The Wet Hot American Summer of music festivals is back! This weekend Dirtybird Campout returns to the hills of Silverado Canyon for three days of beats that exceed far past curfew. From Archery to tie-dye-shirt-making to gripping games of tug-of-war, the collaboration between the Do Lab and Dirtybird Records is a match made in festival heaven. Like last year, many performers have been granted the responsibility of being camp counselors— with Barclay Crenshaw, better known as Claude VonStroke, reigning as the king of the campout. This year, however, the festival is expected to be twice the size of last year, meaning there will be tons of Camp Dirtybird rookies. But fear not, friends! We've devised a beginners guide of tips and tricks that will guide you through your campout experience.
1) Keep an eye out for the Dirtybirds:
Unlike most festivals where a complete separation exists between festivalgoers and performers, Dirtybird Campout is the opposite. In fact, it's common to see Djs on the lineup in full-on camp mode, mingling with fans and creating mischief all over the festival. It's even normal to spot the OG Dirtybirds, like Claude VonStroke or Christian Martin, hanging out in the crowd, dancing to sets or participating in camp activities. Last year Justin Martin, Dirtybirds famous pizza lover, made pizza for festivalgoers at the Dough Lab for a couple of hours on the first day. "If you see any of us wandering around, we encourage you to come say hi," says Sean Williams, who's better known as 'Worthy,' one of the four original founders of Dirtybird. "We live for those kinds of interactions. It makes the festival like a family party— that's what makes the Campout different than other festivals."
2) Participate in the activities:
Let's just put it this way: If you decide not to participate in any camp activities, the level of fun you'll have all weekend will likely cap at a seven-and-a-half-out-of-ten. If you decide to participate— whether it's boat racing, mini golf, potato sack racing or performing at the talent show— it's possible you'll have the best weekend of your life. And the best part, according to Worthy, is that you won't miss any performances if you decide to partake in camp activities. "I think people often believe that if they participate in the games, they'll miss the music," says Worthy. "But the music can be heard across the entire campground. No matter where you are you'll hear the music, so there’s really no way to miss much."
3) Prepare for the elements and bring the essentials:
Last year the weather forecast leading up to the festival predicted clear skies and temperatures well into the 90's. But by the time day-three arrived, grey clouds wrung themselves over Silverado Canyon, creating an extra layer of festival chaos— especially for those who didn't have the right gear. For those who came prepared, however, the mud only added to the party. This year's forecast reminds us a lot of last years: Sunshine, blue skies and temperatures in the hi-80s with lows in the mid-50s. That said, it's wise to come prepared. Bring clothes for warm weather, but pack clothes for the unexpected.
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Also, make sure to pack the essentials: A reusable water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, bandaids, Chapstick and hand sanitizer. Oh, and it's always a good idea to pack extra toilet paper. "Nothing is worse than a port-a-potty being out of toilet paper," says Worthy, who seems like he knows this from experience. "It's just like this moment of 'NOOOOOO WHAT DO I DO?!' So bringing extra toilet paper is probably smart. Plus if you're a guy with extra toilet paper, you can be the hero to the girls who need toilet paper," he laughs.
4) Save money and carpool:
As a way to lessen the carbon footprint, the Do Lab and Dirtybird created an incentive to carpool. If you drive by yourself, it'll cost $20 to park. Even if you leave and come back, and you're a single passenger you'll be expected to fork out 20 bucks. If you carpool, however, parking is free. To us $20 in parking sounds like a waste when it could be used for something better, like, say, beer. Or pizza. Or other fun festival things one can procure on the festival grounds, like, uh, merch. Yeah, merch...
5) Unleash your inner child and check your attitude at the door:
The best part about Camp Dirtybird is that there are no rules, except to check your ego at the door and unleash your inner child. Campers' only responsibility is to have a good time with the people around them. "I think what makes the Campout super special compared to all the other festivals is that you can be completely free without having to worry ," says Worthy. "Everyone, even the performers, are letting their inner, carefree child run amok. This is the ultimate adult over-night camp so make sure you bring a good attitude and prepare to let the child in you run wild."