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Calling All Dirtybird Campers

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Calling all campers! I REPEAT, CALLING ALL CAMPERS!

by Anthony Ohler and Sally Lindenbaum

We are less than a week away from one of the most hyped micro-fests in the country!  Dirtybird Campout is finally here! It’s about that time to head to Modesto with your favorite flock of friends and family for the most incredible, adult summer camp. Summer isn’t over just yet, so let’s get ready for a wild one.  Whether you’re a Dirtybird Campout veteran, or attending for the first time this October, the following festival is ready to welcome you with open wings. My flock (along with myself) have attended Campout for the past 4 years and each year has slightly been better than the last.  

Below, you will find artist recommendations, activities to attend, Camp Commandments and a camper’s guide to survival while you are out in the wilderness. Be  sure to prepare for rain (even if the forecast says otherwise), cold nights, and dusty days. 

Artists

  • Claude VonStroke – Yes, of course Cap’n Claudefather is number one on the list.  Like a first round draft pick in a fantasy draft, Claude brings the heart year in and year out.  He has yet to disappoint with his groove and booty bumpin’ vibes that continue to gather a huge flock when he is playing.  DO NOT sleep on him (Michael). My buddy fell asleep in his tent year one of Campout and missed his entire set. Don’t be that guy, do whatever it takes to be at The Claudefather’s set.  Each year, this jubilant man brings in those unreleased tracks that your ers will be screaming for 6 months after this festival ends. Last year’s score: 10/10 — Don’t miss it!
  • DUMB FAT – (Sage Armstrong, Steady Rock, Franklyn Watts) – Excuse me? I was lucky enough to see these three booty bass monsters at Mix Mag’s Dirtybird takeover back in June.  These guys truly vibe together and know how to bring the party. With some hip-hop and house music, they are surely ready to take over the Bass Lodge when they hit the decks. This newly formed group will be a sight to see. This is another set you won’t want to miss! Projected score: 10/10 — A sight to see!
  • VNSSA – This chick knows how to throw a party.  Last year she made her Campout debut and fit in with the campers just fine.  Extremely personable, VNSSA can always be seen in the crowd, vibing with campout attendees, making herself at home amongst the wookiest of crowds. This year, she will be hosting the .5k floatie race again — So make sure you check that out in the events description below. Last year she informed me that her Campout set was going to make us men cry, and it did. In fact, it made me giggle, like a school yard boy when she unleashed the Kracken on her set.  Make sure to find her within the campers, passing our patches and goodies to her fans. If you haven’t visited her Facebook page called “VNSSA’s sour patch” please go do so and her special giveaways and more! Last year’s score 10/10 — Get ready!
  • Kill Frenzy  – is back and ready to slay! I haven’t seen this monster of an act since Campout 2016.  One of my favorite DB Players, seeing him is almost a given for me. His heavy bass beats and song “No Panties” has become a classic track amongst most Campers.  For a taste of what he has to bring, check out this Soundcloud link for his panty-dropping beats! 

Projected score: 10/10

Other absolute must sees: Justin Martin (DUH), Walker and Royce, Black V Neck, Steve Darko, Holt 88, Josh Wink, Sacha Robotti, Christian Martin (hopefully we get that DnB), RYBO, Mija

New Acts

  • WAJATTA – Although Reggie Watts isn’t new to the Campout lineup, John Tejada and Reggie Watts combined as WAJATTA is new to the set list.  This unique combonation of mixing and live beatboxing is a sight to be seen. Nothing surmounts to Reggie Watts’ ability to live beat box into a song right before your very eyes.  He’s a damn magician and he will keep you laughing with his obscure and outlandish jokes intertwined with his beat making with John Tejada. These two are the ultimate music professionals and if you miss this set, then I feel sorry for you. DO NOT MISS THIS!
  • Faren Strnad – My top, most anticipated set of the weekend is Faren Strnad.  Along with many other Techno artists signed to Campout this year, Faren Strnad has me more hyped than ever before.  This gal is my pal when she flashes those bass beats and simultaneously mixes techno into her beloved sets. I am looking forward to her unique and intrusive way of expressing her music to those not familiar with techno.  I promise you, she is going to be a top 5 show of the weekend! Check out her Soundcloud and recent DB Campout mix to get a taste of what she will be bringing to the potluck dinner of music.
  • Erik B and Rakim – 80’s Hip-Hop duo Erik B and Rakim are making a special appearance to Campout this year, and I AM ECSTATIC! Holy Sh*t, do you guys know how special this is?!  These two legends, are coming together for our entertainment, at a small and intimate setting. This is one of my favorite signings for the weekend and I couldn’t be more excited to see campers PUMP UP THE VOLUME to this set. Miss this and you should just sleep in your tent for the rest of the weekend… jk, don’t do that, but please don’t miss this if you haven’t seen these guys in concert before.
  • Eprom b2b Barclay Crenshaw – Not new to Campout, but new to the idea of b2b, two powerhouses for bass music will be coming together to take us on a journey. For those of you who do not know, Clause VonStroke’s actual name is Barclay Crenshaw, which is his alter ego when he plays his experimental vibes.  Eprom and Barclay have been producing tracks together for some time now — Their experimental, bass vibes are extremely unique and new to the scene. If you want to see something out of the ordinary, I suggest you feast your eyes on this show. Especially the lighting/visuals that Barclay produces during his set.  Take a look at one of their co-produced tracks to get a feel of what to expect. 

Events and Activities

The specific activities and events are what make Dirtybird Campout so different from all the other festivals out there.  Community is a huge key to making this festival a welcoming, happy, exciting, and comfortable experience so the idea of being a communal human encompasses the general motivation behind the production of this festival.  All are encouraged to attend the festival’s activities.  

Personally, my favorite activities to watch and join in on are:

  • .5k floatie race (I mean, VNNSA is hosting and Claude is going to race the campers on a floatie, in the water.  Who doesn’t want to see that!?)
  • Hyphy Hoopin (Hula Hoop Contest)
  • Ping Pong with Ardalan! 
  • Jogging with Justin (Y’all better be ready to keep up with this killer, he’s an absolute speed demon!)
  • All Arts and Crafts (Get Crafty, be yourself!)
  • BINGO

Renegades

  • First rule about renegades, don’t talk about renegades.  JK, talk about em, find out where they are, and attend. Campers are generally friendly and everyone attending this event loves human interaction, otherwise we would be sitting at home watching television.  Go to the renegades, follow the music, walk up, and kindly introduce yourself to the renegade party going on. Be respectful of others and their campsites because that is our living space for the next 4 days.  Rule of thumb: Don’t show up to the party empty-handed — If you do show up empty handed, you better be funny or do a cartwheel. Bring a solid vibe — I cannot express more that the renegades are some of the best times I have experienced at Campout.  Secret sets with Chris Lake, Luke Andy on the Love Bus, Wyatt Marshall in the Techno Bunker — All of these instances have occurred and many others have DJ’d some incredible renegades. The party is always goin’ on, so join in but be responsible about it!

Preparation

Before I get into preparation, I want to express some easy commandments to live by. Burning Man has been a successful festival for so many years due to the fact that attendees follow the Burning Man Commandments/PrinciplesI cannot stress this enough, FOLLOW THESE COMMANDMENTS and everything will be fine. If we want Campout to continue, we should be held responsible for our actions and how we conduct ourselves during this intimate experience. So please, remember to lead by example and don’t be a fk boi.

CAMP COMMANDMENTS 

1. Radical Inclusion – DB is open to everyone and no prerequisites exist for participation in the community. Even though we have ideas of who we want to include, a brand these days isn’t created, it’s co-created and celebrated by those whom align with and promote its purpose and value.

2. Gifting – DB is devoted to acts of gift giving and the value of a gift is unconditional. It does not warrant a return or an exchange. Reciprocity is something special to earn never to expect.

3. Decommodification – The DB community creates social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions or advertising. It resists the substitution of consumption for participatory experience. A philosophy of no exploitation preserves the spirit of gifting.

4. Radical Self-reliance – Burning Man encourages individuals to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources to contribute to the experiences of others as well as their own. Empower people to reinforce and expand the mission.

5. Radical Self-expression – Each person offers their own unique gifts. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its platform, message or voice. Respect people, and their rights and liberties, for expression is a gift from someone to someone else. Silence, passive aggressiveness and lying only erodes promise and purpose.

6. Communal Effort – Community values, creative cooperation and collaboration is the spirit of people standing and working with other people under a common cause. Burning Man produces, promotes and protects social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction. This again isn’t something that’s created, it’s co-created and that’s the true spirit of community.

7. Civic Responsibility – Civil society is highly valued and prioritized at Burning Man. Community members who organize events assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws. The experience is only as wonderful as experienced by everyone. You have to develop of culture where people feel accountability. They have to want to take responsibility and also take the lead in the caring and nurturing of culture and the people who define it.

8. Leaving No Trace – I especially love this one. Dirtybird Campout without a doubt respects the environment and is committed to leaving no physical trace of any activities wherever they gather. Burners clean up after themselves and even strive to leave such places in a better state and so should we. Imagine if your organization only thought this way. I still visit companies, restaurants and resorts where recycling and composting have yet to become the working standard.

9. Participation – Radical participation is a primary construct of its ethic. Burning Man believes that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. As an introvert, I appreciate those who include me even though I try my best to step outside of my comfort zone to join in the celebration or cause with others. This can only be done by doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play.

10. Immediacy – Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in the Campout culture. Participating now with purpose overcomes barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience. Experience is indeed everything.

Culture and community are the constructs of any human-centered organization. But principles can only verbalize how any company can bring people together to accomplish great things. Words mean nothing without leadership practice, empowerment and commitment.

The 10 Principles of Burning Man should inspire you to think about the new 4P’s and how rethinking People, Promise, Purpose and Principles can inspire a new genre of community. If we take anything away from Burning Man, it’s that investing in the 4P’s yields tangible ROI with additional benefits measured in engagement, loyalty and the reach of those who experience the Burning Man ethos first hand or through the shared experiences of others.

Community is much more than belonging to something; it’s about doing something together that makes belonging matter. That’s your foundation to a meaningful, productive and human-centered culture.

Credits to ‘The 10 Principles of Burning Man and the New P’s of Culture and Community by Brian Solis

Preparation
If you haven’t started prepping yet, don’t fear—Amazon is everyone’s best friend. Here is a list of everything you may or may not need for the jam-packed weekend of equal parts fun and debauchery:

  • Wet wipes, wet wipes, WET WIPES! (They serve 1,000 different purposes and you can literally never have enough)
  • Winter clothes, summer clothes, layering clothes, all the clothes-the weather is bipolar and there’s nothing worse than walking around in freezing weather and pasties, or so I’ve been told.
  • So many blankets. Like all the blankets you think you need, and then 6 more from your last minute Wal-Mart run outside the venue
  • Shade for your camp-no one likes decompressing with the sun beating down on them
  • Towel-whether you plan on being a clean bird or a dirty bird, there is always a use for a towel. Probably more than one.
  • Trash bags! Lots of them. Pack it in, pack it out, we don’t love a litterbug.  Plus, Camp Counselors will notice you and you may even get a prize if you’re an environmental bird, just sayin 🙂
  • You can never have too many bottles of champagne. Seriously.
  • Wine bag(s)! We love a good game of wine bag catch on the dance floor, and maybe if you’re as crazy as me, you can convince Worthy (sub any artist here) to sign your empty wine bag because why the heck not?
  • Stove & food! Making food for your camp is fun & saves money
  • To go along with the above, dry ice in a separate cooler with lots of ice helps immensely-it means no buying $15 bags of ice on site & hauling them to and from your camp (beware-dry ice freezes everything, don’t put your food with it, just extra ice)
  • Water jugs! (filled before entry) Not the single use gallons-those are great too, but even greater are the collapsible Coleman ones (can be bought on Amazon) that hold 5 gallons of water & are reusable forever & ever. Good for the environment, good for your wallet, good for space in the car. Win-win-win
  • Camp light-this might go unsaid, but they help immensely
  • Sleeping bag, air mattress, cot, TENT-also might go unsaid, but you never know, I might have just saved a life
  • Anything to make your camp “homey”-chairs, blankets, pretty lights, decorations, places to chill-some of the best moments are spent laughing uncontrollably at camp
  • Vitamins, cold medicine, allergy medicine, Tylenol, etc. There is a 99% chance you’re going to come home with the wook flu, but vitamins before, during, & after the event, can make it less severe or non existent
  • Biodegradable glitter…Amazon again, be eco friendly while you sparkle
  • Reusable cups for your drinks/water/whatever…eliminates waste & again, can you guess? Environmentally friendly!
  • Gifts to hand out! Pins, stickers, toys, buttons, fans, whatever. Dirtybird is a gifting environment. Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone freak out when I give them a tiny pair of finger eyeballs
  • Something to put cigarette butts in. Pocket ashtrays are a thing (Amazon). So are tins or little bags. It’s 2018 & we know better than to toss them on the ground, sis
  • Toilet paper-the porta potties run out & if they don’t, you’ll need to blow your nose at some point I’m sure
  • Portable chargers are cool if you want to use your phone. Service should be fine up there, it was solid enough to change a fantasy football lineup!
  • Mallet to stake your tent. I have forgotten it every year. And as fun as walking around meeting people asking for one is, it’s more fun walking around and meeting people with a wine bag & your tent securely in the ground already.
  • Every venue thus far has been dusty. Bring a dust mask. I promise.
  • Sunscreen-you still look hawt as a lobster, but safety first or whatever
  • Something white to tie-dye. Get creative, shirts are cool, but a tie dyed backpack is cooler
Image credit to Dirtybird Campout

Advice from Veterans

  • Disco naps save lives. You can go in & out of the fest as much as you want. Take advantage. 
  • Wear the most out there costumes. Or don’t. But express yourself to the fullest extent. It’s fun.
  • Hit the merch booth first thing day one. The good sizes sell out quick. Like lightning quick. If you want a Medium…. may the odds be ever in your favor.
  • Grab that colored team bandana first thing too. Rep your team all weekend! 
  • “Remember your training.” –Travis R.
  • “Bring a onesie”-CIT, Jesse C.
  • “Don’t forget it’s more than a music festival. Play games, watch/participate in activities (especially lap dance to save your life), meet new friends to add to your flock.”- Clayton B. (I second, third, and fourth this)
  • “Meet your neighbors. Met some great humans last year that will be in my life forever.” –Travis R. (again)
  • “Bring more vodka than necessary.”- Bryan F.
  • Don’t miss the family set. Seriously. You made it 3 days, you can make it one more hour. Then thank me after.
  • “Bring & take an anti diarrheal. For reasons.”-Bri M.
  • “Don’t label your vodka water bottles with a single sharpie dot on the bottom of the bottle…nobody looks for that dot when wasted and seeking H2O.” –Brandon E. 
  • “Don’t plan on sleeping much. Renegade sets are fuego and you might see some cool s*** (Weiss b2b Christian Martin with like 15 people). Plus…once you stay up til 5-and your neighbor starts ripping the most nasty, atmospheric DNB set…you ain’t gonna sleep, child.” –Zach B.
  • “DO take a GIANT blanket for the night time when you’re feeling yourself hard and head to the stage at like 3:30am when it’s freezing. Eff the fashion and be warm af while you get down in the comfort of your own blanket.” –Nano C. (you thought the blanket thing was exhausted, but it’s not…sometimes people only take my advice when it comes from other people’s mouths. So here it is from the mouth…keyboard? of a true genius)
  • “Take less, love more.” –Thanh N. ….got it
  • “Drink lots of water, always! And don’t forget to eat. Your body will thank you. Participate in games and interactive installations. Don’t be afraid to spend some time alone. Establish a hang out spot for your crew and do some solo wandering. Who knows who you’ll meet or run into! LET YO FREAK FLAG FLY. Be nice to others. Ask somebody if they need help if they don’t look well. See new artists! Most of all have fun with the people you love and make memories to carry on with you!” –Shelby L
  • “Don’t have a schedule. This will be my fourth time attending and since the first DBC in 2015 I haven’t had one. The music is always amazing, guaranteed. Participate in the activities, after all you are at summer camp. Pick a top 3 must sees from the lineup. I make it a point to see Sacha Robotti but guess what, I may have not discovered him at the first Campout if I had been following a schedule. My favorite Campout memories are directly linked with living in the moment. Those serendipitous encounters are where the magic of Campout truly lives. Our lives are full of timestamps, take this opportunity to live in the moment.” –Olivia M.
  • The final hours of the last day are a sprint, not a marathon. Finish hard.
  • “Don’t miss the comedy, quickly accept that you won’t have any cell service, hit the merch tent ASAP, don’t get the VonStroke mule because it’s gross, always say yes to warm bottle chugs with Sally (yas, sis), wear your least comfortable shoes on the last day, not the first.” –Abbey C/B.
  • “Bring every blanket, northern Cali will be cold! (ok, do you believe me yet?) Be a good bird. Whatever trash you bring in, make sure it makes its way to the trash bags you’ll bring with you, and that those trash bags are picked up by staff or you pack it out! Don’t be trashy even if you identify as being trashy. Bring something white to tie dye! Take part in the activities. Check in on people that look like they need help. Have fun!” –Frank T.
  • “Follow Frank around, you’re bound to meet a lot of the crew that puts this magic together, keep your eyes peeled for artists wandering around (but don’t harass them too much, they’re there to have fun too), wander the campgrounds for renegade sets, and as always go to the merch table and bring me and Abbey back some wedding presents because we can’t make it this year…” –Sean B.

Well, there you have it, folks. The experience is what you make it. Be kind, spread love, be ridiculous, and never stop dancing. Cheers to a new year of camping! <3

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