The all-night festivities of The Dirtybird Campout got a bit greener in 2022 with the festival’s first cannabis activation.
The weekend-long festival is modeled after Dirtybird Records’ founder Claude VonStroke’s childhood summers at camp in the Adirondacks region of up Upstate New York. The festival’s namesake is one of the biggest House labels in California after twice winning Underground Label of The Year at the International Dance Music Awards in the 2010s. So you can expect plenty of adult fun until the sun rises, but don’t forget to stop by for archery or arts and crafts during the day.
While there was lots of weed to go around in the previous incarnations of the festival, this was just the first time it was available legally.
During a press conference on Saturday in the Ganja Garden, VonStroke was quick to give credit to his wife, Aundy Crenshaw, for getting the project together in just a few weeks, but she quickly noted it took a bit longer than that to get everything lined up. Crenshaw serves as Dirtybird’s COO and CMO.
She pointed to the county being supportive and the retail partners being on top of things as critical factors. Both she and VonStroke mentioned how happy they were to be making effective use of the waterfront space is such great fashion.
“It’s super awesome,” Crenshaw told the crowd. “We’re super jazzed about this new space and as you can tell, it’s a vibe.”
When we chatted with VonStroke we asked him if there was ever any pushback from the local partners Dirtybird has worked with over the years.
“Actually, it was really surprising, but the county is really behind it,” VonStroke told L.A. Weekly.
Crenshaw added from her perspective, it was pretty clear to the county how much revenue this may be able to drive back into its coffers to help further regulate cannabis among other causes.
“The entire police department was at Lap Dance for Your Life last night, as usual,” VonStroke laughed.
Crenshaw went on to note Tera Chumley, interim director of Stanislaus County Parks and Recreation, was a key figure in making the Ganja Garden a reality. Crenshaw said Chumley helped put together the county’s cannabis program in general so she was able to help a lot when it came to everyone getting their ducks in a row to execute.
“She really helped us figure out the timing of when the permits had to happen; she’s been great,” Crenshaw said.
Crenshaw and VonStroke believe the timeless safety of cannabis is one of the things that made the Ganja Garden such a hit as the club drug scene has been hit with wave Fentanyl-related deaths. Research that was released in March that followed the Toronto EDM scene for two years backs their claim.
The researchers concluded the “findings suggest that the fentanyl epidemic has impacted not only practices of illegal opioid use, but also practices of club drug use. They suggest that the fentanyl epidemic has in some ways facilitated the adoption of risk management, while in other ways undermined it.”
So it’s easy to see why weed might be experiencing a renewed popularity with the all-nighter crowd, much like mushrooms.
Gopi Sangha of Cusp Agency has been working with Dirtybird Campout on partnerships for the last three years. He’s been putting on festival cannabis activations since 2018.
“So eventually down the road we applied for a cannabis event producer license from the state of California and we created a cannabis agency called High Frequency. This is the first practical application of that new license,” Sangha told L.A. Weekly. “So we’re combining our partnerships with our experience, so we can create a space to legally sell weed at a festival.”
Sangha noted that on Friday alone, the Ganja Garden saw 2,300 people come through the space.
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