What began as a mini-Lightning in a Bottle Festival, Woogie Weekend reiterated LIB’s core idea, which is ‘Leave it Better, Leave it Beautiful’. The Sherp discusses its inaugural edition that ended just last week.
Coming off another successful sold-out festival at Lightning in a Bottle this past May, The Do Lab decided to expand their lineup with another weekend of music, art, and community. This past weekend, Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, CA played host to the first ever Woogie Weekend. Now, as fans of Lightning in a Bottle know, the Woogie Stage which brings in a delightful number of house and techno acts has always been a crowd favourite. The Do LaB has gone ahead and made an entire festival out of it, featuring some incredible artists along with retaining the do-goodness of LIB.
The Sherp gives you a lowdown on how it went about!
Having been the location of three previous iterations of Lightning in a Bottle, Oak Canyon Park was a familiar environment for many attendants and proved to be the perfect setting for a smaller festival experience. With a number of notable underground acts booked, anticipation was high for thecaliber of music the Do LaB scheduled for the three-day festival. The two stages, The Beat Nest and The Hive, were a stone’s throw away from each other, which gave everyone a chance to catch their favorite artist.
One thing that stood out about Woogie Weekend were the scheduled two hour sets that allowed the DJs ample time to build a vibe and give the crowd a true journey. The music started at 4pm on Friday to little fanfare as many worker bees were not yet off and campers were still setting up or traveling to the festival. No problem though, as local Orange County house purveyors Nonfiction and Josh Billings of Focus OC warmed up a small but eager crowd. By the time Camea hit the decks, the sun had already began to set and a nice amount of people had gathered ready for a night of dancing with new and old friends.
The highlight of the night was most certainly Pig and Dan who brought their brand of pulsating techno to Oak Canyon’s grassy dance floors and ended their set with their hard-hitting single “Universal Love”. Over at The Hive, Adam Freeland culminated the night in proper old school fashion with some fevering acid house.
Saturday’s festivities began in true Do LaB style with an early noon set by Woogie veteran Pumpkin who peppered the crowd with remixes of classic dance hits. By the time Marques Wyatt donned the Beat Nest stage, the first signs of less than stellar weather began to arise as rain began to greet festival goers on the floor. But acts like Tara Brooks, progressive legend Nick Warren, J.Phlip, Desert Hearts made sure that the festival’s music scored big!
In order to prepare the audio equipment and combat the incoming aquatic onslaught, music at The Beat Nest stopped for several minutes as production crews hurried to protect the speaker stacks and subwoofers. For the next few hours, Woogie Weekend resembled a tropical climate with shattered showers coupled with humid temperatures. While most folk would cower in the face of uncomfortable weather, Woogie’s faithful embraced the elements and soon umbrellas and jackets appeared across the festival.
Where is the art, though?
Noticeably missing from the festival was the amount of art and immersive environments on display that characterizes Woogie’s bigger sister festival, Lightning in a Bottle. That is not to say that there was no art as the production throughout the grounds was very reminiscent of The Do LaB’s aesthetic if only minimal in nature.
The festival, as a whole
The Do LaB always attracts a high level of participation at their events and Woogie Weekend is no exception. The campgrounds came alive at night with many having set up their own all night parties. The Do LaB would not be outdone however as it announced that they would be having their own sanctioned after hours parties right outside the main festival grounds with some of California’s most well-known party crews including Music is 4 Lovers, As You Like It, Pocket, and Feral.
Woogie Weekend turned out to be much of the same for the Do LaB bringing together a non-stop party filled with friendly, inviting people of all ages and backgrounds. The festival aimed to take the electronic rhythms of Lightning in a Bottle’s treasured Woogie Stage and succeeded in creating their own haven for house and techno. Woogie Weekend proved that The Do LaB’s recipe for an engaging experience could work on a small scale with music at its forefront. Although a cameo from Mother Nature made conditions a little uncomfortable, no amount of rain could wash away the good feels and energy from both the artists and the people who came to see them.
(Words by: Dominic Dang. Images by: Sam Siam and Dominic Dang)