Through the hue of lasers and the colossal thuds of sweet salacious house and techno, last weekend at Dirtybird Campout was more than a good time. It was the sort of revelry you’d tell all your friends about, but probably leave out of the water cooler conversations around the office.
Suffice it to say, squads were rallied, totems were raised and the “send” was “full.”
For all those who attended Modesto’s summer camp- themed weekend long bacchanal, the memories will range from technically jarring to physically gut-busting to complete ovation. Those who didn’t make it are probably already being consumed by the inevitable FOMO that followed. To transport us back to those dancefloors and give unattending parties a chance a taste of the casually weird moments that make Dirtybird Campout the breakdancing unicorn of an experience that it is, L.A. Weekly braved the rave to capture 11 expressions of rubbernecking wackiness that are indicative of just the sort over-the-top antics that draw participants and talent to the festival from all around the world.
Here’s what a four on the floor-loving house fly on the wall would have heard!
1. House Music Speaks
When Claude VonStroke played “Pressure and House” one fan turned to another, to say “You know how I can tell it’s house music?
“How?” they asked.
“Well, you know,” she said. “The song talks about it.”
2. The Harder it Gets
When one patron slithered out of his tent like Ace Ventura making his way from the rear orifice of a robot rhinocerus, his campmates turned to ask, “How are you this a.m.?” To which he popped up, cracked a beer and said,“You know what they say… the more you play the harder it gets.”
3. Dodge My Balls
“Don’t even try to dodge my balls,” one camper said before hurling a rubber ball at another in the annual dodgeball tournament. They scored, did a dance and high-fived a member of Black V Neck.
During DJ Glen back-to-back set with Bruno Furlan, DJ Dan walked by saying, “Hi, how are you?” in the most casual way, but the fan got so tripped up recognizing him only milliseconds after he passed by that his only utterance was a “gasp.”
5. Be My Wheelbarrow
Prepping up for the wheelbarrow race one camper turned to another and whined, “Hey, I was your big spoon last night. It’s only fair. You gotta be my wheelbarrow today.”
6. Scout Colors
Tucker Gumber, who is perhaps better known as ‘The Festival Guy’ said “The crowd at Dirtybird really gets in to the concept of Summer Camp. You don’t only express yourself as part of a team. You show your true scout colors.”
7. Art Boats
When Will Clarke was demonstrating bravado behind the decks onstage, Vlad Triaca, the Birdhouse Stage manager looked out at an undulating crowd enjoying it all the way out onto the water and said: “Everybody is showing up with floaties, lawn chairs and inflatable couches, which really reps the BBQ vibe. It’s made the inclusion of art cars possible. I’d like to see more stuff on the water — like art boats — next year.”
8. Get Me Wet
“You know what says, ‘Get me wet! Tie me up! Squirt on me!'” one patron asked another in the afternoon while sporting an ear-to-ear grin. “Hmm, um…” the other person trailed off as if getting lost in innuendo. “The signs for the tie-dye.”
9. The Bronze Butt Plug + the Double Dildo
“I got a bronze butt plug with my face on it,” Claude VonStroke said proudly. “It was a gift from the cougar asylum… There’s also a contest with a two-sided dildo and three winners. To see who won it, they have to put to put it down their throat and I come mark it with a sharpie.”
When Ardalan was casually asked what he was particularly enjoying this year at Dirtybird Campout he said “It’s really hard to be negative here, ya know?”
11. Avoid the Sludge
Justin Jay suggested Campout strongly, saying “10 out of 10. Would recommend for everyone.” In the same breath he also suggested patrons “Avoid the sludge. Bring extra floss. Rock & roll, baby.”