Mikey Lion on how Desert Hearts has Changed Lives

Nov 29, 2022

Gabrielle Reeder

3 min read

Desert Hearts’ unwavering devotion to house, techno, and love attracts fans worldwide. During the COVID lockdown, Desert Hearts members sought out a safe space, one where they could tap into their unyielding enthusiasm for dance music. Since dance floors provide expressive spaces for dance music fans, the lockdown forced producers, DJs, and fans to find a virtual common ground.

Desert Hearts explored their options during the pandemic and decided to construct a consistent hang-out spot for members and new fans on Twitch. The crew livestreamed various sets, chats, and events five nights a week.

“The number of people that have come up to me at shows and just tell me that we got them through the pandemic, that we were their rock during such a trialing time, that means the world to us,” said Mikey Lion during his Gray Area Spotlight interview. “It was completely vice versa. That was our therapy. The whole time during the pandemic, our therapy was playing music for everyone and being able to exchange so much love back and forth.”

In the interim between lockdown and reopening dance floors early last year, Mikey said the online platform helped grow Desert Hearts’ sense of community.

“I think the coolest thing about Twitch for us was just how amazing it was that we are able to provide this home for so many people online,” Mikey continued. “There’s only so much interactivity that you can have via other social media like Instagram and Facebook. They can engage with the artist personally, but there’s no sense of community there because they can’t really engage with each other. It was such an unexplainable way of DJing. There's a really deep connection that was made when I was playing music every Wednesday. It really was like we were together alone. It was incredible.”

According to Mikey, many dance music fans discovered their love for dance music during the pandemic. They stumbled upon Desert Hearts’ Twitch streams by chance, which offered them a saving grace. “What’s crazy is we also came out of the pandemic bigger than we went into it,” he said. “That was bizarre, but I loved it.”

Apart from the virtual community found during the pandemic, one of Mikey’s favorite in-person moments occurred at a Lightning in a Bottle festival a few years ago.

“This woman came up to me and Lee Reynolds at Lightning In A Bottle a couple of years ago—a pregnant woman—and she just grabs our hands and puts our hands on her belly. And she goes ‘this baby was conceived at Desert Hearts festival.’ I've heard about Desert Hearts changing lives countless times. But never heard of Desert Hearts, creating life,” Mikey said.

Whether extending its home to dance music fans through virtual live streams or touching souls in person at festivals or parties, Desert Hearts continues to change lives while remaining true to its original mission: to spread love and acceptance through house, techno, and love itself.

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