Dirtybird Campout: The Ultimate Adult Playground

Photo credit: Saylor Nedelmann / Don Indio / Ivan Menesis / Keiki Knudsen

What started as a small gathering in Golden Gate Park, Dirtybird Campout has grown into one of the West Coast’s most anticipated music festivals. Since 2005, founders Barclay and Aundy Crenshaw have nurtured this music festival and label franchise to the success it enjoys today. Watching the Dirtybird scene grow over the years has been an amazing experience for everyone involved. Campers return year after year, eager to earn their 5 timer badges and contribute to the magic that is Dirtybird Campout.

The nostalgia and community feeling of birdhouse dancefloor are one of the most encapsulating parts of the festival. dirty bird OGs aren’t afraid to jump into the crowd and dance with their fans. You often find people exchanging patches, giving gifts, and befriending strangers. The culture encourages dynamic expression, openness and generosity.

It was inspiring to see more female representation on the music label and throughout the festival. Compared to previous years, it was a refreshing change to have more and more women in programming. RaeCola, Mary Droppinzand Nala crashed their sets, encouraging women to pursue their dreams in a male-dominated industry. Claude VonStroke passed his Saturday closing homework at VNSSA thus, who solidified herself as a stock character in the dirty bird crew over the past few years – a big change from past Campout closures and a nod to the changing of the guard.

Although the list of dirty bird the players have changed over the years, Barclay’s the commitment to showcasing emerging talent remains strong. The Lower lodge is a place of discovery and welcome dirtybird the art of left field. Boiz House, a live electronic jam band, captivated the crowd with their playful storytelling and synchronicity on Sunday night. rising star Nikki Nair took their audience on an explosive journey of breakbeat, jungle and experimental bass. International legends like Size Roni and Goldie graced the stage with unique performances.

Each festival has its games and activities, but Campsite Dirtybird has its own take on this angle – and goes all out. The event is summer camp themed with a range of offerings such as water sports, silly performances, crafts, their signature barbecue and team competitions with your favorite performers. Music works 24/7 Campso attendees looking for a break from the party head to Claude’s hut for iconic performances like the annual dirty bird talent show, “Lap Dance for Your Life” competition, and burlesque bozo. Craftopia was also a new addition in 2022, where campers could build totems and customize their wares.

The organizers used the Woodward Reservoir the festival grounds by adding two new stages – Ganja’s garden and Hiding place. During the day, the Garden of Ganja was a shady lakeside oasis, complete with cannabis vendors and comfy sofas to relax on. During late hours, Hiding place hosted scene dirty bird favorites and hidden treasures up to 7 a.m.. The coveted Family set took place here; the new environment created a more intimate experience than previous years at the birdhouse. The Family set is part of dirtybird many traditions – a collective B2B between all the artists in the lineup.

renegades are the nocturnal playground of dirty bird. Hundreds of DIY sound camps organized by festival-goers come to life after dark. Each with their own unique theme – some have bouncy balls, mushrooms, jellyfish or cuddly spaces. renegades are a chance for big names to interact with the community and for smaller bands to play their music at the dirty bird crowd. Many renegades have made a name for themselves over the years. Campers plan to return to their favorites like Double Where glitter cat. You never know which headliner you might find playing a little camp in the middle of the night.

There are mixed feelings about the way dirty bird has shifted gears since its debut, but the community will always keep the flame burning. They are the people on the dance floor, the core crew members, the stage managers, Grillson’s BBQ the workers, performers, media team, vendors and volunteers who make this festival what it is today, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. The unwavering support of the dirty bird community is unlike any other in its scene. This was their last year in Modesto, but I can’t wait to see where the festival will spread its wings in the years to come.

Harold B. McConnell