Welcome back, Freaks! I have finally emerged from the festival recovery state overwhelmed with excitement and ready to share my epic experience from Dirtybird Campout West Coast. I’d like to start by saying that never have I ever (yes, I went there) been to an event like Dirtybird Campout. There were so many pieces of the puzzle I had never seen before. There are five very important components of the weekend I would like to share with you. So, without further ado, allow me to get in-depth with those for you.
The workshops were one part of the camp that is truly unique. There was something for everyone to do. Craftopia was a haven for those who like to express their creativity in the arts, or for those who wanted to learn to do so. On Sunday, I was nearing the end of my adventures and wanted to be alone to reflect on my experience. I ventured to Craftopia for friendship bracelet making. Once I got cozy on the rugs laid down for us to sit upon, I realized there was so much more for us than just bracelet making. Spread out onto the tables were various styles of coloring books, with boxes of pencils. I ended up getting lost in a book full of mandalas and patterns. Right as I was about to get up, I noticed spools of gimp hanging from the canopies. Gimp is what is used for the lanyards many of us used to create as children, typically resulting in a box shape. I gathered a few of those for later and went on my way. Over the course of the weekend, there were so many different workshops to indulge in, and looking back, I wish I participated in more of them. One that stood out to me was totem making. I met a girl who created a totem that had a box of animal crackers attached to the top of it- I definitely ate some.
2. Claude’s Cabin
Our fearless leader Barclay Crenshaw, otherwise known as Claude Vonstroke who is the founder of Dirtybird, created a place where you can get away from the music yet, still engage in camp activities. Claude’s Cabin was the hub for all sorts of entertainment. Everything from Speed Dating, a beatbox competition, Spelling Bee, Lap Dance for Your Life, and so many more! On early Friday and Saturday morning, there was even a movie playing; I missed it, as it played at 4 AM. If you chose to come for early arrival Thursday, the Silent Disco was after held at the cabin once the music on the other two stages shut off. Black V Neck was the artist I remember listening to the most. They are new to my ears and I was very thankful to be able to also catch them the next day!
3. The Music
Over the last year, my music journalism career has taken me all over, and to many festivals and shows. Like I mentioned above, I have never been somewhere like Dirtybird Campout. There was purely genuine quality to all the aspects that I fed off of. The stage setups were so simplistic, as to represent the knowledge that the artists chosen do not need any theatrics to accompany them. There were a couple of sets going down in my lifetime of memories. Jhené Aiko presented a beautiful performance that left me in tears. The soft nature of her voice and her choice of stage design was impeccable. The highly anticipated EPROM b2b Barclay Crenshaw set was extremely experimental and left me questioning what had just happened. I’ll never forget the intro of bendy sounds. My mind literally moved and curved with the drop of the beats. I am completely embarrassed to admit I had only seen Claude Vonstroke perform once before, but only briefly at EDC Las Vegas 2019. His set at Dirtybird Campout was unreal. My favorite was when he played his infamous upcoming release “Jolean” for us – what a treat! Finally, the last set on the main stage for the weekend was the Family Set. It doesn’t get better than seeing multiple badass artists back to back killing the stage. I had the great pleasure of sitting in an inflatable pool with a cozy black velvet blanket surrounded by glow sticks, courtesy of my lovely Canadian neighbors. I felt as though I had never heard anything like the music I heard that weekend. I definitely left Dirtybird Campout with a new playlist and a new set of favorite artists. I am looking forward to discovering more at future Dirtybird events.
4. The Swag
We all have our festival fashion which makes us unique. Some put in a lot of effort to get dressed up while others will roll around in the dirt for a couple of days without care. The campers of Dirtybird are a little bit of it all. There are signature camp shirts that resemble a Boy Scout uniform. Part of the Campout culture is to trade and acquire patches to sew or iron onto their shirts. It was a breath of fresh air to see how many people get involved in trading. Other than the camping shirts and the completely unique and quirky outfits, Dirtybird has an extremely dope merchandise selection. They literally have it all. Everything from socks, pins, jewelry, and two-piece matching jumpsuit sets. The designs are one of a kind, and I left wanting to buy the entire store.
5. Grillson’s BBQ
Camping can be a pain in the ass for many reasons. Lugging around food, and cooking or even knowing how much to bring is one of them in my opinion. Dirtybird Campout offers a BBQ twice daily. Had I made it there before the last day, I would have eaten it for every single meal! It is about $20 per meal, which you can purchase at the venue or before you arrive. Each comes with an entree plus 3 sides and a non-alcoholic drink. There are meat and vegetarian/vegan options as well. I chose for the rib plate that came with 3 ribs, a scoop of mac and cheese, coleslaw, and corn topped with a sprinkle of Hot Cheetos. I kid you not, I thought I was in heaven. I could have used a meal like that earlier in my adventures but, oh well, now I know! Without question, next year I will be buying tickets for the Grillson’s BBQ before I get to camp.
Hands down there are many more components of Dirtybird Campout that make it a uniquely special place, and somewhere I will cherish forever. Stay tuned for a future piece because I simply cannot get that weekend out of my head. In addition, I highly recommend checking out the Dirtybird Campout Spotify playlist to understand the beauty of the music that filled my ears.