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DirtyBird Campout: Retro Summer Camp For Funky House Fanatics

Travelers Today       By    Yuz Mitra

Updated: Nov 03, 2016 08:43 PM EDT

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The Dirtybird Campout is a newbie fest, launched only in 2015, but it's a definite that a tradition has been started. It's the brainchild of the people at San Francisco's Dirtybird record label, known for its funky house music output.

Dirtybird's founder, Claude VonStroke, mans the reins on this event, which is a no-holds-barred return to summer camps of yore. Potato sack races, s'mores around a campfire, archery contests and rowboat racing, all there for entertainment when attendees and travelers aren't shaking a hoof at the tech-funk-blasting stages.

The label stokes a fun-loving, underground vibe and its diehard fans fit the similar mold. Here, fashion within the demographics of 20 to 40 something crowd tends more toward khaki shorts and coonskin caps than kandi and furry boots. Dirtybird is about the music, not a ravey scene so much. Booty house maestro, VonStroke headlined the event, and label mates Justin Martin, J.Phlip, Breach and Kill Frenzy unleashed their bass driven bombs in other top sets.

Like many of the best held fests, the Campout is intimate, with a crowd of a few thousand, and the artists mingle freely with the attendees. And it all transpires in a retro summer camp environment.

Each day between 9 am and 7 pm, fest-goers choose from a full slate of games and activities, such as kickball tournaments, nature walks or sack races. The DJs often lead the charge, so you might end up playing tug-of-war with VonStroke or throwing water balloons at J.Phlip. In fact, the artists are the camp's "counselors," even wearing boy scouts themed uniforms and shouting instructions through megaphones.

Other throwback amusements include rowboat relays on the pond, tie-dyeing classes, dodgeball games, scavenger hunts and archery lessons. Body painting workshops and boozy stand-up comedy shows are welcome additions to the event activities. Yoga classes in various styles are another big to-do, as is the camp talent show.

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DirtyBird, campout, festival, music, theme camp, travelers
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