Bradley, Calif. – The flock has once again flown west, and Dirtybird Campout 2017 is officially in the books.
Since hatching in 2015 from the mind of label head honcho–and America’s Best DJ 2016–Claude VonStroke, the festival has grown parallel to the label itself with an explosion of fans eager to rep their favorite booty-bass collective. For its third iteration, the festival once again offered a surprisingly fitting mix of bombing beats and camp-themed activities, this time in new location approximately 3 hours north of Los Angeles.
This year’s festival was fitting evolution to past installments, with a “bigger and better” ethos seeming to define its approach. Now boasting two stages running in parallel–the house and tech-house-filled Birdhouse and the rumbling Bass Lodge–instead of just a main stage and afterhours, the festival allowed patrons to better diversify their experiences in a way that the prior setup just couldn’t allow. The end result was a fuller, more well-rounded lineup that featured both the label’s heavy-hitters as well as Dirtybird outsiders like Matthew Dear, Denney, and Coyu.
All in all, 2017 proved to be Dirtybird Campout’s best year yet, with great vibes running from the top down (and throughout the campgrounds).
There’s some silver lining for those ravers who weren’t lucky enough to attend, as Dirtybird has taken the wraps off of an East Coast Dirtybird Campout at a to-be-announced location on February 2-4, 2018. Head to DirtybirdCampout.com for more information in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, catch our highlights of the 2017 installment.
Dirtybird’s class clown once again showed his absolute mastery behind the decks during his main stage headlining set on Saturday evening. Martin has always been one of the collective’s most versatile talents, and he showed off his knack for sonic variation in spades this weekend. While kicking off with the playful tech-house grooves that characterized much of The Birdhouse stage’s bookings, Martin quickly took things to a more emotive place with tracks like his remix of Charlotte OC’s “Strange.” His set was also the home to another set of fan-favorite edits, with his unreleased edit of Strafe’s “Set It Off” kicking things to peak hour while his remix of Bjork’s “Anchor Song” kept things sufficiently pensive.
Kill Frenzy B2B Will Clarke
Friday night got kicked into high gear thanks to a rare back-to-back performance from Dirtybird’s bearded wonders. The pair kept things fiery and furious, with tech-house heaters being matched with heavy hip-hop cuts that entranced a raging crowd. Of course, hearing an extended cut of Will Clarke’s 2017 Claude VonStroke collaboration “Tiny Tambourine” was worth the price of admission alone. Catching the pair together is a delight, with both proving their mettle as the ones to watch from the second generation of Dirtybird Players.
Miami headed west on Friday, as Danny Daze took to the main stage ahead of Claude VonStroke himself for what was easily one of the most left-field excursions of the weekend. Undeniably frenetic from start to finish, the set had the seas of ravers jumping for a full 90 minutes. It feels pedantic to refer to an artist as a “DJ’s DJ” in 2017, but Daze truly fits the bill with what was a jaw-dropping technical showing that featured more loops, decks, and layering than most DJs even dream. Simply stellar.
Walker & Royce
Dirtybird’s big act of 2017 made an impressive splash at The Birdhouse on Saturday evening despite being matched up against Claude VonStroke’s Barclay Crenshaw alias on the adjacent Bass Lodge stage. A sizeable showing crowd dug the duo’s banging bass, which even featured live vocals from Dances With White Girls during their signature single “Take Me To Your Leader.” Overheard in crowd during the track? “This is the moment of the festival!”
Of course, it’s perfect timing for such a great showing, as Walker & Royce’s debut LP Self Help is out on October 20.
-As with previous years, the activities are just as important to the experience as the musical offerings are. Once again giving campers the opportunity to participate in everything from archery and kickball to late-night karaoke, Dirtybird Campout is much more than the sum of its beats.
-On that tip, it’s amazing to see the Dirtybird artists out and about participating in each activity with their fans. Whether it’s catching Claude VonStroke win a Best Bike ribbon in the Best In Show, J.Phlip racing robots, or Will Clarke checking out attendees’ campsites, the personal touch the crew brings to the festival is vital to its existence. Club culture has twisted the image of many DJs into one of a roped-off, bottle service behemoth flanked by models, and it’s wonderful to see the Dirtybird family continuing to buck that idea.
-The Desert Hearts’ stranglehold on West Coast tech-house fans in absolutely staggering. The California team–primarily repped by Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Porkchop, and Marbs–had an early side-stage set on the fest’s first day that still managed to pack the crowd to the gills. Unruly and debaucherous in all the right ways, the set was a testament to the grassroots, fun-loving movement they represent.
-Despite Dirtybird boasting a characteristically West Coast vibe, Claude VonStroke clearly hasn’t forgotten his Detroit origins. During Mike Servito’s sizzling acid house set on Friday, VonStroke took to the microphone to recall how he used to attend Detroit warehouse parties in his formative raving years to catch Servito spinning. Who says you can’t go home?
-The experience is as exciting to the artists as it is the fans. Dirtybird darling Sacha Robotti sung its praises following his Sunday afternoon performance:
“Dirtybird Campout was amazing this year, too! Although a little more dusty than the last few years and at a different location, I felt that the DoLab recreated the Silverado vibe quite well. I could tell a lot of work went into it. My set on Sunday came after a 24-hour roundtrip I took from Campout to my show at Spybar Chicago, and back to Campout. I was surprised how well I held up and delivered, I guess the energy of all the smiling people kept me going! It was so much fun to hang out, dance, and party with everyone. I realize my love for Dirtybird is still growing after over 10 years of me being a fan!”
Head to DirtybirdRecords.com for more information.