By Lindsay Alamillo //
Boogaloo Mountain Jam //
Oak Canyon Park – Silverado, CA
April 29th-May 1st, 2016 //
Boogaloo Mountain Jam celebrated its second year last weekend at Silverado’s Oak Canyon Park. The venue, which has hosted beloved events like Lightning in a Bottle, Woogie Weekend and Dirtybird Campout, did not disappoint. The park was turned into a small, intimate burner oasis for a weekend with famed playa art cars Charlie the Unicorn and The Dirty Beetles Bus taking the place of stages.
Because this festival was small in comparison to most others (with an attendance of less than 1,000), it gave off a much more personal feel. This could also be due to the fact that it’s put on by a bunch of Burning Man camps and affiliates. The festival itself was started by The Dirty Beetles. What began a few years ago as a fundraiser to fuel an art installation for the burn has turned into a wonderful family affair. People of all ages were in attendance, from the old shirtless man feeling the bass to the cute little baby in the onesie with his face painted and aviator headphones to match. It’s fair to say that spirits were soaring at an immeasurably high rate as a result.
Walking through the entrance gates, attendees were greeted with a picturesque scenery filled with lush trees, green grass, sunny skies and a tranquil lake. The stages were all placed fairly close to each other; you could easily walk the perimeter in less than 10 minutes. Surprisingly, this did not affect the sound quality as the crisp and clear sounds of each stage pierced the air around it. Vibrant colors surrounded the open space as vendors set up shop to offer attendees sparkling gems and crystals, essential oil blends and serums, handcrafted jewelry and leather goods. Canvases and other art pieces seemed to be perfectly placed around the park like they were treasures just waiting to be discovered.
The lineup did not boast big multi-million-dollar DJs but did have several popular artists who have strayed away from the mainstream. DJ Dan, Stylust Beats, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Funk Hunters and a few of the acclaimed DirtyBird cast — Worthy, J. Phlip and Christian Martin — all made the trek out into the mountains for a weekend of dancing and good vibes.
Favorites within the LA community were also in tote. Venice local Marques Wyatt, Josh Billing (resident DJ of Orange County’s Focus Nightclub) and KCRW’s own Jason Bentley all worked to keep the smiles big and the bodies moving.
The music didn’t stop at the end of each night’s scheduled acts. The campgrounds were filled with renegade camps offering after-hours sounds and activities for everyone who wasn’t ready for the night to end. The Dirty Beetles hosted their own after-hours party lasting until 6 a.m. Saturday morning with DJ Dan. They were just getting things started, after all.
But the weekend was not just about the music. In true burner spirit, art and creativity were flowing heavily throughout the three-day extravaganza. Oak Canyon Park was flooded with outlandish costumes all outstanding in their own right. Hoop dancers, LED knickknacks, steampunk-inspired headwear and live paintings could be found scattered anywhere within the park or its bordering campgrounds. Along with their leave-no-trace-behind philosophy, the promotion of radical self-expression was alive and thriving. It was wonderful to watch these basic principles of Burning Man be both graciously and voluntarily embraced without question or explanation.
Everyone in attendance seemed to be in better than great spirits, showing love, admiration and respect to whomever crossed their path. It seemed like every introduction came with a hug, and smiles adorned the faces of everyone around. It was the kind of place that you visit with your friends and leave with a newfound family. The positivity was powerful, and people had nothing but great things to say about the weekend.
The music, art and people of Boogaloo worked together to create a synergetic energy that was felt by anyone who set foot on the park’s campgrounds. This intimate affair is still a hidden gem, but don’t be surprised if this little party gets a whole lot bigger by this time next year.