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2015: Camp-outs won the North American festival circuit

Everyone’s over the parking lot rave

  • Words: Carré Orenstein | Illustration: Alex Jenkins
  • 14 December 2015

If you went down to the woods in 2015, you'll probably have encountered a fat soundsystem and a euphoric bunch of dancers and DJs willing to push the good vibes all weekend long.

This was the year of the camp-out. Festivals held at lush camp grounds popped up everywhere and provided way more fun than their parking lot equivalents. California was a hotspot: the Dirtybird crew put on their first camp-based festival and Lightning In A Bottle spin-off Woogie Weekend made its debut. Symbiosis Gathering returned after a one-year break and Desert Hearts threw two festivals that were their largest and most hyped yet. There was also Sunset Campout and Northern Nights, meaning West Coast festival goers really do deserve a medal this year.

Elsewhere, Robot Heart launched Further Future in Las Vegas, What The Festival landed in Oregon and Shambahla returned to Southern British Columbia.

You'll only camp at giant fests like Coachella, TomorrowWorld and Bonnaroo if you're trying to avoid spending $600 a night on a Motel 6. That means that only half of the attendees get caked with dirt while the other half are as dolled-up as The Kardashians, meaning there's going to be a clear divide.

As you can probably tell, camping is kind of a requirement at these festivals. For the most part, once you're out there, you, your friends and everyone else are all in it together. Not everyone requires access to cold-pressed juice and hot showers; some just desire a really unbelievable experience with high quality dance music to keep them fully locked in to a weekend marathon. And this type of boutique experience is so incredibly important to the scene, because there are so few major festivals that leave attendees with any room to breathe and, most importantly, relax.

Continued...

 
 
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