DIRTYBIRD CAMPOUT: That Festival Was Fiyah
If you haven’t already heard, a couple of weekends ago the Dirtybird guys hosted their first ever festival – think Wet Hot American Summer meets a booty-shaking techno oasis – and the inaugural event was a raging success. I mean just take a gander at this ambitious schedule of activities and music that flawlessly went off without any noticeable hitches:
And like, literally EVERYONE had a ball…
Impressed--with nothing but amazing things to say about the activities, music, and them vibezZz. ~*~~*
“The best part of this 3-day festival is everyone in the campout community got involved–artists, volunteers and attendees–giving attendees a sense of community and new way to connect with some of their favorite artists. Most festivals you have to go through high security checks, you’re gated off from the stages and only interact with artists during their performance. But DirtyBirds don’t take themselves too seriously and they know how to have a good time!”
– Victoria Kobayashi, SACREMENTO PRESS
“Dirty, damp, and a damn good time at camp…Everything you needed was there. A lake. Balloon tosses. Sack races. Archery. S'mores. Pizza. Ghost stories. Alcohol. Music. All nighters. Root beer floats. Slip n slide. That cute girl or boy you've been dreaming of hooking up with. Camp counselors. Mud. Rain. Fresh air. It was like summer camp for adults looking to get a little weird (or a lot weird).”
– Jordan Calvano, MAGNETIC MAGAZINE
“It's difficult to say what scenarios excited the young Dirtybird fans the most. Was it Claude on the megaphone announcing ultimate frisbee? Justin Jay prancing around in lederhosen? J.Phlip's badass DJ set on Sunday night? Christian Martin dominating the Saturday sunrise? Most likely it was a combo of everything.”
– Carre Orenstein, MIXMAG
“For its first showing, the Dirtybird Campout made a spectacular impression on all that attended. With a more intimate attendance—thousands instead of hundreds of thousands—and intangible magic, the whole experience was way greater than the sum of its parts. That same spirit was emanating from the Camp Counselors themselves, whether it was J.Phlip tossing water balloons, Justin Martin sharing pizza with a fan, or the Big Bird Claude VonStroke dancing at the afterhours stage until afterhours and still appearing at just about every activity that next day. It’s no exaggeration to say it was one of the finest festivals of the summer, and there’s no doubt that a large portion of next year’s attendees will be returning ones.”
- Chris Caruso, DJ TIMES
“One of the benchmarks of success for music labels these days is to have a mission so clearly defined that it can be manifested as a signature event. For Mad Decent, it’s the Block Party, for Fool’s Gold it’s Day Off, and for Dirtybird, it is BBQs around the country and now, a multi-day campout. This label is the only one of its kind — for now — that can authentically pull off the campout experience like this, because it aligns perfectly with Dirtybird’s vision and mentality. An easy-going air of playfulness, relaxed family-style vibes, and almost non-existent boundaries between the artists and attendees made the first edition of Dirtybird Campout feel like it was already a long-established tradition.”
- Lucy Davidson, DANCING ASTRONAUT
But who manifested the best representation of the Dirtybird vibe? Was it Claude or the Martin brothers? Was it one of the above bloggers? Was it your festie bestie who came to the festival and loved it despite starting the weekend with no real knowledge of the label? …In short – Nope, none of the above. For the purposes of this narrative, it was Leanne Aberdale.
And why you ask?
Simply because the Massachusetts-native embodied through her adventures everything eccentric and warm the Dirtybird community proved themselves to be in Oak Canyon Park, earlier this month. The die-hard exuberance, mixed with the musically conscious aura of the underground. And while Dirtybird fandom now reaches all peaks of the EDM collide, there was a genuine difference in the world they created with the help of Do Lab that weekend. We were all family, and we all had the same story to tell – we love us some Dirtybird.
So of course, we sat down and chatted with the mega-Dirtybird-fan from Massachusets who traveled 3000 miles – 8 hours of airtime and a crowded party shuttle straight to the campgrounds from the airport – just to join the party; and something that would inevitably make history-- at least amongst this growing society of tastemakers:
ELEKTRO: So you traveled across the nation for Dirtybird Campout? How long did it take you to make the decision after hearing the announcement for the label’s first ever festival?
LEANNE ABERDALE: I flew from Boston to LAX on Friday morning for Campout. Right when it was announced, I knew I had to go to this festival. I bought tickets the day they went on sale and knew I would be going, even if it meant going on my own. A little while after tickets went on sale, I purchased flights and a shuttle pass. A big seller for me was the location and people involved. I had only heard amazing things about The Do Lab, and I also knew the site where Campout was being held was home to past festivals like Woogie Weekend and Lightning in a Bottle, before they moved. I knew I had to see what all the hype was about.
And you came ALONE?
Yes, I came alone. A good amount of my friends had wanted to go, but just couldn't swing it. I knew I would regret not going, so I pulled the trigger. I'm a very independent person, but definitely had some worries about going alone as the date approached. Besides the lineup and location, one thing really drew me to Campout. I wanted to experience a West Coast festival, and what better way to do that than with Dirtybird. I knew it was meant to be when my 5:20AM flight out of Bradley got cancelled just hours before I was supposed to leave. Luckily, there was a direct flight from Logan to LAX that same morning, so I jumped in the car, drove to Logan, and got on a different flight, arriving in LA just in time to catch the shuttle to the festival.
Who did you camp with?
This is what made the festival so special for me. Music festivals are all about who you surround yourself with! About two weeks before leaving for California, Justin Martin played a tiny show in Boston. My friend introduced me to two girls who were also traveling from Boston to Campout, and we exchanged numbers. They welcomed me into their crew right away. After jumping off the shuttle on Friday afternoon, I headed to their campsite. From that moment on, we vibed really well and experienced every part of the festival together. They took me under their wing and adopted me for the weekend. I felt like I had know these people for years and it was amazing that the one thing that was bringing us together was Dirtybird. Shoutout to Pineapple Disco Squad - I love you all.
Have you ever been to Southern California before?
I had been to Southern California once before, in January of 2014. My two best friends from college and I spent a week in Los Angeles together, seeing everything possible in such a short amount of time. During that week, I fell in love. Life in LA is very different from New England, and it was nice to experience that after growing up on the East Coast. I knew I would return, and was wondering when I would get the chance to attend a festival on the West Coast.
How did you prepare for the journey?
I prepared a lot more than you would think. The weekend before Campout, I flew to Atlanta for TomorrowWorld. Knowing I would be flying to Cali as well, packing was simple. I only packed the things I needed and didn't overthink it. If it's one thing I've learned, it's prepare for the worst. I had heard it was going to rain on Saturday night into Sunday, so I packed rain gear. It's better to be safe than sorry. Other than that, the necessities I packed were my tent, sleeping bag, blanket and pillow, extra shoes, etc. I also listened to A LOT of music to prepare. I saved up some money to buy merch and pizza (obviously) and tried to get through to my brain that I was going to have an amazing time - no matter what.
Where there any surprises once you were finally immersed in the weekend?
Everything was a surprise - in a good way. The best surprise was the size of the festival. Other festivals I've been to have fifty or sixty thousand bodies in one place. That's NOTHING compared to a few thousand. The feeling of freedom was also amazing. Everyone was respectful and acting like adults. We weren't constantly being watched like hawks. There were so many different kinds of people, and it was a great surprise to see the "counselors" interacting with everyone and participating in activities.
What was your favorite community interaction?
My friends and I had a great time just wandering around the grounds; checking out the games and activities they had to offer, watching the comedy acts. My personal favorite was watching people float around in boats on the pond and sometimes get stuck. I was kind of in awe all weekend, of how things were going so smoothly and of the location in itself. The afterhours stage was on point and a highlight for me. Everyone migrated from the daytime stage to the afterhours stage and continued dancing and having a great time, as a community.
Favorite set if you could pick one?
There were way too many awesome sets! My top favorites would definitely have to be Billy Kenny, Ardalan, Kill Frenzy, Sonny Fodera, J.Phlip, Barclay Crenshaw, Danny Daze and of course Claude.
Two moments really take the cake, though. One was during Will Clarke's set. He has a track out, entitled "Spandex." In the music video, there are people dressing up in different spandex suits. One of those suits happen to be pink Power Rangers. My two friends had bought pink Power Ranger spandex suits in anticipation of his set. When the track came on, they pulled the suits on and ran up on stage to dance. Will Clarke loved it and everyone in the crowd was laughing.
The second moment that resounded in my mind was during J.Phlip's set. I had seen her several times this past summer, and she has yet to disappoint me. She dropped the track "Just" by "Bicep" and I absolutely lost it. This track has been following me around for awhile now and I was wondering the entire weekend if I was going to hear it. I knew I would leave Campout happy after that moment.
OH AND LETS NOT FORGET – how and when were you introduced to all things Dirtybird? And what made you fall in love?
I was introduced to Dirtybird a few years ago. I just kept finding their music - and it was ALL good. One DJ or track led to another, and another, and another. The one aspect that drew me to Dirtybird was the feeling of family. A good word to use would be 'collective.' Dirtybird DJ's share tracks, work well together - their music always comes first. They collaborate with each other and even test each other's tracks out when playing live. There's really no other label like it. Dirtybird is a label, a genre, some would even call it a way of life. That feeling of family was strong all weekend and something that really resonated with me.
And most importantly – will you be joining the FAM again next year
ABSOLUTELY! I wouldn't miss next year for anything. I'm already daydreaming about returning to Silverado and I can't wait to see what Claude has in store for us for year two.
We can't wait for next year either, so until then we'll be playing this nostalgia-inducing official recap on repeat: