As the occasional airplane engine rumbled in the nearby runway, revelers danced under the stars in a not-so-traditional dancefloor: a repurposed air museum. Guests attending the inaugural Desert Air Festival found themselves grooving to class acts from across the electronic dance scene surrounded by aircraft of a bygone era.
Curated by Goldenvoice, the aviation-themed festival is the natural successor of Splash House's after-hours events held at the Palm Springs Air Museum. As one of the most unique festival settings found anywhere around, the event leaned into the aeronautic theme, immersing attendees in everything flight-related.
Upon entering the event, a line of warplanes were proudly displayed, offering a rare, up-close glimpse of the storied jets. Across the way, two Instagram-ready photo ops commanded long lines for visitors eager to strike a pose. Massive hangars usually home to aircraft were retrofitted to house bars and VIP lounges for the weekend.
One of those planes, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, was the undisputed headliner of the weekend. Perched behind the DJ booth, shrouded by fog and surrounded by LED lights, the impressive jet hovered gloriously over the dancefloor.
Each evening, festival-goers were treated to an eclectic array of talent from all spectrums of dance music. On Friday, Chole Caillet and Patrick Holland treated early arrivals to their sounds, while Dixon and The Martinez Brothers (minus Steve), closed out the night.
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For adventure-seekers, Desert Air offered its Daytime Affairs, a collection of Saturday morning experiences. Meant to differentiate itself from other events, these activities highlighted six unique Palm Springs activities. These included rooftop yoga, wine tasting, guided hikes, architectural bike tours, and a ride on a warplane.
As day turned to night, the final collection of artists descended onto the air museum. Attendees were greeted by Mason Collective, Perel, and TSHA. Channel Tres entertained the crowd with his dance crew, while Moodymann mixed in the groovy sounds of disco during his set. Capping off the night were DJ Kose and South Korea's very own Peggy Gou, who gracefully wrapped up the first edition of Desert Air.
Ultimately, Desert Air succeeded in realizing its objective of converting its offshoot after-hours Splash House event into a full-fledged festival. Organizers found a balance between showcasing a diversified roster of electronic acts and utilizing a unique dance space to their full potential.