Rearview Mirror: A Look Back at Dirtybird Campout West Coast 2018

Taking a look back on some of your favorite memories is an action filled with countless different emotions. Excitement thinking about dancing shoeless in the sand with some of your best friends. Sadness knowing that it is all in the past. A sweet nostalgia that comes with the knowledge you’ll be back at it again before too long. And no matter how much we try to move on there are some experiences like Dirtybird Campout that linger at the top of our minds for months after the fact. Even though it has only been a week since the Birdfam descended on the Modesto Reservoir Campgrounds, it is important to take a look back at some of the most significant aspects of Dirtybird Campout West Coast to appreciate what the festival had to offer.

It is impossible to describe every fact and facet of this festival that went well. From perfect weather throughout the weekend to the ever-friendly Birdfam and their impressive outfits to the field games and special activities at the Bunkhouse, there was never a dull moment at the event. But there are three specific highlights from last weekend that show why Dirtybird Campout is one of the most premiere music events in the U.S. and the world.

The Bass Lodge

Pretty much a unanimous opinion among campers is the fantastic stage design and location of the Bass Lodge. After crossing a land bridge to a small island in the reservoir, Campout attendees were treated to a beachfront property with all the vibes of being at the ocean. Featuring showcases from Justin Jay’s Fantastic Voyage, Worst Behavior and Trippy Ass Technologies, the Bass Lodge also hosted tons of heavier music throughout the weekend as well as the Early Arrival party with Patrick Topping. For most who attended this felt like the place to really let loose and have a good time. There was even a group of campers who had the brilliant idea of bringing a champagne and charcuterie treat out to the island on Sunday afternoon. And who could really say no to a little bubbly with cured meats and cheeses on a sunny beach with some of your favorite music and favorite people!

The Renegade Camps

Although smaller in number than East Coast Campout, the renegade stages this year were nothing short of impressive. Two in particular stand out – The Temple of Doom and the Brick Oven. The Temple of Doom camp was impressive and impossible to miss, sitting right at the corner of one of the walkways. And as the time went by it became more and more elaborate, adding a covered walkway with fake grass, a DJ setup with a lighting rig behind it and finally a projector playing scenes from, you guessed it, Indiana Jones. But the Brick Oven was by far the preferred late night destination. With sets from Christian Martin, Ardalan, Justin Jay, a special appearance from Mark Starr and a wandering saxophone player who joined in on the fun at 5:00 A.M. there was really nothing else that could have made it better. Except maybe some actual brick oven pizza!

The Music

This category goes without saying. As always, Dirtybird delivers some of the best music on the planet. And while no set was bad, there were a few that stood out among the crowd of heavy weight performers. Although it may have been her first appearance on the Dirtybird stage, VNSSA led off the festival with one of the best sets of the weekend. If you didn’t get to the Birdhouse by noon on Friday you missed her throwing down quite a few gems, including ‘Aphrodisiac,’ the unreleased collaboration between GAWP and Gene Farris. Justin Jay’s Fantastic Voyage opened up the Bass Lodge with an incredible performance featuring Thumpasaurus on the happiest and most ridiculous vocals around. But the standout performance of the weekend came from a name you’ve probably never heard before: Roman Flügal. While not a household name in the U.S., this German knows how to bring the hot fire. With an hour and a half of non-stop acid disco vibes, Flügal displayed the most intricate and masterful mixing of the festival with a track selection that will still give you goosebumps a week later. And don’t worry, the unreleased tracks from Walker & Royce, the new Shiba San and Will Clarke EP that they both played and all the other new songs you heard at Campout will be coming soon enough.


To be honest, any article recap of Dirtybird Campout will ultimately fall short of doing the event justice. There are simply too many aspects of Campout that make it unique to try and tackle all of them at once. It could take days or weeks to write down every memorable experience from the last weekend. Whether you were astounded by the Space X launch on Sunday night that looked almost like a Dirtybird egg or encapsulated by the thrilling performance of the Lumbersexuals, two things are guaranteed. Dirtybird Campout West Coast 2018 will live on in infamy as one of the best events that the Dirtybird Team has thrown yet and we’re sure we’ll see you back for West Coast Campout 2019!

Photo credit to @Chmabi, Kirsten Ingrid, Rodolfo Ramirez and Juan Ramirez! Thank you guys for taking excellent photos of an excellent event!