Oak Canyon Park
Woogie Weekend, the three day mini festival hosted by the Do LaB, took over the eastern hills of Orange County last weekend at Oak Canyon Park. Between four and five thousand people in attendance, the intimate hippie fest was filled with dreadlocked lovers from around the nation who came to get down to the Woogie vibes.
A circus-like energy flooded the grounds of the event, as massive kaleidoscopic structures in the shape of flames rose from the ground and people roamed the venue on stilts and trampoline spring shoes. Tie-dye tapestries–which might as well be considered the hippie flag–hung from tents, and the sour aroma of marijuana endlessly wafted through the campgrounds.
One fascinating aspect of Woogie Weekend was the humorous, yet cheerful camaraderie shared by festival goers. The best example of this took place at 9 a.m. during Saturday morning yoga. While some embraced the day with a Hatha flow, others sat at the near by tables drinking red wine out of the bottle, as they drunkenly cheered for the yogis who shifted from chaturanga to downward dog.
Even when the rain poured and the festival became a mudslide the party prevailed. In fact, the rain added an extra layer of magic–and madness– to the event. Festival goers still romped around barefoot, letting the mud squish between their toes as if it were everyday routine. This was especially true during Lee Burridge's three hour set, in which a blonde barefoot girl dressed in rainbow yoga clothes was overcome with so much excitement that she gracefully penguin dived into the mud and proceeded to flail her hair and legs around like a mermaid. The best part was that she wasn't alone. Everyone in the crowd frolicked through the mud and participated with similar lucid enthusiasm.
Just as the rain didn't stop those in attendance from wearing face paint, glitter feathers and faux fur, the Djs didn't let the monsoonal weather affect their performances either. The Beat Nest stage and The Hive remained the heartbeat of the woogie party, as they pumped out some of the rawest electronic sounds.
What makes Woogie Weekend stand out from other major music events, however, is the festival's simplicity. Unlike Coachella, EDC, Burning Man or any other festival for that matter, Woogie Weekend did a stand up job at making music the sole focus of the event. Although the assortment of interactive art instillations at other festivals add to the experience, they sometimes shift the spotlight away from the music. Woogie Weekend did a flawless job at placing the emphasis on the beats and less on external elements, allowing everyone to come together and experience the music.
Even with the erratic weather that flooded the Beat Nest stage causing it to shut down, the first annual Woogie Weekend still provided a high level festival experience. After the weekends success at Oak Canyon Ranch, there's no doubting the festival's return next year.