After a stormy but audacious inaugural year, Woogie Weekend, the Do LaB’s beloved house- and techno-centric affair, made a triumphant return earlier this month to Southern California’s Oak Canyon Park. As an intimate but potent experience, this offshoot of the famed Lightning in a Bottle festival attracted fresh faces and festival veterans alike, lured by the promise of a powerhouse lineup and the indelible good vibes Do LaB’s productions have come to be known for — without the hassle of dealing with mega-festival crowds or traversing inconveniently rocky terrain.
Instead, Woogie Weekend’s grassy wonderland was a playground for easy exploration. Two stages, the Hive and Kaleidoscope presented themselves as audible treasures only a casual stroll away from each other. While LIB asks that attendees prepare for up to a week’s worth of camping and reveling, Woogie Weekend is a decidedly less demanding experience. That’s not to say the event is bereft of the treasures of larger Do LaB productions — good vibes abound, and the small-but-mighty lineup was one of the most hyped this year — but one of the shining reasons why Woogie Weekend is so beloved is that it’s just so damned easy to enjoy.
Though “enjoy” might be an understatement. Woogiers are some of the most positive, enthusiastic festival-goers we’ve had the pleasure of partying with. Spontaneous hugs, raucous cheering and unabashed dancing lent the festival a contagious spirit.
While the vibes were palpable, the cornerstone of the Woogie experience is undeniably the music. From the classic soulful, jazz-inflected house of legend Mark Farina, to the tenacious techno from Heiko Laux, and Extrawelt’s extra-weird live electronica, Woogie Weekend’s superbly curated lineup is a breathtaking microcosm showcasing the breadth and diversity of dance music in all its forms.
Other highlights include a standout set from Thyladomid seamlessly melding together deep house and techno (setting the tone for a weekend in which both genres would cross-pollinate with beautiful results), Turkish maestro Oceanvs Orientalis, whose Saturday early afternoon set could only be described as an archaeological dig into electronica, steeped in eastern roots, and an after hours b2b set by local legends Marques Wyatt and Doc Martin providing a funky reprieve.
Outside of the music, Woogie Weekend’s smaller size meant quirky touches felt all the more personal: a hot pink Flamingo art car emerged with Do LaB staffers aboard handing out plastic flamingos for attendees to decorate the grounds with; a slip‘n’slide and water balloon fights; gorgeous live art lining the festival and more.
From the deceivingly simple fabric-swathed stages and lighting, to the ingeniously named amenities (“Dough Lab” pizza, and the “Beep Bop Bar” serving “128 beers per minute”), the Do LaB’s events are filled with heart and offer thoughtful fodder for rumination on how to imbue our own lives with a little more of the same creative spark. It’s for that reason and more that we’ll welcome Woogie Weekend and Do LaB events again and again for years to come, with open arms.
Featured Image: Aaron Glassman
All other photos unless otherwise credited: Jerry Lin / View more photos via JYDIW
Get a glimpse of the action in this newly released aftermovie.