For house and bbq fans everywhere the annual announcement of the Dirtybird BBQ sends the lovers of beats and meats flocking to grill spots all over the United States and for good reason too; the vibes the music and the food are just unmatched. So when the stops for the BBQ were announced earlier this year without an LA date fans in Southern California felt left out and disappointed…little did we know what Claude Von Stroke and Dirtybird had up their sleeves.
Last weekend four thousand campers arrived at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, California the former home of Lightning in a Bottle for the first ever Dirtybird Campout, which not only lived up to the lofty expectations but surpassed them in the dirtiest of birdie styles.
When we arrived Friday there was definitely something electric in the air, it’s as if you could feel how absolutely amazing the weekend was going to be before it even started, and it was contagious as huge smiles donned the campers’ faces and strangers quickly became the best of friends. We left our camp after meeting our neighbors to explore the lush campgrounds that held a plethora of camp activities including, a lake with rowboats, mini golf, volleyball and basketball courts, a kickball field, plenty of trees for tire swings, and tons of other camp activities. By the time we soaked it all in the kid inside of us was screaming to get out and leave all the troubles and stresses of adult life behind, and that’s exactly what we did.
Although this festival had much more than just music, Friday kicked the weekend off with a stacked line up. We arrived at the stage right as Sacha Robotti was wrapping things up and Mikey Lion took the stage. The man with the Top Hat from Desert Hearts definitely set the vibe with his brand of tech house and with Justin Jay following; I got serious case of Déjà vu from Desert Hearts last March. The Birdhouse stage closed for the first night in the most fitting way possible; a foot blistering set by Justin Martin, which left us absolutely drained from dancing all of the hour and half long set.
After the Birdhouse closed the action moved across the camp grounds to the Late Night Lodge, which was packed to the brim with people on stage. One of them being Claude VonStroke, equipped with a megaphone and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen grooving along with everyone else. The party continued throughout the night and into the early morning hours, and by the time the sun rose most people had gone to sleep. However, Christian Martin apparently missed the memo because he threw down one of the best sets of the weekend that only a handful of campers were there to see.
The camp activities were in full swing on Saturday as we caught glimpses of Mikey Lion playing mini golf, Claude and J. Philp playing water balloon toss and volleyball, Laura Jones making music in an onion, Justin Jay running around in lederhosen, and Justin Martin serving up pizza to hungry campers. The absolute best part of this festival was how much the artists wanted to interact with the campers. The walls that are created between artist and fan at other festivals were broken, and you got to have a festival experience with your favorite DJs.
Saturday’s line up followed up Friday’s in an epic fashion. Heavy hitters like Worthy and Genghis Clan kept the dance floor dirty during the day. Then an epic B2B set from Jesse Rose and Doorly set up the provocative sounds of Kill Frenzy. The Birdhouse closed in epic fashion with Claude himself. Of all the times I’ve seen him this was by far the best set he has ever played. You could feel how euphoric Claude was while he spun because of how much fun he had been having during the weekend , and he brought us all along for the ride.
Sunday brought the rain and saw some of the campers scurry home, but those who stayed were in high spirits and ready to get weird; they didn’t let a little water and mud ruin the good times. The night was capped off with an incredible set from J.Philp and a closing set from the entire Dirtybird Family which was the only fitting end for the memorable weekend. In a day where festivals are getting bigger and bigger Dirtybird and The Do Lab proved that bigger isn’t always better, and that one stage is the perfect number, and as my friend so eloquently said,
“I can party with my friends to some amazing music then go the back and have a beer and chill…what more could I want?”
Dirtybird campout stole my heart in more ways than one, and I can’t wait for next year.