No Place I’d Rather Be: Dirtybird Campout 2016


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Dirtybird Campout 2016 (Review)

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Silverado, CA—      It has officially been one week since the 2nd Annual Dirtybird Campout and we are tentative to admit how greatly we are already looking forward to next year. What a weekend! As usual, Claude VonStroke with the help of his team, brought together an amazing collaboration of fun, music, familial ties and booty dropping; leading to another hugely successful weekend for the whole Dirtybird fam. The most unique trait about the Dirtybird Campout is the intense presence of theme: recreational summer camp meets high energized, non-stop music festival. It is clearly apparent that this is not a weekend solely based on music, although we all know that is what Dirtybird does best. The DBC brings strangers together and unites them in friendly-yet-feisty competition on the game fields and allows them to celebrate like family on the dance floor. This is a festival about inclusivity, much like what the record label has always promoted. Counselor Claude wanted to make that factor imperative in the weekend’s festivities. At any point in time, day or night, you could find any staff, artist, manager etc. partying with the lot. They were not only participating in games and activities with other campers, they were decked out in team color coordination and full blown camp counselor gear, encouraging everyone to be fully immersed over the weekend. Knee high tube socks, raccoon hats and all khaki ensembles equipped with patches and ribbons to commemorate the accomplishments and tributes of last year’s campout was the style of the weekend. Claude VonStroke sat on the judge’s board for the notorious talent show, and it was just as amusing to watch and listen to their criticism and “expertise” than the acts themselves. The talent show featured acts such as dancing, stand-up comedy, rapping and probably the noteworthy act was beatboxing. If you missed that though, there was plenty of entertainment throughout the entire weekend to satisfy everyone’s wishes. Late night karaoke was exceptionally comical. Incredible renditions of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Lion King’s The Lion Sleeps Tonight were a couple highlights of the impressive late night karaoke soirée, and who knew that Beauty and the Beast’s Be Our Guest would have such a positive resonance with the audience. These performances actually stopped people in their journey to the Latenight Lodge, where music was playing until the sun came up.  The most notable appearance each year at the Latenight Lodge is of course Barclay Crenshaw, who is actually Claude VonStroke himself.  He takes this opportunity to showcase his musical inspirations and create an upbeat and widely appeasing hip-hop set. Whether you were up all night dancing, or awake for 9am yoga, the DBC has something literally for every birdie flying to the DB nest.
As far as music is concerned, the lineup has expanded this year and will continue to do so each year for wider variety, more original personalities and unpredictable performances. One headliner that especially stood out in his own unique manner was Saturday night’s act Reggie Watts, but Counselor Claude could not have been happier with his performance and the turnout for his set. Machinedrum and Sage Armstrong are two other artists not featured on the Dirtybird label, but their alternative bass vibes flowed swimmingly through the crowd this year. Of course the whole family showed up to support and enjoy the weekend. We had the chance to play cornhole and enjoy refreshing beverages during the day on Saturday with family members including Counselor Claude, Will Clarke, Ardalan and Kill Frenzy. Ardalan is NOT a good cornhole partner to play with if you have any desire of scoring at least a point, by the way. Everyone fully supported and encouraged each other to be the best them possible last weekend, despite the healthy competition and trash talking that was carried out at various times and events. This quality truly emanated through the music and onto the dance floor. To top off the weekend with an inexorable sense of camaraderie, Sunday night’s set allowed each member of the lineup an opportunity to toss in a track or two to the ending mix. Shiba San, Green Velvet and Will Clarke all revved up the dance floor with crowd pleaser’s galore, but perhaps it was Justin Martin’s unreleased track drop that wholeheartedly encompassed the perfect wrap-up of the 2016 Annual Dirtybird Campout. With lyrics that sang “this is my home, this is where I’m staying” how could campers not feel like a family; embracing one another and sharing love and laughter as the weekend drew to a close. This was not the only surprise Justin had for campers and dirtybirds alike. As the sun rose to shine on all the beautiful birdies of Oak Canyon Park, Justin along with brother Christian Martin, welcomed Sunday with a filthy but smooth and highly requested drum and bass set. The power of social media worked extensively in making this happen. In fact, a few dirtybird devotees began a petition with only a few days left leading up to the festival to insist that a Martin brother’s DnB set be added to the lineup as it was in 2015. Campers were undoubtedly happy to have had their voices heard with proactive results. Just another example of the Dirtybird label standing by what they believe in; family and unity.
This year’s campout was larger in attendance, however, smaller in area. With that being said, however, there was never an issue of overcrowding or unmanageable lines and wait times. Food vendors of all sorts including the DoughLab and the California Grille Truck were catering to all campers needs as quickly and diligently as possible. Options such as moroccan spicy fish tacos, chicken shawarma and pepperoni pizzas headlined on the food lineup last weekend. Returning for the second year, the BBQ masters of Fire Breather Barbecue Catering were cranking out ribs, corn bread and veggie skewers for all BBQ ticket holders, and all of it sure smelled appetizing. The campsite was organized with street signs and distinctive areas, making it easy to navigate, and if you did not have a car camping permit there was a shuttle running from the box office parking lot to the campsite during box office hours to expedite and alleviate unloading and set up for everyone. Located directly outside the festival entrance and entering the campsite was the DanceSafe tent along with the medical tent. The medical staff was incredibly attentive and responsive to all medical needs and there was nothing to fear as far as security or safety was concerned. The venue may have been a bit dusty and dirty; but with balloon tosses, tug of war, capture the flag and food fights who was really worried about a little dirt on the knee anyways? Plus, each teammate received a bandana upon registering for a team at the Games HQ booth, so not only could campers sport their team color devotion, they could also shield themselves from the occasional dust sweep. The DBC also had some relaxing moments as well. If you wanted to enjoy the water, you could hop on a paddle boat (when they weren’t being used for competition boat races) and float along listening to tunes from the Birdhouse and moseying across the pond. Cinema lovers convened each night at the late night movies screen where timeless classics such as Disney’s Snow White and Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs were featured on the cinematic lineup. Friday night’s screening was particularly special because it was the debut of the documentary Tribes: Dirtybird, a 14-minute long documentary produced by the Smirnoff Sound Collective. This documentary showcases the group’s quirky antics, artistry and unique vibes along with the overarching principle of family and togetherness. This screening was pleasantly accepted and allowed viewers to receive insight and a firsthand look at the passion and work ethic that drives the Dirtybird movement. For those who were not able to attend, the documentary is currently released on YouTube and is highly suggested to be viewed here:
Overall, this weekend encompassed what it means to be a Dirtybird. Regardless of age, race, profession or contribution to the festival, everyone came together as one and equally occupied the grounds of Oak Canyon Park. The unquestionable commitment by the DoLab, The Grand Artique, and the Dirtybird teams is what led to the monumental success that became evident last weekend. It is only right that an extremely gracious THANK YOU is in order to each and every person involved with making this weekend unforgettable and an unbelievable experience. We cannot wait to see what’s in store for everyone in attendance at the 3rd Annual Dirtybird Campout and although it seems that this year’s DBC is unbeatable, it is safe to say that each year’s campout will continue to improve and impress. The Dirtybird label has been creating unique and captivating baselines since 2005 and are spreading their wings further and wider with each event to continue showcasing their music magic.
For those who attended and would like to reminisce, or for those who were unable to attend and are interested in catching a small glimpse of what the Dirtybird Campout entails, you may view the Official Dirtybird Campout Aftermovie here: