Category: PREviews / REviews

EDC Orlando 2015 Gives FUN A New Meaning

*written by Amanda Re of Women Of EDM for Electronica Life & photos by aLIVE coverage
Orlando, Florida’s Tinker Field was alive and thriving on November 6th & 7th, as Insomniac brought back Electric Daisy Carnival for the 5th consecutive year. 65,000 headliners and over 50 artists united in celebration of music and carnival-themed productions. The structures that made up kineticFIELD, circuitGROUNDS and neonGARDEN stages were designed impeccably with all the elements that you’d expect of a large scale festival. The costumed performers beautifully decorated the scene and entertained bright-eyed fans in between acts. Carnival rides and other appealing activities embellished the grounds as well.

Standing over 100 feet tall, the visual display of kineticFIELD represented Earth’s natural elements. A massive water feature, 400 light fixtures, 28 lasers, and 10 colored fire flames enhanced the experience. While the set’s smoke breathing dragon and yellow-eyed owl looked over the crowd, some of the world’s greatest talents played, such as Audien, Quintino, Carnage and Dannic. Kaskade’s closing set on Saturday was on another level, and my personal favorite overall.
The other two powerhouse stages were incredible with an artist line up that made the line to get in worth the wait! You couldn’t miss the golden Buddha sitting on the 245 LED tiles that adorned the neonGARDEN stage. Ferry Corsten, Venice, Cocodrills and Ben Gold lit up the crowd on this colorful structure. CircuitGROUNDS boasted acts like Seven Lions, Flux Pavilion, Slander and Crizzly, under an amazing canopy structure which enhanced the acoustics.

I also had the opportunity to spend some time with a few artists at the event. To make it interesting, I created a “Never Have I Ever” Interview Game. The strategy came through and even the managers, friends, and girlfriends all want to get in on the action. Adam and Pridef of Cocodrills are all about photobombing other artists.

With my partner in crime for the weekend Mary, we explained what man-scaping was to Crizzly. Ferry Corsten and Audien had fan experiences I could never have imagined. As did Flux Pavilion, who shared a story about a girl in Texas who jumped on stage and beat up one of his security guys.
After playing it safe for majority of the game, Jose Estrada caught us off guard by holding up the “I Have” card in response to, “Never have I ever performed a strip tease.” Quintino shared that his first time stage diving was with Hardwell five years ago in Holland. Seven Lions spoke about being humbled when meeting people with his name tattooed on them. Derek and Scott of Slander said, “I Have” to “Never have I ever rode a ride at EDC,” because every year they like to go on the Ferris wheel.

Like me, Jeremy from The Upbeats has the gift of gab. He played bartender for Mary and I, and had us cracking up with out of control stories. Gino and Alex from Venice shared streaking and booty call confessions. As anticipated, there was no shortage of entertaining moments while playing “Never Have I Ever.”

Carnival food, rides, and games were spread throughout the grounds of the festival. A giant size chess game and connect four board were available to play. One of the coolest things I saw was a large ball pit, the kind you see in a kids play area! Day two was when I finally got the chance to get on a carnival ride. My friend, Kaukuta aka Terra Ferma, co-founder of 90’s dance group, Union Jack, came with Mary and I on a ride that flipped upside down and spun in every direction. Kaukuta and I screamed in excitement from the second our safety bar locked, while Mary hated every moment, making it even more enjoyable for me.
It’s safe to say that Insomniac headliners get the award for most spirited! There’s no shortage of creativity for EDC attendees when it comes to costumes, signs, and fun totem poles. Kandi bracelets were passed around generously throughout the weekend, signifying the values of the dance music community. The spirit of the festival was contagious and you couldn’t help but smile the entire time. It felt as though the carnival atmosphere brought everyone back down memory lane to happy childhood-related time. The vim and vigor of the wildly interactive festival gave me an all-time record breaking adrenaline rush.

Every expectation I had for Insomniac was met and exceeded at a higher level than anticipated. I highly recommend if you haven’t experienced Electronic Daisy Carnival Orlando, that you put it on your immediate list of adventures to pursue.

Relentless Beats’ Global Dance Festival Helps Put Arizona On The Map

Arizona is not a state typically celebrated for it’s thriving electronic music scene. The scene has continued to evolve over the past few years, with companies such as Relentless Beats initiating the organization of events that pull excellent artists and create an enticing vibe. Global Dance Festival, a one day gathering in Chandler, Arizona on Friday November 20, is set to turn up the volume at Rawhide Western Town & Event Center.

The festival returns for it’s second year with artists such as Big Gigantic, Cashmere Cat, Deorro, Gener8ion, Gesaffeistein, Marshmello, Mija, Nghtmre, RL Grime, SBCR, Sweater Beats, Totally Extinct Dinosaurs and more.

General Admission passes are available for $59. VIP passes, with preferred main stage viewing area, bottle service, restrooms and separate entrance are available starting at $89. Tickets will be available online at Global Dance Festival is an 18 and over event.

The Affinity With Love At Desert Hearts 3 Year Anniversary

*written by Crystal Garcia & photos by Lizzie Rose for Electronica Life

From November 5th- 9th at the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, off the grid and deep into the desert between San Diego and Palm Springs, something magical happened. A few thousand eccentric souls braved freezing temperatures to gather in the name of House, Techno and Love for the Desert Hearts Three Year Anniversary event. I could probably write a novel as to the reasons why Desert Hearts festival has that special and unique vibe that makes it stand apart from the rest, but for the sake of time and sanity, here are just a few of the many reasons that truly resonated with me throughout the weekend.


Those Warm and Fuzzy Dancefloor Vibes

It was COLD. I can’t even describe how cold it really was for this native California girl. At one point I literally couldn’t feel my toes, and wanted nothing more than to be snuggled in my warm and cozy bed at home. As cold as it was, all this changed once I got my freezing ass down to the dancefloor. The vibe on that dancefloor was so overly welcoming and warm, that the freezing temperatures at night literally helped create it. Everyone was cold, but opted to embrace in each other’s company rather than freeze alone. Sure body heat ups the temperature of surroundings to a certain degree and it most definitely helped warm things up, but I do believe the vibe was at just the right setting to warm up even the coldest soul.

100 Hours Of Non-stop Music

Say Whattt? Yes, you read that correctly. From Thursday at 12 pm to Monday at 4pm, the music continued and never stopped. The music was on point the entire weekend with some of the best DJ’s in today’s house and techno scene. Berlin techno pioneers Andreas Henneberg and Marc Houle ruled the dancefloor, while Dirtybird maestros J. Phlip and Claude Von Stroke brought the crowds out on Saturday night.

Of course the boys of Desert Hearts each had their respective times on the decks throughout the weekend. Deep Jesus played a 6 am set on Sunday morning that I could hear from my campsite. The beats were just too good to sleep through, which caused me to immediately jump out of bed and head straight to the dancefloor with champagne and orange juice in my hand. It was Sunday after all and I was more than ready for mimosas and Sunday Funday. even if that meant starting the party at the crack of dawn.

The Cheese and French Toast Effect

On Saturday a wine and cheese party took place in the middle of the dancefloor. On Sunday Morning, a full fledged French toast station with all the fixings was set up on the side of the dance floor, which I must say perfectly complemented my Sunday morning Mimosas. I later spotted a grilled cheese station on Sunday afternoon and was absolutely amazed considering my champagne drunk munchies and nagging grilled cheese craving. Not only did a group of people work together to set up each of these and donate their time to make it happen, but the part was that it was FREE. What other festival would you find this at? I can’t think of any, so please let me know if you do.

“Sooo Good!”

“Sooo good” seemed to be the recurring theme of the weekend. When I asked people how their weekend was going, many could only reply with the words “sooo good!”

How was the music? “Sooo good!”

How was the food? “Sooo good!”

What was the vibe like? “Sooo good!”

Even after the festival was over and I stopped for (yet another) grilled cheese from In-N-Out on the way home, I asked a couple in line how their Desert Hearts experience turned out, their simultaneous response? You guessed it, “Sooo good!”

The People and The LOVE

Until my first Desert Hearts festival, I always thought it was an interesting concept to base a festival off not just music, but also love. It’s safe to say that I didn’t quite understand it, that is..until now. The people at Desert Hearts create the love, and the love creates the people of Desert Hearts. The people and the LOVE literally just vibe off each other, creating the ideal festival atmosphere that must be felt to be experienced. I’ve been to my fair share of festivals over the years, but I’ve honestly never in my life felt the mass amount of love and acceptance that I experienced this weekend.

This love realization came full circle on Monday afternoon as the Desert Hearts crew closed out the weekend together on the one and only stage. With tears in their eyes, Mikey Lion, Porkchop, Marbs, Deep Jesus and Lee Reynolds each took to the mic to thank everyone in attendance for an incredible weekend. In these moments, I felt and witnessed the love reverberate throughout the dancefloor as the guys each went around giving love and hugs to each person in the crowd. Next thing I knew, I had tears of happiness and satisfaction streaming across my face as well.

I finally understood the effects that a movement based in love can create, and why the perceptions we may have of ourselves and others don’t matter… because in the end, We Are All Desert Hearts. <3

When asked to describe their festival experience in three words or less, here’s what a few attendees had to say. Read up on the effects of the Desert Hearts lessons in House, Techno and Love, and we’ll see you at the Spring edition of DH!

Paris S.- Revival.Passion.Divinity.

Tori C.- “Found My Heart”

Mariah S.- Satiating.Prismatic.Playground.

Kally R.- “Arctic Hearts”

Amy M.- Super.Trippy.Fancy.

Jeanie M.- “Expansive Love Platform”

Scott S. – “Too Much Love”

Dara R.- “That Lineup Tho”

Kristi N.- Magic.Beauty.Love.

Phoenix R.- “Connected The Dots”

Jordan M.- “Good Vibes Everywhere”

Jimmy L.- Love. Serve. Remember.

Karen C.- “Best Friends Forever”

–> Desert Hearts 3 Year Anniversary photo album here <–


Wonderfruit Festival’s First Line-Up Wave Bursts With Electronic Sounds

*written by Jacqueline Khoury for Electronica Life

After last year’s well-reviewed inauguration, the now globally recognized 4-day “Celebration of the Arts,” Wonderfruit Festival is coming back for a second year this December 18th-20th, in Pattaya, Thailand. Festival-goers from around the world have heard of this one-year old festival, and it has already been named “Asia’s best new festival,” ranking it with the top in its class. Wonderfruit is here to stay and this is great news for expats like me, who need our festival fix. Scratch & Secret Productions, the group behind Wilderness Festival in the UK, wanted to bring this interconnected community vibe to Thailand. With strong influences stemming from the Burning Man community in Nevada, USA, the guided principles of “Leave No Trace Behind” and “Radical Self-Expression” are felt at its core. This year the festival is going a step further and is working on an art car or “mutant vehicle” that will be themed with collaborative influences from the community.

Currently, the festival has only posted the first wave of musicians, but for electronic lovers, the list is already packed with talent from around the world. The Faint (U.S.), German producer Dapayk Solo, The Iy_Project (U.K.), Mikail (Philippines), Howie B (U.K.), and Polycat (Thailand), are just some of the electronic groups that have already been listed, giving this year’s vibe a deep house, and minimalistic techno touch. I am already anticipating some very magical sunrise sets at the interactive Solar Stage, designed by the legendary studio Vita Motus.

Just as the top festivals in the world do, Wonderfruit offers more than just music; it’s a transformational community centered on art, self-expression, sustainability and personal growth. Connecting with the community and focusing on self-discovery and inner-awakening are at the core of these festivals, and every aspect is a learning experience. I cannot wait to dance the night away with an amazing community that stretches across the globe.

Tickets & more info:

YOUtopia 2015: Magic on the Mountaintop

*written and reviewed by Kari Tervo for Electronica Life

Was it a party? Was it a delusion? I don’t even know.

What I do know is that YOUtopia 2015 was a Burning Man regional event held from October 15-18 at the La Jolla Indian Reservation, in the mountains near San Diego. Secure with that knowledge, and wristband tightened, I set out to describe YOUtopia from the perspective of a first-time participant. I had it all planned out—I even marked myself up a schedule in the event guide! The theme was “Robots and Dinosaurs YOUnite!” So, I expected to see many dinosaurs and robots. And I did.

But now that I have been there, and now that I understand, how am I supposed to describe this thing I am supposed to describe when I can’t even describe it?

Well, let’s start here, at the beginning, and maybe by the end, you’ll understand.

My boyfriend Matt and I arrived at the La Jolla Indian Reservation on Thursday afternoon. We walked towards two people sitting at a table in the middle of our home for the next several days: Camp H.A.W.T. Wheelz, a theme camp for people with mobility limitations (which I have after being hit by a car a few years ago—don’t text and drive, kids!). I was really grateful for Dimples and Marty, who we had never met before, for including us in their camp. Dimples wasn’t there at the time, but campmates Marty and Whatever were there to greet us.

Marty said hello and gave us a hug. We sat down to chat and get to know one another. The talk turned to playa names (a playa name is like. . .an essence of you). Marty talked about how “Marty” seems to be the perfect name that sticks for him, and Whatever told us how his playa name is great for him because he’s up for “whatever.”

“What’s your playa name?” they asked. “I don’t have one,” I told them. “But I’d like to leave here with one.”

With that, I set an intention, and so it began, the magic of YOUtopia. Which I am not entirely sure was not just a mass hallucination.

I still can’t figure out what it is. I do know that YOUtopia is not a party. But at the same time, YOUtopia is a party. Let me tell you about some party things first, because that might excite you. But after you get your rocks off, you have to stick around for the woo-woo stuff and a coupla hugs. Okay, promise? Okay, here we go:


-DANCE DANCE DANCE! There were electronic beats bumping at all hours, wherever you went. You want to dance at 3:30 in the morning? Okay, just wander around and find a sound camp. Or, head to the outrageously awesome Triptych stage and bounce around. I also heard about a couch that played music. This is a literal quote from our shuttle driver: “Yeah, that sound camp wasn’t playing stuff I liked, so I just went back to the couch. The couch was playing better music.”

-You want a drink? Well, just belly up to one of the many open bars around the place, put your (self-acquired) cup on the bar, and pull a Bruno Mars: Fill my cup, put some liquor in it! Okay, no, probably don’t actually say that, but you will get the urge. Tip your bartender in compliments and what have you (but cash is not welcome here).

-There was this robot, and its keeper would have it hold a board. Then, the keeper would teach you how to. . .KARATE CHOP THE BOARD IN HALF! Yes, I freaking karate chopped a board in half. It was more than amazing.

-You could watch a blacksmith melt metal and hammer it into shapes on an anvil!

-If you wanted to chill, you could lay down in the Kelp Garden, where pastel gossamer strands would sway in the breeze and pet you.

-It’s a gifting economy, so people—total strangers sometimes!–would just. . .give you stuff. Melon balls, bandanas, fancy Spanish cheese, fondue (both cheese and chocolate!), pink lemonade vodka, kitty cat earrings. . . I gifted “be your own subculture” buttons and sandwiches (shredded beef and cheese in a pita or bacon/turkey/cheese on a croissant). There is no better feeling than when someone is really jazzed about your gift.

-There was karaoke at the Xara Sports Lounge! Everyone was really good. This guy did a version of Killing Me Softly that turned into an improvised beat-box/call-and-response thing, and the whole crowd was so fired up and excited! It was totally pro, so talk about gifting us. Then. . .it was my turn, and I am but a wee amateur. But! I think I did a pretty good “Jump Around.” Jump up jump up and get down!

-You need a break from all this amazingness? Just chill in your tent for a while and read for a little bit, like I did on Friday night. During my time alone, I thought, “What would I want my playa name to be?” I pondered for only about half a second before deciding, “Oh YES. That is what I would want my playa name to be. That is it.” And then I didn’t tell anyone, even Matt, who was snoring softly next to me. I just waited. I knew it was going to happen. Because YOUtopia isn’t really a party—it’s magic.


Well, first, didja know: The ONLY reason we were at YOUtopia was because we wanted a do-over after we spent much of our time at Woogie Weekend in July trying not to let our camp float away in flash floods. We bought tickets to DirtyBird Campout, but then Matt remembered his cousin was getting married that weekend. . .so. . .YOUtopia it was! And it was this weird confluence of flash flooding and forgetfulness and me being hit by a car in 2012 that put us in the exact place we were supposed to be that weekend. That’s magic.

There was an earthquake on Thursday night, a brief but intense JOLT! We felt it in our feet, and it knocked apart a balancing-rock sculpture that Charlie On The Spot had contributed to our camp (he later re-balanced it). That jolt set the whole mountain on a new axis, and prepared us to open our minds to what was to come.

Friday night, Matt and I headed out with Sammy, a fellow H.A.W.T. Wheelz camper. We had soooo much fun chilling and dancing, and Sammy knew everyone. It was like walking around with a celebrity. Though we just met Sammy the day before, we all definitely felt we were of the same tribe. I’m sorry I crashed early (“just gimme ten minutes,” I mumbled) and missed out on even more Friday night frivolities, because I know there was more magic waiting (and here is where I’d like to throw in a THANK YOU to YOUtopia, Marty, and Dimples for arranging a shuttle for people with mobility limitations—it helped A LOT).

Saturday morning, a woman came to our camp and asked if she could use our camp stove. Of course, we said. Have at it. We got to talking, and we just connected immediately, in this honest and loving and totally weird way. Hummingbird (that’s her playa name) and I chilled and talked periodically throughout the day. It was a great connection, and. . .well, you’ll see.

Matt and I went up to the Fire Hoes bar for some random chatting and drinks, but it wasn’t until we climbed the hill that Matt realized he forgot his cup. He ran back down the hill to get it (there was no way my back could take that hill again), and I was left alone. I turned and saw a woman in a shiny robot dress; the dress said HELLO. So I said hello. And I realized the wearer of the dress was a Facebook friend I had never met before in real life! So we had some fun connection and conversation. At one point, she pointed to an inflatable dinosaur in some sort of congress with a robot. I went to take a photo, and realized that this display was right in front of the tent of a friend I haven’t seen for almost two years! MAGIC. MAJOR MAGIC.
robot and dinosaur
And in the meantime, by the way, if you want to talk about magic: Try the feeling of family and safety you have when a group of people you have never met before (Camp H.A.W.T. Wheelz and my neighbors, now totally my peeps) instantly love and accept you. It was like nothing I have ever felt before, and I am so glad to have met those amazing people.

And one of those amazing people was Hummingbird. Later, on Saturday night, a bunch of us headed out towards adventure. But Hummingbird and I kept slowing down the group because we kept stopping to yammer at each other about any and all sorts of topics. “Come on, you guys,” Sammy encouraged us forward.

But we had to stop one more time. Because Hummingbird, this chick I had just met that morning, had important business to conduct:

“I have a playa name for you,” she said.

I was nervous. We hadn’t even talked about playa names; I didn’t even know she knew I didn’t have one.

“If you will accept it,” she continued.

I nodded, shaking a little in anticipation. Was this really happening? This couldn’t be real—it was just a silly little intention I set, and. . .now it was happening? No.

But Hummingbird continued, looking at me intensely: “Your playa name. . .if you will accept it. . .is. . .”

And my knees were shaking and my eyes were wide! How could this be real?

And then Hummingbird conferred upon me, like a queen dubbing a knight, my playa name:

“Your playa name is. . .BLUE.”

And omg you guys, omg! I almost freaking passed out. Because that name I had conjured up there in the tent that night, that name I just knew belonged to me, was. . .BLUE! That was exactly the name I wanted, and this person I had just met that morning just knew.

And I felt different somehow, now, as Blue. I was elated.

And the magic doesn’t end there. There was talking and hugging and gifting and stopping to gawk at a giant steel giraffe robot lit bright with colorful LEDs. And then it was time for Matt and I to have some chill time together, so we sat on a rock by a stage and talked for nearly four hours.
temple detail
By the time we decided to go back to camp, it was five in the morning, and we were far from home. We struggled to find our way back through the hills in the dark. But, we weren’t worried as we walked along the paths in a quiet connectedness. There we were, lost in a makeshift city on a mountaintop, and found in this magical enterprise of community and love.

And that was just my experience. There were 3,000 other people there, amidst in all this, with their own experiences to share. It is magical, but it’s not a delusion. YOUtopia is real.


Love, Blue.

*Kari Tervo is a karaoke singer and writer who lives in Los Angeles.

EDC Orlando 2015 Returns To Tinker Field For The 5th Installment

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November 6 & 7 marks the 5th year Electric Daisy Carnival brings its massive production to Orlando, Florida.  The artists announced are among those of the most talented in the world.  Familiar favorites grace the lineup, such as Armin Van Buuren, Kaskade, Tiesto and Ferry Corsten.  Green Velvet, Claude Vonstroke, Bassrush Experience, and Armanni Edge return for more action.  Alison Wonderland stands out the most, as this Aussie lady has been peaking interest among everyone in the EDM community.

The Kinetic Field stage will host a broad range of genres and artists for both days of the event.  Circuit Grounds will provide a retreat for the bass lovers on Friday and a trendy mix of trap, hip hop, and dubstep on Saturday.  Trance will be the Neon Garden theme on Friday, and Saturday this stage will represent dirtier underground sounds.  You’ll find iconic carnival rides spread throughout the festival grounds, as the Ferris wheel is always a favorite, boasting the best views while at the top. 

Bridging the gap between reality and fantasy is the art installations EDC is best known for.  Interactive 3D sculptures and creatures will dazzle imaginations with their glow-in-the-dark effects.  LED-infused creations define the character of the 2 day experience.  The festival’s own performers, Funkdafied Freaks, create a whimsical euphoria for attendees.  Their costumes alone set the standard for creativity.  Insomniac truly produces the most imaginative events where YOU are the Headliners.  “Dance, dream and have the time of your life,” is invite the company extends to all.  

For tickets & more info, visit:
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Desert Hearts Invites You To Their 3rd Family Reunion Nov. 5th-9th

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Bringing the 2015 festival circuit to a close, Desert Hearts is celebrating its third year in Southern California from November 5th-9th. With the recent release of their lineup, the late-season festival truly has people buzzing with excitement. Not only a highly anticipated event, Desert Hearts has grown into a full-blown community representing the love and beauty of the festival experience. Taking place at the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation in Southern California, the weekend promises to host 100 hours of nonstop House, Techno, & Love.

 Desert Hearts presents its best lineup yet, featuring heavy hitters such as Doc Martin, Claude Vonstroke, Mark Henning, Tara Brooks, and J Phlip. Desert Hearts artists Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Pork Chop, Marbs, and Deep Jesus rally hometown support and complete what is gearing up to be an incredible weekend of sound. Workshops, a healing area, and live art promises to create a diverse and colorful experience for festival-goers.

 Much of the seductive appeal and intrigue of Desert Hearts comes from the reputation the community has built as a family and culture. As the Desert Hearts crew explains, “As our family grows, it becomes more clear that our purpose is a cosmic, universal based movement to spread love through music and community.”

Tickets are available at

 House, Techno, & Love… We Are All Desert Hearts ♥

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Birds Of A Feather Flock Together At Dirtybird Campout

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Words by Crystal Garcia (

Photos by Wobsarazzi (

Over the course of three exuberantly fun filled days this past weekend, the Dirtybird records crew invaded Oak Canyon Ranch Park in Silverado, CA for the introductory “Dirtybird Campout” three day festival. After many successful runs of their Dirtybird BBQ event across America, it was only a matter of time before the infamously branded music label stepped up their game and took it to the next level. Alas Dirtybird Campout was born, and I know I speak for every person that was in attendance, when I say thank you baby Jesus times a bazillion for the birth of Dirtybird.

If you weren’t there (I’m very sorry for you) you may be wondering what made this particular festival stand out compared to the hordes of other electronic music festivals that currently take place every year. If you were lucky enough to attend, well then you already know and probably have a huge grin across your face reminiscing on the weekend, as do I right now. 😀

So without further ado, let me break it down for you…

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Many popular festivals these days claim to offer a camping experience, but how many are actually a “campout?” Everything from rowboats to archery, water balloon toss to badminton, slip & slide to nature hikes, were offered to campers to occupy the days. At night,  Campfire smore’s along with storytelling and sing-a-longs were offered to satisfy those late night munchies. For those campers that never attended summer camp as a kid, it’s safe to say this was the next best thing.




Justin Martin spent an hour of the first day hanging out at the pizza “doughlab” stand taking photos with fans and offering slices of pizza to pose with. The Dirtybird DJ’s WERE the camp counselors. Dirtybird founder Claude Von Stroke and the gang spent their days hanging out and playing activities with campers. The Dirtybird crew was more than willing to take photos with each and every fan that asked them for a photo. Really though, does it get any more welcoming and humble than this?  It’s obvious that the Dirtybirds don’t take themselves too seriously, and that speaks volumes for their success.





These are the exact words I was asked on the first night from a fella dancing next to me during Desert Hearts crewmember Mikey Lion’s set at the Birdhouse stage, followed by “ let’s smoke some weed.” Granted the fact this guy was probably high as a kite and his mind was most likely wandering somewhere in between planets Jupiter and Saturn, he said it with such enthusiasm that I couldn’t have denied how much fun I really was having even if I tried.

Mikey’s set was followed by Dirtybird member Justin Jay, who unleashed one of the most versatile performances I’ve ever witnessed. Justin opened with a few early 90’s classics remixes, played a few of his signature Dirtybird tracks such as “Raindance,” and for the last half of the set, a live vocalist Josh Taylor and guitarist Ben Glasser performed at least six original tracks with Justin in one of the most memorable performances of the weekend. I remember thinking that those moments would be the highlight of my campout, and they most definitely were!

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While of course Dirtybird is one of the leading techno/house labels in the industry today, it was wildly refreshing to see the crew out of their element for a bit during the late night after hours. Once the Birdstage festivities were over at 2 am on the second night and the crowds migrated to the late night lodge stage, Lunice opened with a few heavy hip-hop and trap tracks to the disapproval of a man with a British accent who’s name I don’t recall,  took it upon himself to voice his upset that he “paid to hear electronic music, not this crap.” The Brit had just given me bubble soap for my bubble wand, so I felt it only courteous of me to hear his rant. I heard him out, advised for him not to take life so seriously, blew him a bubble and sent him on his merry way. After this encounter, I’ve realized a bubble and some love is all that a techno snob really needs to appease those attention cravings.

Eprom and Nosaj Thing each followed with sets of epic proportions, with Nosaj Thing closing out with a beautiful old school rendition of Outkast’s “I Think I’m In Love Again.” Papa Claude was next to hit the decks, unleashing his own twist to his usual sets by adding a few trap tracks to the mix. Brothers Justin and Christian Martin lead campers into the wee hours of the morning with a liquid drum & bass B2B, that was literally “liquid” as the predicted rain started to pour down. The rain may have put a damper on things, but the crowd still went strong until the closing of the stage at 7 am.  I couldn’t help but to laugh my way back to camp at sunrise as I was thinking about my poor British friend and how horrified he must have been that even the head Dirtybird’s had dared to play anything outside of house and techno. Well all I gotta say is, Hallelujah Dirtybird!

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It’s without a doubt that all of these elements combined made Dirtybird Campout what it was, and also what it wasn’t. Dirtybird wasn’t pretending to be yet another spiritual, transformational festival providing tarot reading and crystal healing workshops, just to give an experience. They stuck to their foundation and what they know, and did a damn good job at it. They provided an intimate setting and environment for 4,000 of their friends to come together to share good vibes and great music in each other’s company, and it was a recipe for festival success. It’s said that when like minded people come together, amazing outcomes will result.  As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together,” and Dirtybird Campout was most definitely a living testament to the validity of this!

Connect with Dirtybird:




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Help Jose “Crazy Legs” Perales Soar To New Heights


Interview by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life ( )

You might remember Jose Perales aka “Crazy Legs Jose,” as the loveable and kind dance music fan bound to a wheelchair, from the EDC documentary “Under The Electric Sky.” Or you may also recognize him in photos from events as the guy in the wheelchair lifted up by the crowd, with a smile beaming across his face and pure joy radiating from his appearance. I remember watching Jose on the movie theater big screen absolutely enthralled by his passion for life and love for the electronic dance music scene. I’ve met Jose in person as well, and he was everything I expected him to be. A kind, courteous, and social fellow dance music fan.

I recently came across a Go Fund me Campaign that Jose started for himself in an effort to make his dreams come true, literally. As soon as I finished reading the campaign page, I knew that I had to help and I hope you feel the same. I’m a strong believer in leveraging the power of dance music and the community for the good of humanity. If together we can make a dream come true for someone who is not only truly deserving of it but also hopes to use his influence to help others, well then what are we waiting for? If the EDM scene and culture means anything to you, if it has changed your life for the better in any way, then please give back by taking the time to read Jose’s campaign page and our interview with him below.

“The music and this scene have literally pulled me out of the darkness and into the light.” – Jose Perales


Help Jose Soar To Greater Heights Here


Crystal: I understand that you’re hoping to raise the money from your go fund me page for DJ equipment.  Can you tell us a bit about what or who has inspired you to produce electronic music?

Jose: Back in 2013, during WMC in Miami there was a woman who recognized me at Kyau & Albert’s Nights Awake Album Tour. We were talking for a bit and she asked me what career I was planning to pursue. At the time, I wanted to become an anesthesiologist but she advised me to follow my passion for music. She was the one who sparked a little flame inside of me, and for that I thank her. Along the way, the love and feedback from people in the community and the industry has only assured me that I’m heading upon the right path.

Crystal: What level do you hope/dream of taking your potential DJ career to?

Jose: In all honesty, I’m not shooting to become #1 in anything, I don’t care for all that. I just want to be a master at my craft and leaving something great behind for the world. Sometime down the line I would like to start up my own record label and run my own weekly radio broadcast, if the opportunity comes. I’m really not focused or concerned about tomorrow. I’m a day by day kind of person, all I have is right now, and I believe whatever is meant to come around, will when the time is right.

Crystal: In your go fund me campaign page you stated “ I’m currently pursuing a dream. A dream to produce my own sound. To put my own frequency out into the world to help people cope with their own struggle.” Can you explain a bit more about what you consider your sound and frequency to be?

Jose: I’m a very compassionate person with everyone around me. I’m someone who doesn’t give up, I’d like to say I have a lot of inner strength. When I have loved ones who are struggling with personal issues, I’m usually the first one they come to for support, to pull them up and out of their darkness. I can’t believe that I’m saying this here but I’ve even heard that Markus Schulz has referred me as “a light at the end of a dark tunnel”. Compress all that together and you’ll have my frequency. Now as far as my sound, time will tell, I have some work to do first.   

Crystal: Can you shed a little light to our readers on how you became paraplegic?

Jose: Growing up as a kid, I dealt with a huge amount of back pain. At the time, doctors couldn’t figure out the cause of my pain. After a couple of years I started limping, and my step-mother caught on. She was the one who realized that I had scoliosis. Some have asked me before if my doctors had provided me with a brace, and the answer is yes. The thing is, I never wore it properly as instructed. I couldn’t deal with the feeling of limited breathing nor the jokes people made towards me about my brace and how I looked in it. By the time I was 15 years old in 2006, my spinal curvature grew about to 90 degrees. At that point, doctors insisted I wore another brace or went on with a rod placement surgery. Of course, knowing myself I wasn’t going to wear another brace, so I decided to go along with the surgery. I knew the risks but still went ahead with my decision. The corrective surgery lasted about 18 hours with about two or three blood transfusions and it reduced my curvature by 20 to 30 degrees. I’m not sure if it was the pressure from the rods they placed inside me that damaged my spinal cord, or if it was the disks they removed from my spine to be filled with bone that caused me to become paraplegic. Right now, I’m just happy to be able to be able to breathe on my own still.

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Crystal: When did you first discover the EDM scene and how did it happen?

Jose: I first started listening to dance music back in 2008 or 2009. It may sound a little corny to say, but  it was everything that I was looking for at the time. I was tired of messages that most hip-hop & rap artists were pushing in lyrics, it was really gray to me and from that point on I started listening  to dance music. It wasn’t until Beyond Wonderland in 2010 that I first discovered the scene, and it was my first event with a few cousins. They told me I was going to love it but I was quite actually a little overwhelmed at first, it was uncharted territory and I was a little intimidated by the size of the event. But by EDC 2010 I felt pretty comfortable, and fell in love with the whole ideology of unity and love.

Crystal: To what degree has your life changed since you’ve become a part of the scene?

Jose: Honestly, this scene has changed my life in a really positive way! It has taught me to appreciate my life and look forward to tomorrow. How so? I appreciate my time at music festivals, I live in the moment and have fun with it. Once it’s over, I focus on the next event and work on doing what I have to do to enjoy the next one. I brought that mindset back home with me and started incorporating it into my own life outside of music festivals. The music and this scene have literally pulled me out of the darkness and into the light.

Crystal: You’ve become quite notorious in photos as the guy in a wheelchair at events lifted into the air by the crowd, with a look of pure bliss beaming from your face. Which event was the first photo taken at, and how have these photos impacted your life?

Jose: You just actually brought back great memories for me…haha The first photo was actually captured at Ultra Music Festival in Miami back in 2011. It was during Armin Van Buuren’s set at ASOT500. Damn I really miss that event..haha. Each and every single photo that makes it back to me brings me joy. They show me that someone out there in the crowd found that moment in time as something great. It impacts me in a way that I know I’m doing something great just by being myself, getting out there, and following my passion for music.

Crystal: Anything else you would like the world to know about you and your mission? :)

Jose: I think I’ve said enough :) :

Connect with Jose “Crazy Legs” Perales:




A Symbiosis Gathering Sunrise

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Symbiosis Gathering 2015 in Northern California celebrated it’s ten year anniversary over the weekend. While people attended for it’s diverse and expansive lineup, many conscious workshops, and incredible scenery- by far the most talked about instance of the weekend was Sunday morning’s sunrise set. Rumors circulated of a secret Tipper set, as stacks of funktion one speakers were set up in a nook of the venue creating an intimate tidepool of sunrise lovey dovey feels.

The cold air slowly warmed and muscles started to loosen. Colors began bleeding over the horizon as the sun’s procession slowly crept over the lake. Silhouettes stretched and danced and livened in front of me as Tipper began his set.

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As the daylight began to cancel out the darkness, faces became familiar once more and the glow of excitement emanated brighter and brighter. I always describe sunrise as a guaranteed second wind… the crisp air kisses your neck and you start to gain a new revitalized energy from the sun’s Vitamin D.

Everything about this sunrise screamed of warmth, physically and vibrationally. Symbiosis’s grounds, that were just barren and dark an hour earlier, began to develop a heartbeat once more. Pulsing with life, the bloodstream at the middle of the crowd moved with the music while the surrounding cells talked and watched the sunrise. An out of body experience that left me feeling detached from anything other than that moment, walking around with my camera observing this niched world around me left me filled with so much love and energy radiating from my heart. 

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The coolest part of this sunrise, is that I was able to move around and observe the memories being made in front of me. Untethered and free, I fluttered from group to group, area to area, waltzing through moments as they happened live. I felt like everyone was in orbit as I circled through the crowd gravitating to so many beautiful people. 

Words that come to mind when I think of Symbiosis are expression, compassion, and liberation. Freedom to unapologetically radiate your essence and realize that your version of “different” is probably incredibly compatible with someone else’s version of “different.”

Thank You Symbiosis Gathering- I will definitely be returning for another sunrise someday. 

With all our love,

Lizzie & the Electronica Life Team 

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