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Boogaloo 2017: A Look Back on LA’s Electric Burn

(All Photos by Miles Najara)

The most memorable part of Boogaloo Festival was the cars. Rows upon rows of decked out buses turned into DJ Booths, RVs turned into lounges, and flamboyant vehicles bursting with art. This speaks to a more important thing that made Boogaloo Festival stand out from its larger counter-parts: a community driven mindset (which comes as no surprise to a seasoned burner). The vast amount of co-creation that I witnessed over the weekend was astounding, and I'm gonna give you a little bus tour of just how awesome it was:

Stop #1: The Dirty Beetles vs. Oak Canyon Park

Tucked away past Orange, CA is Oak Canyon Park, nestled in the mountains of South Los Angeles. For the past 3 years, a rouge troupe of creators called the Dirty Beetles decided to take up shop with a few of their friends. Described as an Art Car & Music Festival, Boogaloo massively succeeds in carrying the funky DIY energy from Burning Man to LA County. The Dirty Beatles curated a stellar line-up of tech house, electro-funk, and R&B acts, including Z-Trip b2b A.Skills, Vanilla Ace, The Funk Hunters, DJ Dan, and Mark Farnia of mushroom jazz fame. More on them in a second, lets go to the heart of the grounds

Stop #2: The Mainstage

(photo: Miles Najera)

The Mainstage area was the heart of the entire endeavor, equipped with massage tables, amazing visuals, and a whole lot of weirdos. This is where the majority of the bass heavy music was playing, and where Z-Trip and A.Skillz performed the most memorable set of the weekend, filling the grounds with hot and heavy 90's RB bangers. Earlier in the evening came The Funk Hunters with an amazing electro-funk sound. Furthermore, the visuals for the Mainstage were delightfully weird, combining psychedelic patterns with retro cartoons. I was also delighted to watch Dom Corleone, winner of Boogaloo's beat contest previously featured on EDM Sauce.

Stop #3: The Unicorn Stage

Anyone remember Charlie The Unicorn, that incredibly hyper YouTube animation from eons ago? Well, you better get ready for candy mountain, because he's back in the form of a party bus. Equipped with candy cane dancing poles, pseudo-motivational candy hearts, and a giant Charlie The Unicorn Head, the Unicorn stage was the one stop shop for a bubblegum neon dance party. Featured here was the lauded Vanilla Ace and DJ Dan wrapping up both Friday and Saturday nights respectfully. While fun for adults at night, the Unicorn Stage was a mecca for the younglings during the day. Shout out to the 8-year old that was spinning at 11AM Saturday morning, you've got some serious chops.

Pit Stop: Lemonade Time!

“Hydrate before you Vibrate” was a popular sign that floated around the festival. This traveling lemon car was dishing out the tastiest way to hydrate, and was clearly the crowd favorite. Pro tip: the spicy cayenne lemonade went great with rum! Moving on…

Stop #4: The Dangle Bus

The vibrancy of Boogaloo was extremely influenced by the unofficial stages that came to fruition during the weekend. San Diego based collective The Dangle Zone has the best outlier party, IMO. This crew knows how to hang. They had a tiki themed stage blasting tech house, a trampoline to dance on, and gave tacos out late Saturday afternoon for all to enjoy. A+ my friends.

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Stop #5: The Blackbird Bus

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – African Proverb, mantra of the Blackbird Bus.

Despite several noise ordinances throughout the late hours of the festival, the Blackbird Squadron could not be stopped. The M.O of the crew was connection, and I could tell the vibes ran deep throughout their community. Despite being absolutely too exhausted to dance, I was able to enjoy the scene from atop one of their many double-decker busses. Ride on, my friends.

Stop #6: The Pearl Necklace

Deep into the fields of art cars and RVs was the majestic pearl necklace. Often seen on the outskirts of Burning Man each year, the Pearl Necklace made a swashbuckling appearance. Between the hot house music, the 30mph gusts on Friday evening, and the inevitable dust storm that followed, I felt as if I was really on the Playa. Pro tip: bring a bandanna, always.

Well, there you have it folks. Another successful burn. Be sure to check out the Dirty Beatles  for their upcoming events. And next year, when festival season rolls around in 2018, ask yourself: #DoYouBoogaloo?



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