In the same year Dirtybird celebrated its tenth anniversary, the renowned San Francisco record label decided to throw their own curated weekend of music, games and camaraderie. Having never been to summer camp, Dirtybird’s first festival was an opportunity to spend the weekend away from the parents, dabble in archery for the first time, and fall in love with camp counsellors; all while listening to some good ‘ole house music.
Dirtybird Campout was conceived by the label and assisted by seasoned party throwers The Do LaB who are best known for their dedicated stage at Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle. Having spent three days forming new childhood memories, Dirtybird could not have picked a better partner.
Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, California once again played host to a gathering of dance music fans young and old as The Do LaB continued their Woogie Weekend success. Dirtybird’s humble beginnings founding purveyor Claude VonStroke has always played to the lighter side of house music as evidenced by the Campout’s passionate attendants. The Dirtybird campers took King Claude’s words of wisdom from the Campout’s brochure to heart and “did the bird like no one was watching.” The campers’ level of participation, individuality, and overall openness were matched only by The Do LaB’s own faithful with their elaborate camps and festive attire. Even the Dirtybird artists got into the spirit, as all of them performed with uniforms reminiscent of the ones used by adolescent girls to hawk cookies each year. The music though did not take a backseat to the festivities. Some of Dirtybird’s most well-known artists threw down memorable sets, notably, Ardalan, Justin Martin, and J. Phlip. However, the late additions of Danny Daze and Samo Sound Boy brought diversity to a lineup already packed to the brim with talent. While Dirtybird provided the soundtrack and the loyal following, The Do LaB transformed Oak Canyon Park into The Dirtybird Camp, an adult summer camp complete with all of your old favorites.
From tug-of-war, dodge-ball, boat races, and even a s’mores pit, Dirtybird Campout sought to resurrect your fondest memories of camp and create a completely new experience. Both the main and after-hours stages looked as though they were plucked straight from one of Mark Twain’s novels as The Birdhouse and The Late Night Lodge resembled hand-made wooden cabins. As the centrepiece for the festival, The Birdhouse could not have been a better culmination of rave-meets-the-forest with its juxtaposition of natural wood, L.E.D. lights, and huge speaker stacks. It is no surprise that the “campgrounds” were also just impressive as the stage productions.
The Tree Fort Taproom provided all your libation needs for beer and wine while giving space for campers to chill and hangout. Native American styled Teepees housed arts and crafts activities where pseudo-hippies made tie-dye shirts and painted their faces.
With the help of a number of volunteers, campers got to rekindle their youth with potato sack races and a kick-ball tourney. Some even braved the stage themselves to participate in a talent show with Justin Martin and Claude VonStroke as guest judges.
When throwing a three-day festival might have scared other labels’ away, the Dirtybird family took on this ambitious task by summoning the help of veteran promoters The Do LaB and created a place to showcase the label’s community spirit and commitment to quality music. Dirtybird’s first campout proved that even the most mature adults can become kids for one weekend and that house music is the dance-along anthem we can all relate to.
(All Images Courtesy : Dirtybird Campout/Facebook)