WOOGIE WEEKEND 2016, Wiggled Willfully Into Whatever You Wish

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Written by Lizzie Rose

Woogie Weekend is one of the more unique festival experiences available to the modern festival goer today. After its debut last summer, the festival celebrated it’s second birthday in style by bringing in some of the freshest techno and deep house artists along with a return to an incredible venue. An entire festival descended from the vibe of the Woogie stage at Lightning in a Bottle, Woogie Weekend definitely made it’s momma proud. Grass and trees decorated the landscape while a wooden bridge created a romantically lit path over a pond in the middle of the venue. Two stages played host to three days of music and vendors lined the perimeter in between. Captivating final touches decorated the space, with art installations seen earlier this year at Lightning In a Bottle and gorgeous hexagon accents lined with the signature Woogie colored stripes.

Now that the scene is set, lets discuss the vibe. “The Woogie” is more than just a stage at LIB or a festival, the word itself insinuates movement and flow and kind of makes you smile without knowing why. You can’t see “The Woogie” or touch “The Woogie” or even explain “The Woogie” but you know its real because it feels like baselines pulsing through your veins or the pressure in your calves while you dance. It leaves you satisfied with the experience yet wanting more.

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The festival lineup was filled with an expansive amount of diverse talent and an array of different types of techno spanning from ambient to dark. Though each performance as unique in it’s own way, some certainly managed to stand out. Mark Farina played some captivating deep house with a modern disco feel that kept the energy high. Extra Welt was dark and pulsating, Damian Lazarus hit the crowd with hard upbeat techno, and Jon Hopkins mellowed the vibe with beautiful and melodic sounds. On Sunday, Lee Reynolds crushed it, pumping everyone up with a funky dance party and giving Desert Hearts life into the crowd, overpowering many sore feet and hangovers. TEED closed it off with his amazing musical transitions and an after hours set by Doc Marten brought back his old school roots keeping the party going while paying respect to the roots of the scene.

Woogie’s fashion vibe was filled with countless eccentric souls inspired to be colorful and free. Lots of funky clothing representing new adaptations to older styles of hippie chic fashions were extremely popular as well as modern glittering garments, a perfect expression of the enticing and flashy vibe apparent in the air. With the weather keeping everyone a sweaty shade of hot in the daytime, Woogie introduced many water based activities (like water balloon fights and slip and slides) allowing people to wear swimsuit/bodysuit type clothing, and allowed for total temperature comfort with only a light jacket at night. The freedom of expression at Woogie allowed individuals to get as creative as they wanted with their wear, giving a psychedelic color explosion feel to the crowds.

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Woogie Weekend surpassed many challenges that a new festival often struggles with, with grace and finesse. The organization and layout of the festival were highly functional and all of the visual and audial artists seemed carefully chosen in line with the tailored vibe of the experience. The small and intimate atmosphere made it easy to feel safe and comfortable exploring alone, and the grounds were a canvas for creativity as festival goers shaped their realities. Whether you took a long romantic walk across the bridge, danced for hours with your friends, or even if you met someone new,  Woogie Weekend was willing and able to be shaped into any experience you desired.

Photos by Conner Lee Coughenour – check out his Facebook page here

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