Once in a while, we come across an event so magical that it takes days, if not weeks to put our experiences into words and transpire our memories onto paper. While the music, the heartbeat of an event is critical to the overall experience, is no longer the entire experience. It takes an abundance of energy, an artful eye & a touch of complete, absolute weirdness to capture the heart and soul of those who commit themselves to the promises of the weekend. The Do Lab knows just how to make that happen... And with the assistance of Mother Nature and all her mysterious intentions - The Woogie was exactly that; a mystical weekend, a moment sealed in time as one of the most out-of-this world weekends of our summer.
Entering the familiar site of Oak Canyon Park was nostalgic for those of us who spent our earlier years celebrating festivals such as Jujubeats, 420 Festival and of course, the very first Lightning in a Bottle. The familiarity of the space and the happiness it created for us years ago was more than enough to start the weekend out with an ear to ear smile. The sunshine beating down on Irvine Lake, reflecting the positive energy of the budding campground provided the standard laid-back California feel, various themed camps were found sharing music and their space with neighboring campers. The colorful woogie towers could be seen from anywhere in the campground with the promise of after-hours performances. Peeking through the oak trees the anticipation of nightfall was brought on by the rainbow tents hovering over the Beat Nest and The Hive.
Friday night was a flurry of music, pizza, lights and warm summer weather. New friends and old friends came together under the lights and sounds of the stages -- an honorable mention for Jeremy Sole and Camea at the Beat Nest for getting the vibe tribe together as we congregated under the massive experimental beats of our early evening. The closing ceremony of Freaky Friday commenced at The Hive where Adam Freeland knocked the panties off whoever was still wearing them. (Not many, I assure you). I often wonder if we actually did teleport back to the playa for that incredible musical experience, or if it was all a dream. I'll let that one stay in my heart for a while.
Enter: Saturday. I'm sorry, did someone say we were in a drought?! I promise, after Saturday -- there was not a dry piece of land to be found. River rafting on air mattresses, dancing barefoot in the mud, catapulting down a massive slip & slide... these are just a few of the highlights from Saturday... all before the music even started. And then like a lightning bolt thrown from the heavens by Zeus himself - Pumpkin took the stage at The Hive. Whatever happened after that is unexplainable. The rain came down on us as we danced to the beats of our hearts married to the hypnotizing oscillations of Pumpkin's set, a collective of souls of every color unified under what felt like our final transcendence. Drenched from the rain and covered in mud we danced like we've never danced before. It was pure bliss.
A quick jump over to Gigamesh for some funky beats while enjoying our Sushi Burritos (yup, that happened) was a reset from the rain and debauchery of the new found campground mudlands. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Tara Brooks took over and spun an incredible 4 hour set - her energy was contagious and you couldn't help but fall in love with The Hive all over again. As the night came to a close and moon rose over the lake, we came back full circle as Pumpkin's surprise 4am set took over the sounds of the grounds. Through rain, sunshine, barefeet and flooded tents we danced until the very last beat dropped.
The sun rose just as quickly as it disappeared and on Sunday, the world of woogie flooded once again. Could it have been the rain dance from Desert Hearts mogul Mikey Lion? You heard me right. Mr. Mikey Lion, whose roots began back in the early LIB days came to fruition atop the Beat Nest on Sunday. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. Not too soon after, the flood gates opened and once again we danced to Mother Nature's soggy dance floor. While we genuinely missed the classic tunes of Rufus Du Sol due to the impact of the weather, Sunday was led strong by Autograf and of course, Lee Burridge. Sunday Funday retained an entirely new meaning. FUN DAY. Nothing could stop us from packing up our campsite and returning to the grounds which became reminiscent of Woodstock '69. Dirty hippies covered in med, glitter and henna grabbed hands with strangers and swung around in circles to the house music which runs through our veins. Why can't we live this way every day?
At the end of it all I walked away with thousands of memories, a new found appreciation for green grapes, mud soaked combat boots, a few (or more) empty tequila bottles and sore limbs from the deep belly laughter which seemed to have followed me throughout my three days in this weird wonderful wonderland. I loved harder, danced longer and lived more colorfully than I had when I entered the gates of The Woogie. Although this weekend will not soon be forgotten simply from the mud caked across the bottom of my car, tent and tapestries, we are permanently fused together; this place has apart of my heart and with it is buried pieces of myself that I left behind on the moonlit lake, howling at the moon.
Until next year, Namaste & Arrivederci.