Birds Of A Feather Flock Together At Dirtybird Campout

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Words by Crystal Garcia (

Photos by Wobsarazzi (

Over the course of three exuberantly fun filled days this past weekend, the Dirtybird records crew invaded Oak Canyon Ranch Park in Silverado, CA for the introductory “Dirtybird Campout” three day festival. After many successful runs of their Dirtybird BBQ event across America, it was only a matter of time before the infamously branded music label stepped up their game and took it to the next level. Alas Dirtybird Campout was born, and I know I speak for every person that was in attendance, when I say thank you baby Jesus times a bazillion for the birth of Dirtybird.

If you weren’t there (I’m very sorry for you) you may be wondering what made this particular festival stand out compared to the hordes of other electronic music festivals that currently take place every year. If you were lucky enough to attend, well then you already know and probably have a huge grin across your face reminiscing on the weekend, as do I right now. 😀

So without further ado, let me break it down for you…

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Many popular festivals these days claim to offer a camping experience, but how many are actually a “campout?” Everything from rowboats to archery, water balloon toss to badminton, slip & slide to nature hikes, were offered to campers to occupy the days. At night,  Campfire smore’s along with storytelling and sing-a-longs were offered to satisfy those late night munchies. For those campers that never attended summer camp as a kid, it’s safe to say this was the next best thing.




Justin Martin spent an hour of the first day hanging out at the pizza “doughlab” stand taking photos with fans and offering slices of pizza to pose with. The Dirtybird DJ’s WERE the camp counselors. Dirtybird founder Claude Von Stroke and the gang spent their days hanging out and playing activities with campers. The Dirtybird crew was more than willing to take photos with each and every fan that asked them for a photo. Really though, does it get any more welcoming and humble than this?  It’s obvious that the Dirtybirds don’t take themselves too seriously, and that speaks volumes for their success.





These are the exact words I was asked on the first night from a fella dancing next to me during Desert Hearts crewmember Mikey Lion’s set at the Birdhouse stage, followed by “ let’s smoke some weed.” Granted the fact this guy was probably high as a kite and his mind was most likely wandering somewhere in between planets Jupiter and Saturn, he said it with such enthusiasm that I couldn’t have denied how much fun I really was having even if I tried.

Mikey’s set was followed by Dirtybird member Justin Jay, who unleashed one of the most versatile performances I’ve ever witnessed. Justin opened with a few early 90’s classics remixes, played a few of his signature Dirtybird tracks such as “Raindance,” and for the last half of the set, a live vocalist Josh Taylor and guitarist Ben Glasser performed at least six original tracks with Justin in one of the most memorable performances of the weekend. I remember thinking that those moments would be the highlight of my campout, and they most definitely were!

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While of course Dirtybird is one of the leading techno/house labels in the industry today, it was wildly refreshing to see the crew out of their element for a bit during the late night after hours. Once the Birdstage festivities were over at 2 am on the second night and the crowds migrated to the late night lodge stage, Lunice opened with a few heavy hip-hop and trap tracks to the disapproval of a man with a British accent who’s name I don’t recall,  took it upon himself to voice his upset that he “paid to hear electronic music, not this crap.” The Brit had just given me bubble soap for my bubble wand, so I felt it only courteous of me to hear his rant. I heard him out, advised for him not to take life so seriously, blew him a bubble and sent him on his merry way. After this encounter, I’ve realized a bubble and some love is all that a techno snob really needs to appease those attention cravings.

Eprom and Nosaj Thing each followed with sets of epic proportions, with Nosaj Thing closing out with a beautiful old school rendition of Outkast’s “I Think I’m In Love Again.” Papa Claude was next to hit the decks, unleashing his own twist to his usual sets by adding a few trap tracks to the mix. Brothers Justin and Christian Martin lead campers into the wee hours of the morning with a liquid drum & bass B2B, that was literally “liquid” as the predicted rain started to pour down. The rain may have put a damper on things, but the crowd still went strong until the closing of the stage at 7 am.  I couldn’t help but to laugh my way back to camp at sunrise as I was thinking about my poor British friend and how horrified he must have been that even the head Dirtybird’s had dared to play anything outside of house and techno. Well all I gotta say is, Hallelujah Dirtybird!

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It’s without a doubt that all of these elements combined made Dirtybird Campout what it was, and also what it wasn’t. Dirtybird wasn’t pretending to be yet another spiritual, transformational festival providing tarot reading and crystal healing workshops, just to give an experience. They stuck to their foundation and what they know, and did a damn good job at it. They provided an intimate setting and environment for 4,000 of their friends to come together to share good vibes and great music in each other’s company, and it was a recipe for festival success. It’s said that when like minded people come together, amazing outcomes will result.  As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together,” and Dirtybird Campout was most definitely a living testament to the validity of this!

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