Claude VonStroke is bringing his quirk-friendly caravan of house and tech-centric talent back to Modesto Reservoir Campgrounds October 4-6 for the West Coast arm of his Dirtybird Campout festival series.
The 2019 lineup boasts both familiar four-on-the-floor flock members, like Justin Martin, Shiba San, Mija, and J.Phlip, as well as multifarious members of the hip-hop and bass communities, including resplendently strange and multifarious sounds from Cut Chemist, Nastia, and the Grammy-nominated R&B singer/songwriter, Jhené Aiko. The three-day frenzy will see its off-the-wall curation sectioned into two stylized stages, with classically curious Dirtybird emblems designated to the Birdhouse stage, while the Bass Lodge will harbor just that, as well as the urban end of the roster.
The festival/label’s fearless leader and “head counselor” will be performing at the Campout twofold, under both his ’90s hip-hop-hailing experimental project, Barclay Crenshaw (his actual name) and his more widely known alter-ego, Claude VonStroke, in a back-to-back set with EPROM.
Tickets to the West Coast Dirtybird Campout are on sale now here.
Electronic music consumers over the last two decades would be hard-pressed to pinpoint an individual who’s impacted the dance music event space harder than Gary Richards. Since the 1990s, Richards (also known musically as Destructo) has taken his talents miles above their subterranean roots, largely helping shape the Southern Californian rave scene, relentlessly seeking new ways to secure dance music a more tangible, industry-wide foothold. From championing a quaint little get together, now known as Electric Daisy Carnival (incepted under the ‘Magical Mickey’ masthead, from when the event series bore Richards’ earmark in the ’90s), to hatching the now-legendary HARD Events, which bred the still fervently attended Holy Ship! and HARD Summer, he’s exuded a visionary’s proclivity for predicting (and propelling) the next electronic it thing oozing the je ne sais quoi that really makes an event stand above the rest.
Richards not only has a promoter’s penchant for garnering the excitement needed to get ideas off the ground, but a masterful musician’s tact to make them stick. A desire to liven up a scene subject to cyclical staleness served as the impetus for Richards’ most recent brainchild, branded AMFAMFAMF (All My Friends).
“The landscape is very competitive,” Richards said of picking up shop in 2017 after a decade at HARD to breathe life into yet another new endeavor. “There’s a lot at stake now and business people don’t want to see new things pop up. But dance music’s all about new and fresh and that really can’t be stopped.”
Though, despite the daunting nature of starting over in one of the most volatile industries in existence, the All My Friends event train gained almost instantaneous headwind, perhaps due to Richards’ own reputation preceding him. The first edition of the company’s cornerstone party, FriendShip Cruise, amassed thousands for its four-night maiden voyage aboard the Celebrity Equinox to the Caribbean. With it, came a colorful stream of genre-traversing acts, from Boys Noize to Busy P, RÜFÜS DU SOL to Rico Nasty. Richards’ seemingly curious curation must have struck a resounding chord, as the 2020 cruise is already 70 percent sold out.
In addition to a stint captaining Def American’s A&R sector under the emphatically accomplished eye of pioneer producer, Rick Rubin, driving innovation in the music industry is in Richards’ DNA. His father, Barry Richards, a concert promoter and prominent radio personality of the late ’60s and early ’70s, made sure his son’s sonic sonar was firing on all cylinders before he hit puberty, ensuring his kids got to catch everyone from Rick James to Black Sabbath. Barry himself is known for helping to introduce progressive rock to East Coast radio stations in his time. Quite ironically and somewhat timelessly, Barry certainly imparted his intuition and curative periphery to his son, as they stood on the precipice of a consequential musical uprising Barry never saw coming. Barry, it seems, believed Eminem when he quite comically announced “Nobody listens to techno,” on 2002’s unforgettable “Without Me.” Little could Barry have known at the time that Gary would famously sample the line years later for for his 2015 club sensation, “Techno.”
“My dad was always like ‘Don’t mess with that [electronic] music cause no one likes it,’” Richards said. “20 years later, he called me up and was like ‘Hey, what’s a Major Lazer?’”
With this perpetual irreverence for convention as a promoter/organizer, so comes Richards’ success as DJ-producer, Destructo; a success which can be characterized as a career-long dedication to discovering strange new ways to merge the house and hip-hop domains, which historically has been tough to do properly, even despite the two genres’ inextricably shared origins. Richards maintains his success as a musician is innately linked to his success on the business side of the coin.
“I think when you’re just a concert promoter you’ve never really been in the artists’ shoes, so you don’t really understand the nuances—especially DJing electronic music,” Richards said of his entrepreneurial edge amidst a capitalism-catalyzed sea of eager competitors.
Securing collaborations with rap icons like Ty Dolla $ign, YG, Yo Gotti, and Busta Rhymes, Destructo’s music soon became something of a G-house archetype: flippantly feel-good tracks for a night out up to no good. However, his latest record, a Dancing Astronaut exclusive, strides outside the hip-hop-predicated mold of his most notable works, for what Destructo himself dubs his “hardest-hitting track yet.”
“No Surrender” is a bass-driven battle cry primed for the perennially raucous festival frontlines. Bolstered by Parisian bass house duo, Loge21, the track employs Richards’ own thunderous, Sparta-inspired vocal cut. Destructo isn’t asking this time; he’s just cutting to the chase and coaxing listeners directly to dance floors.
AMFAMFAMF recently announced dates for both its Seattle and LA dates— Seattle will see a July 4 affair with Chris Lake and Justin Martin in tow, while LA’s October 19 – 20 event roster still remains a mystery. Though, as Richards’ newest festival property continues to build brand equity within a heavily diluted electronic events circuit, Richards’ is already sure of All My Friends’ longevity, noting it is one of his most important entrepreneurial accomplishments so far. “With that it’s the same Gary, just a different name,” says Richards. And if the last 20 years of dance music events are any indication—if it bears Gary Richards’ name, it’s going to be a hit.
Some people brought home overpriced Yeezy merch to commemorate Coachella 2019 and others brought home herpes. According to data released by HerpAlert, a website that allows users to upload images of affected areas of the body for clinical evaluation and then be prescribed treatment for the sexually transmitted disease, cases of herpes seemingly skyrocketed near Coachella during this year’s two weekend run.
The site, which diagnoses on average about 12 cases of the incurable disease on a daily basis, claims to have tallied up more than 250 cases per day around Indio, California between April 12 and 21.
In Coachella’s immediate vicinity—Indio, Palm Desert and Coachella Valley —as well as Los Angeles and San Diego, HerpAlert claims to have come by a reported 1,105 cases of herpes, topping the previous record, obtained during Oscars weekend with a total of 60 cases. Clearly what happens at Coachella does not stay at Coachella.
HARD Events’ hallmark, HARD Summer will return to Fontana Speedway this August for its 12th year of multifarious musical mayhem.
The SoCal staple’s 2019 lineup is colorful and cold-blooded as ever, bringing major players primarily from electronic and bolstered by hip-hop. From the former of these realms comes Alison Wonderland, Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, and a seemingly interminable length of others. And from the crest of HARD Summer’s rap/hip-hop current brings Kid Cudi, Juice WRLD, Sheck Wes, and more.
This year running the weekend of August 3-4, HARD Summer has long lived as a source of sonic foreshadowing of talent, particularly in the electronic space, showcasing acts like Skrillex and Diplo ahead of their rises to super stardom. Tickets to HARD Summer go on sale Friday, April 26 at 9 am PST. Additional festival information can be found here.
The Worlds producer announced on March 4 that he’ll be expanding his creative reach with the debut of Multiverse Music Festival, an event he’s curating in Oakland, California on June 15 with presenter Goldenvoice. The one-day festival will take place at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park and will boast a lineup of “so many of [Robinson’s] favorite artists,” according to his Twitter announcement. The lineup will be revealed throughout the first week of March.
Tickets go on sale March 15, with fan and AmEx pre-sales launching at 10 a.m. PT March 13. Sign up for pre-sale at multiversefest.com.
MULTIVERSE MUSIC FESTIVAL
a new music festival curated by me & co-presented by goldenvoice
me and so many of my favorite artists are going to play this thing
March 2018 saw Diplo deliver California, a seven-track effort that emanated the warmth of the EP’s namesake state. Diplo’s first solo production since 2013’s Revolution, the collaboratively diverse EP coalesced the likes of Lil Yachty, Goldlink, MØ, and more for an effervescent showing that continues to fizz with sonic personality, even as Diplo announces the imminent arrival of California followup, Europa.
Poised for a Feb. 22 debut, Europa will transport four Diplo originals from the electronic chameleon’s studio to listeners’ speakers. Diplo diffused some of Europa‘s sound two preliminary singles from the six-track, European inspired EP, “Boom Bye Bye” with Niska,” and most recently, “New Shapes” with UK hip-hop entity, Octavian. The remaining four cuts will call upon the talents of Soolking, IAMDDB, Bizzey & Ramiks, and Bausa. Diplo has continually proven his musical craft to be the antithesis to creative pigeonholing, and as such, fans can expect Europa to be a project that only further exemplifies Diplo’s commitment to conceptual and artistic versatility.
Residents of Southern California have been invited for a one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve gathering alongside the coast with ILLENIUM. Touching down in Huntington beach, fans of melodic strains bass can watch one of the genre’s greatest new talents output an unforgettable set that will start 2019 off on a good note. A to-be-announced special guest will be joining in on the festivities, which are organized by The Phantom PRJKT
Organizers of this party — which will also be all-white themed to amplify the atmosphere — made sure attendees are set with everything they need to ensure an ideal experience. Chilly temperatures come to mind when thinking about the beach at winter; however, the weather is no match for the heated tent or the non-stop movement that will inevitably occur at the hands of ILLENIUM and his co-performer. This ensures utmost enjoyment of the music, pleasantly set in a scenic beach backdrop.
The scoop comes from HITS Daily Double, as the outlet recently reported via anonymous, “informed sources” that the imminent installment (set to run April 12-21) will house headlining performances from Childish Gambino (Friday), Justin Timberlake (Saturday), and Kanye West (Sunday). The artists themselves have yet to comment on these claims.
Coachella 2018 proved particularly eventful, with notable performances from both Beyonce, who brought with her over 100 dancers onstage during her headlining set—in addition to a cameo from husband Jay-Z—and Whethan, the 19-year-old Boy Wonder of EDM, who personally flew out the yodeling boy internet sensation for a special guest performance, which quickly went viral on a sundry of social media channels.
A potentially transformative bill for California’s nightlife industry was vetoed on September 28 by Governor Jerry Brown. The “Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act” would have extended last call by two hours in nine cities across the state, offering individual areas control over curfews and closing times. Spearheaded by state Senator Scott Weiner, the bill cited the importance of California’s nightlife culture and economy and the limits that statewide regulations placed on them as the key factors.
Originally proposed in February of 2017, the act had already passed through the senate, reaching the last step on the Governors desk. It turns out final stop was the bill’s last. “Without question, these two extra hours will result in more drinking,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “California’s laws regulating late night drinking have been on the books since 1913. I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to two without adding two more hours of mayhem.” The state’s nightlife industry has been a key contributor to its economy for decades, but the 2:00am curfew is often mentioned as a considerable downside compared to New York City’s 24-hour venues.
Outside Lands will interweave cannabis education with the festival experience this year via its inaugural introduction of “Grass Lands,” a cannabis focused area centered around the “celebration, education, and integration of cannabis products into daily life.”
Grass Lands will provide a platform for further learning about the uses and effects of cannabis, while simultaneously showcasing several companies active in the production of cannabis related items. Although Outside Lands attendees cannot purchase cannabis products on site, ticket holders will alternatively be able to order from delivery services, and will also have the option to buy cannabis products offsite.
Outfitted with a greenhouse staffed by cannabis specialist “bud tenders,” a lemonade stand, “smell wall,” a “cannabis themed market,” and a flower shop, Grass Lands will join Outside Lands’ previously established Wine and Beer Lands areas.
Outside Lands’ introduction of the cannabis-centric space signals the event’s gravitation towards legal marijuana use in the festival circuit, following California’s implementation of legislation for legal recreational marijuana in early 2018. The San Francisco based event is slated for August 10-12.