Feature photo: Juliana Bernstein / Get Tiny
With the Dirtybird vibes in abundance it was obvious that Campout 2016 had you in for a kick ass time drowning in Booty House and hypnotizing four on the floor beats. If that’s not Dirtybird in a nutshell, then I don’t know what is.
This time around the Dirtybird crew was celebrating their 2nd annual Campout at the luscious Oak Canyon Park with a sold out edition featuring the likes of Papa Bird (Claude Vonstroke), Green Velvet, Sacha Robotti, Justin Martin, Kill Frenzy, J. Phlip, and a handful of Dirtybird favorites. Just like the first run, Do Lab stepped in and serenaded the festival grounds with their one of a kind art installments and Do Lab feels that transcended the fest far beyond the typical musical experience.
Dirtybird Campout is not a music festival. It’s a camping experience that allows fans to connect with the artists on a personal level creating a fresh new take on what we know as music festivals today. Music is simply the added bonus. It’s not everyday you get to play summer camp games with your favorite artists but this year I found myself playing Dodge ball with Claude himself yet again making for a humbling but adrenaline pumping game.
Yellow, orange, red, green, and purple teams took part in classic activities like tug of war and Frisbee football to name a few. The objective being to unify strangers meanwhile cultivating a Dirtybird community unlike any other. I like to think of it as a playground for adults but really it’s a playground for just about anyone who can enter the fest. If summer camp games are not your cup of tea rest assured that they had you covered. From daily morning yoga sessions to tie-dying and screen printing, bored is a word that simply could not exist in the presence of Campout.
One thing that stood out to me this year was the increase in “burners”. You know, the people who spend a few days out of the year at Burning Man in the depths of Black Rock City meanwhile half naked with face masks on traveling everywhere by means of a bike. Leather harnesses and holsters soared the campgrounds concocting a diverse set of music lovers that Campout has now become know for. It was pure magic seeing burners, ravers, casual festival goers and everyone else unite over one dance floor for 72+ hours of Booty House. There’s just nothing like it.
It’s a given that the music is going to be ace when you combine the sonic goodness of Dirtybird and the production value that Do Lab brings to the table. For relatively small fest-grounds they managed to build skyscraper vibes that are unmatched by any west-coast fests in the game today. You don’t need lasers and over the top LED walls to create a festival ambiance when you have the energy that everyone in attendance did. “You have to be there to fully understand it” type of deal.
There was a moment during Justin Martin’s set where he dropped the instrumental version of Rufus Du Sol’s “Innerbloom” and everyone in the crowd stopped to look at each other in awe as piercing white lights filled the background with a strobe effect. The melodic horns hit and you could feel the energy pick up. The kick drum began pulsing and everyone lost their shit. It’s not everyday you get to groove in harmony with thousands of others to the beat of one kick drum. For one moment in time nothing mattered except that fact that harmonious vibes soared across the festival allowing Campout to yet again imprint itself in people’s memories forever.
From trance like segments to those of rushing power, the musical lineup was on many spectrums this year. Mr. Carmack and and Machinedrum took Jersey Club and Trap to a whole new level on the Stx & Brx stage but not before Barclay Crenshaw (AKA Claude Vonstroke under his real name) dropped a Dnb set that filled you with life at nearly 5am.
All in all Dirtybird Campout is spearheading a new wave of [music] festivals that are appealing to a crowd of music lovers that are over being starry eyed by a 10 story tall stage with so many lasers you could drop dead from an epileptic attack. This is not about selling the most tickets to an event where all the DJ’s could literally play the exact same set. This is about stepping into a world like no other to be taken into the authentic realms of the Dirtybird lifestyle for the span of your stay. Welcome to the fly side.