There is SO much more to Dirtybird than meets the eye. Starting off as a music label and a dream in 2005, Claude Vonstroke & his flock of tech-funk aficionados have evolved the Dirtybird name into a complete multiverse, including their flagship festival, Dirtybird Campout. But how can you appreciate a festival without knowing all that goes into it? As a nerd & an avid festival attendee, I can honestly say that I get the most out of my experience when I actually take the time to do at least *some* research ahead of time.
But, if you’re NOT about all of that, I got you. Here’s everything you need to know about Dirtybird Campout before you attend!
Grab your homies, pack your floaties & get ready to migrate West for one of the best festivals this side of the US. I might be biased because I'm a huge house head, but other than Daytrip LA & Salt Lake City’s Get Funky Festival, Dirtybird Campout is arguably one of the best lineups I've seen as far as heavy hitters in the house arena.
If you’re wanting a little break from all the dancing, grab your potato sack & hop over to Game HQ! Here you can face off with other campers in Tug-O-War, Kickball, Dodgeball & all types of field games reminiscent of the good ol’ days. Or, if athletics aren’t really your jam, head over to Craftopia to apply some patches from VNSSA to your sash (or backpack or whatever your heart desires), learn how to craft a totem, or just treat yourself to some dope festival braids! One thing’s for sure - there’s no shortage of activities to get lost in at this adult summer camp.
AKA the main stage! Here you’ll find your heartbeat racing & your feet shaping to a wide range of house & techno artists from Claude’s flock of friends. Past years have seen the likes of Sonny Fodera, Chris Lake, Walker & Royce and this year promises to be just as stacked. Ready to shake your tail feathers? Check out The Birdhouse playlist on Spotify to get a taste of what to expect from main stage this year!
Grab your pashmina and head over to the Bass Lodge for some heavier, wonkier, low frequency vibrations that’ll take you deep within and transport you to a whole other dimension. This year’s Bass Lodge lineup includes Medasin, Cookie Kawaii, and Claude’s wonky alter ego, Barclay Crenshaw. But wait! There’s more. The amazing folks at DBC took the liberty of recommending a few artists to check out at the Bass Lodge this year! Not only that, but they really blessed us with 3 hours and 2 minutes of Bass Lodge bangers if you’re really wanting to dive into the vibe of things!
Let your freak flag fly as you beatbox, bingo & show off your talents at Claude’s Cabin, dedicated to bringing campers together through absolute debauchery. Head over at your own risk, as you might end up on the giving end of a lap dance or belting out Lady Gaga at the Bad Drag Show! But, if that’s not your cup of tea, it’s all good! The DBC team has added a number of other shows, contests & activities including but DEFINITELY not limited to: a frozen t-shirt contest, the first annual Dirtybird Campout Spelling Bee, The Kyrian Grill Show & so much more. Check out the full lineup here!
Something super unique to this festival that I think larger festivals lack is the connection between the artists & their fan bases. At Dirtybird Campout, you’ll most likely find yourself twerking with Vonstroke himself right before catching a set from his alter ego, Barclay Crenshaw. Because you know, DJ’s are people too.
If you’re feeling a little more low key though, you can always create totems with Nala & VNSSA, learn to screen print with Nikki Nair & Sacha Robotti or participate in any of the other artist games and activities going on all weekend! I’d personally get there on Thursday, not just to get the best camping spot, but because playing some late night soccer with El Monk and Ardalan sounds like the best time!
During this time of the year, Modesto is very hot during the day, averaging temps as high as 78 degrees & as low as 50 degrees at night. Veteran Dirtybird Campers have mentioned dipping their pashminas in water to wear around either their necks or head as a way to keep cool while also warning of “cold as heck” temperatures at night so head over to DBC’s ULTIMATE packing list to make sure you cover all your bases!
While you’re at it, make sure to pack your favorite flotation devices & bucket hats and head over to the reservoir to row your worries away (not that you’ll have any at DBC) on some Kayaks, Canoes & Paddle Boards. But, if you’re feeling a little competitive, make sure to check out all Games HQ has to offer on land & in the water to make the most out of your festival experience - just don’t forget to pack the biodegradable sunscreen!
If you’re a first timer or new to camping festivals in general, it’s definitely worth reading DBC’s tips on sustainable camping as well as their Ticket FAQ’s for the most thorough breakdown of what to bring based on which pass and which add-ons you choose to buy; because unless you’re purchasing a VIB ticket or going the RV route, you’ll need to bring your own tent, a tarp in case it rains, shade for the tent when it gets hot and a ton of other logistical items to bring that could save you a ton of stress!
Very Important Birds
Although I'm sure everyone is a very important bird in Claude’s eyes, the VIB experience will give you a birds eye view of the entire festival (and private bathrooms - which mean shorter lines and to us girls, that means the world!). I’ve only done VIP at one festival and it was honestly amazing to have so much SPACE. Festivals can get really overwhelming for some so having backstage lounges to take a break from all the heat and potentially hang with some of your favorite artists is worth the extra cost in my opinion. If you’re feeling extra boujee or simply can’t be bothered to bring and build your own tent, make sure to check out their Birds Nest Luxury Camp Options, which include guaranteed headsets for the Silent Disco every evening, private FREE camp showers (typically you need to purchase shower tokens for $7/day) and other amenities aimed at elevating your stay.
Become a CIT: Counselor in Training
There are so many ways to get involved in the Dirtybird Campout but one of the best ones, other than the DJ competition, is to become a Counselor in Training! CIT’s are the ones who make sure the vibe is right and the community is tight knit, enjoying both behind the scenes and all the action at camp! Once your application is submitted & you’re chosen, all you need to do is put down a deposit and voila! You are officially a CIT!
As long as you meet all the requirements outlined in the CIT Work Exchange Agreement, you not only get your deposit back BUT you get a ton of other benefits, including a free festival & camping wristband, meals, shower tokens, early arrival access and more! Not a bad gig if you ask me!