first found my love of fire at Desert Hearts. This year, I had such a great time performing with West Coast Eclectic Arts. So thankful for all of the inspiring performers I got to spin with, all the beautiful people I got to dance with, and everyone I got to share my art with."




Photo by Holly Whipple


4. Go on a solo retreat in the mountains.

"On my bucket list I would go do a sunset meditation from a beautiful vantage point, somewhere I could still hear the music and feel the good vibes. Take a moment to clear my head, do some self healing, and take another moment to appreciate all that I have been given in this life. Then head straight back to the dance floor to share my newly restored abundance of pure energy with all the loving people around me! The only reason I didn't get to do it because I was distracted by an amazing soul."

Oh crap. Was he talking about this writer?


5. Participate as an artist.

"I want to live paint for Desert Hearts."


6. Do yoga - if you can remember to make it.

"Laura's magnetic field balancing yoga was the highlight of my weekend."

"I wanted to go to yoga but kept getting sidetracked!"




Photo by Jacob Avanzato


7. Work the event.

"I like to have a list of jokes memorized so when I see people who's waiting in lines in their cars, I can offer some company. I did that a little late Friday night offering them bong loads, but wish I had some treats for them and some fun jokes."

"Don't sleep through my shifts."

Yeah, don't do that.

"Find a baggie of [treasures] while picking up moop." [Edited].


8. Participate in the fashion show.

"I want to enter a model from my brand to be in the Glitter Spies fashion show, or be in it myself."




Photo by Paris Sinclair


9. Make friends with the vendors.

"I always like talking with the Laser Tree guys."


10. Swing around the jungle.

"Hmmm... I wish I would've seen the swings and swung on them while on mushrooms at night while listening to Justin Martin... is that appropriate?"

"I wanted to slackline but my ankle is messed up so I sat it out but watched my boyfriend kill it."


11. Try something communal that is out of the ordinary.

"Go to a woman's circle in the red tent."

"Take a sound bath."

"Go to a cacao ceremony."

"The Connect 4 tourney was pretty funny."


12. Wear what you want, wave what you want.

"I want a big fluffy onesie, like a big rhinoceros or hippo, so I can bounce off of people on the dance floor."

"Wave the trash pirate flag!"




Photo by Kayleb Kirby


13. Dine and drink, in a different way.

"I want a portable grill that can mounted to a tray on my hip (like the old school cigarette girls) so I can walk around making grilled cheese for everyone on the spot."

"Drink tea at the tea tent."

"The wine and cheese party on the dance floor every year!"


14. Bring gifts or items to trade.

"Give gifts of dark chocolate."

Use your imagination!


15. Stay warm.

"Not freeze at night."

Sorry, not all things on this bucket list are possible. But thermal underwear helps.

"Got snowed in on one year."


16. Meeting your new tribe.

"Play with kitties in the soul palace."

"Just finding friends and hugging them..."




Photo by Molly Reports


17. Just attending at all.

"Desert Hearts was my bucket list."


What did we miss? Let us know what's on your Bucket List for next year.


Sincerely written by...

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