guest written by Alexa Colburn
photo by Tony Edwards Photo from the Boogaloo FB
I’ve long left the festival, but I’m starting to believe that this is the festival that will never entirely leave me. Remember in high school when we used to tell people that we were high on life and music was our drug? Turns out that’s a real thing. And I would know because its 2 weeks post fest and I’m still trying to process all of the many and beautiful emotions that flooded my soul at Boogaloo Music & Art Car Festival. Boogaloo’s home is at the legendary West Coast venue of Oak Canyon Park, Silverado, CA. This land has been home to festivals like Lightning in a Bottle, Woogie Weekend and Dirtybird Campout. There’s no denying that there is a special magic to the land itself, but there’s a little something extra at this event in particular.
Magic & Weirdos
It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly that something is. For starters, it’s a pure and raw celebration of music and life. While there are plenty of interactive structures and countless displays of tangible creativity, there are no boujee antics. It’s a “no fucks given” atmosphere, and it was almost too easy to sink into the anything goes attitude of the festival.
“If weird is your thing, you’ve found the right party.”
With only about 2,500 people in attendance, you quickly find that it’s not only easy to connect with and share intimate moments with all these other weirdos, but you’ll never miss a beat trying to ‘find your friends’ either. With on-site tent, car and RV camping, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from anywhere you might want to go. Bathrooms were always clean and easy to find, showers were available for a small fee of $5, water fill-up stations were accessible, and reasonably priced food vendors lined the perimeter of the event.
With plenty of fashion and clothing vendors, (including my personal favorite festival thrift store, ThriftsyGypsy) you could quite literally show up with nothing but a tent and 100 dollars in your pocket thrive in every way. And as a result, every attendee presented as hydrated, healthy, dressed to the tens and ready to get down on the dance floor.
Get Down & Boogie
Boogaloo boasts music of all genres that will even make even the bassiest of bass heads happy (located at the Boogaloo Stage). And if you’re a booty shakin’ house lover, head over to Charlie the Unicorn. Each art car had its own sound as did the only true ‘stage’ at the festival (called ‘Live and Direct’). This stage hosted rappers, beat boxers, bands, and even an entire live set in memory of the beloved Pumpkin. While there seemed to be nothing but smiles at every set I attended, a personal highlight for me was watching the sun fade behind the hills Saturday night while two wildcard musicians named Chuurch fed us the perfect transition from day into night. I had never watched a duo have so much fun on stage together and when the DJ loves what they are doing so much, it’s hard not to love them back.
The Fabulous Crowd
As mentioned above, the energy of this particular crowd is comparable to what you might find at Burning Man, but beyond the very obvious display of freaks and fire dancers, there was more. While the festival was full of debauchery, the people somehow managed to maintain such a good-intention energy that the event proved itself to be dog friendly, kid friendly and even grandpa friendly. The festival clearly had a little something for everyone and a quick loop around the festival might bring you to a yoga class, live painting, an art structure that doubles as a jungle gym, a hole in the wall late night comedy joint, or a woman in a unicorn costume making giant bubbles.
At one point, I was crying laughing as I watched my friend shimmying on the dance floor in her sequin kimono, complete with a bottle of champagne in hand, as she ran in terror from a man in a dinosaur costume…. who was incessantly trying to booty bump her. And yet just minutes later I found myself sitting in the glorious grassy shade having an intellectual conversation about the future of music and how it has been effected by the development of the internet. Later contemplating the Fermi Paradox and pondering how wonderful the life of a mantis shrimp must be with its 16 types of photoreceptors that allow it to see every color under the sun. And yes, this all happened in the same weekend.
My weekend was full of dancing on top of the Pearl Necklace in front of a wall full of speakers, double bouncing friends on the giant trampoline at The Dangle Zone, and star gazing from the top of The Blackbird Bus. Boogaloo was full of hidden surprises that kept things alive long into the night. The abundance of love was infinite, not a soul I spoke with had a single bad interaction the entire fest, the grounds were respected and barren of any waste or trash, and the bold variety of music kept everyone’s feet moving from dusk till dawn and all over again. Its more than a festival… it’s a family. And with that thought, I leave you with my closing statement, 10/10 would Boogaloo again.
Check out the recap video below and get ready to start planning for next year!