RECAP: Dirtybird Campout 2017

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Uhhh ummm uhhh…

We’re left with mostly guttural sounds after this year’s Dirtybird Campout and for all the right reasons (minus a possible upper respiratory infection). With so much happening all at once, if you looked down at your phone for a moment to see if you had service (spoiler alert: you don’t) you might just have missed something incredible. From the music to the games, the build-out, and the Dirtybirds in attendance riling everyone up, there were so many parts to the Campout that made every mile traveled to get there absolutely worth it.

In its third year running, Dirtybird has really nailed the overall concept and delivered more of a familial camp environment than a music festival atmosphere, creating an unparalleled experience. Dirtybird as a record label, with the Campout as its flagship event, has seen an impressive amount of organic growth to push the flock into their own tier of awesome. Campout translated what it is to be a part of something bigger than just a festival and provided a completely new adventure with each day set to the tune of some of the most skilled beat masters around.

Early Friday campers began piling into the campgrounds to find their prime locations to set up home for the weekend in what were arguably the dustiest conditions by campout standards yet.  For those in GA camping, it proved to be worthwhile to head as deep into the campsite as possible since it was a bit of a hike into the actual event itself.  Thankfully for those who didn’t care to make the trek, there was a shuttle in and out of the festival grounds, but if you were too proud of your personal space then it definitely wasn’t for you because people were herded on top of each other in the back of a truck. Regardless, most of us were there to get weird in the middle of a crowd in the mountains, so you probably didn’t join us at all if you don’t like bumping up on people.

By sundown on the first day of Campout, it had been made extremely clear to everyone, if they already weren’t aware: we were in for a weekend-long escapade of debauchery, weirdness, and dust. With every turning hour, the San Antonio Campgrounds and the beautiful creatures inhabiting for the weekend flocked together and got super freaky. How freaky, you ask?

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Assisted by DJ Deeon throwing bass in everyone’s faces, the party had taken full form and the tone had been fully set.  To follow suit, the homies Will Clarke and Kill Frenzy sling some raunchy and unreleased tunes that had even the most reserved attendees booty poppin. Pretty sure somewhere in the crowd an ass eating contest broke out and I might have even seen a dog twerking in the corner at one point. (insert boomerang) Then to think that things couldn’t get even wilder, the Dirtybird bossman Claude VonStroke took the stage to close out the night’s main performances with a set comprised of all new unreleased music that had the crowd buzzing for more. Indeed more was to come, as camp-goers migrated to the disco-driven late night Great Bingo Revival that ran till 4:30 am or later… who really knows?

To most, while the sun was out, Saturday may have seemed like a relatively “normal” day filled with yoga sessions, T-shirt making, arts and crafts, and a bit of exploring. “Normal” ended there, as Saturday turned out to be arguably the most bizarre odyssey of the weekend from start to finish.  Impressively, the creatures of camp headed out a bit early for this one and by around what I assumed to be 6 pm the party was in full rage mode for Cut Snake to show everyone how Australia gets down. Their set transformed the crowd into a pelvic thrusting and booty bumping bunch of animals-in-heat type of weird, perfectly transitioning into nightfall.

Saturday night was by no means for the faint of heart or overly sensitive individuals. Nightcrawlers were out in their final forms marching to the heavy drum and bass while exploring uncharted dimensions. Barclay Crenshaw managed to work his freaky bassy synth magic to rearrange our brains and assimilate everyone to the way of life that is Dirtybird. Walker and Royce, with a little help from Dances With White Girls, in anticipation of the release of their Self Help album, drew such a large crowd that we just had to jump into the dusty mess that was the mainstage dancefloor. The beats were so dirty it just didn’t make sense to try to stay physically clean anymore. To round out the more housey side of things for the night, Justin Martin closed out the Bird House stage with a truly powerful and emotional roller coaster type of set filled with tracks that had people begging for ID’s and dropping to their knees.

Photo Credit: Juliana Bernstein

For those that felt it was still too soon to call it quits on Saturday night, a.k.a. the early hours of Sunday morning, there was plenty still going on at the Bass Lodge. We had DJ Marky throw down some gritty drum & bass and showed us exactly why we appreciate the artistry that is a true master DJ at work.

Then in pure Dirtybird Campout fashion, The Martin Brothers blessed us with another unforgettably mystical after hours drum & bass set that even made a wild J Phlip scale the wall of the front of the stage out of nowhere.

With everyone in a daze and running on fumes on Sunday, it was a bit tough to get people up out of their tents. Nonetheless, there was still partying to be done and more adventures to be had.  Those who made it over to the festival grounds while the sun was still out, mostly hid in the shade and meditated to the music for as long as possible because it was an absolute scorcher.  I give major respect to whoever set up all the water stations because it was absolutely necessary for the amount of people attending and the conditions we experienced.  Far too often has there been events that venues neglect water fill-ups or overcharge for a bottle, but thankfully Dirtybird knows how to keep the flock safe and party responsibly.

Photo Credit: Miranda McDonald

Sunday’s festivities displayed how tight-knit the entire Dirtybird family is and how masterful they are in creating an event to be proud of. The music of the day was a fire blend of every genre imaginable. At the Bass Lodge, Mija, Ryan Forever, Ardalan, Mark Starr, and a few more people that dropped by for an extensive B2B2B2B2… Successfully turning the stage it into a frenzy of friends that strut their best tracks in the middle of the day.  The family vibes were buzzing high all day across the grounds to the extent that everyone in attendance, ranging from the artists to the fans in the crowd, existed on the same plane and interacted without a hierarchy like humans often do.  To shut down the last day of the festival, as Dirtybird Campout tradition goes, the family set allowed nearly every artist who played and stuck out the weekend to throw one more track in the mix to send us off with.  While emotions ran high as we closed out with Justin Martin playing the final song, we embraced the fact that this was one of the largest and most intense Dirtybird event to date.

Overall, the Dirtybird Campout reigns at the top of our list for one of the most welcoming and intimate festivals around, despite it’s growing size and audience. Thankfully we get to catch another event in the near future, as it has been announced that the Dirtybird Campout will be coming to the East Coast from February 2nd to the 4th to spread that Dirtybird love to both sides of the U.S. Can’t thank all involved and everyone that attended enough for making Campout an unforgettable experience and we will absolutely be seeing you all very soon! Stay tuned into everything Dirtybird at https://dirtybirdrecords.com/ and http://dirtybirdcampout.com/ !

A collaborative effort by: Andrew Siconolfi and Anthony Romano

Featured Photo by Juliana Bernstein

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