Getting Back to Basics with Woogie Weekend
written by Bryan Deng
As someone who has gone to many festivals big and small over the years, the humble and loveable Woogie Weekend is a breath of fresh air. Organized by The Do Lab, the same people you have seen at Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, Dirtybird Campout and more, you can rest easy knowing that all the organization and infrastructure will be in place for you to have a good time. The grounds at Oak Canyon Park is the original venue for Lightning in a Bottle and it’s great to see The Do Lab returning to its roots. While you won’t find the huge art installations from Lightning in a Bottle, or the wild shenanigans from the Do Lab stage at Coachella, this is a unique festival that is all about the music and the people.
Woogie Weekend Quick Facts:
Crowd type: Hippie, Raver, Burner
Music genre: Tech House, Psi-House, Deep House, some Drum & Bass
How To Get There
Where To Stay
Being in the campgrounds was half of the experience of Woogie, with renegade stages, art cars, and artistic camping set ups at every corner. The campgrounds were far enough from the festival stages so you didn’t have to worry about noise and close enough that you could easily walk to the festival whenever you wanted.
Many of the same vendors from LiB were there such as the juice/smoothie bars, the Thai and fried rice stand, The Dough Lab pizza stand, all offering delicious vegan and gluten-free options. However, since Oak Canyon Park is only a short drive away from town, it’s easy to make a food run to buy whatever you need. One of the best moments of the festival is when some guys from my camp magically showed up with In-N-Out burgers and Costco pizza for the whole camp on Saturday afternoon.
If you have ever been to a festival at Oak Canyon Park, whether it was a previous LiB, Dirtybird Campout, or Boogaloo, you would know that the venue provides an incredible amount of character to the festival. Between the wide open layout, the bridge overlooking the lake, and the mountains rising in the distance, its definitely one of my favorite places to fest. Each organizer uses the space differently to accommodate production, which always keeps things fresh. Woogie Weekend’s production features two main stages, the Woogie Stage from LiB rebranded as “Kaleidoscope” and complete with fluorescent industrial pipes, a laser light canopy, a disco ball, and a bubble machine. The other stage was a multi-level hexagonal stage nicknamed “The Hive” with large tower structures in the back that people could hang out inside of. There was also an unofficial after hours stage in between the two that hosted an amazing lineup, which was a nice surprise.
Artists You May Not Have Heard of But Can’t Miss
To name a few, Tara Brooks from Desert Hearts crew threw an unannounced after hours set, and Claptone (who usually plays a chill deep house set) threw down a hard Berlin style techno set. Highlights also included Lee Reynolds from Deserts Hearts who was in mix on Sunday, as was TEED (The Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs).
Things To Do
Even though the music started at noon, Woogie offered several other things to do during the day. The water games party at the slip and slide on Saturday was off the hook, and yoga classes were scheduled every day at sunset. The many clothing and jewelry vendors also made for some great shopping to take up down time. Some of my best times were spent hanging out with the live artists and seeing their process of creating beautiful paintings and other incredible works of art.
Just like LiB, the sun got very hot during the day from sunrise to sunset and made the grounds dry and dusty. There’s no natural shade in the campgrounds, so a canopy and/or a portable fan/spray bottle definitely comes in handy.
Car camping required purchasing an extra pass, but general parking is free. Getting from general parking to the festival grounds meant you had to walk through the car camping area, about a half mile. This is much more doable than the sprawling camp grounds at LiB. What I’m getting at is if you don’t mind the walk, you only need enough car camping passes per car/RV to hold down your area in car camping. The rest of the group can opt for general parking.
My first impression of Woogie Weekend was that it’s a smaller version of Lightning in a Bottle. As the weekend went on I noticed a few major differences. First of all, the size of the festival made finding friends easy and also made it likely to run into the same people several times a day. The smaller size also meant not having to deal with large crowds and long lines.
Lightning in a Bottle was all ages festival so many families brought their children, whereas Woogie was 18+ so the kids stayed at home. It was interesting to see the younger and older generation of festival goers making real connections with each other, and I got to meet many newbies who told me Woogie was their first festival.
The festival takes the best aspects of Lightning in a Bottle, Desert Hearts, and Boogaloo and combines them into one easy-to-handle festival. If you have never been to a camping festival and want to see what it’s all about, Woogie Weekend is the perfect place to start. For a peek into this year’s adventure the check out the official aftermovie HERE.