This California Music Campout Is a Brand-New, Off-the-Grid Queer Music Fest
It often appears as if the United States and the West is under attack — from the right-wing Trump administration, from white supremacist and homophobic factions who denounce diversity and preach hate, from religious and xenophobic intolerance and a media that willfully ignores the truth. It’s easy to feel that as queer people, ethnic minorities and women, we are losing the fight. But if you look deeper, you’ll come across radical groups and artists who are refusing to back down, refusing to hide. People who are demanding to be seen.
The Promoters of DUSK: California Music Campout — Jeniluv, Masha, Heidi Lawden and Stephen Rivera — are demanding that queer people, women, and people of color be upfront and visible at a new three-day music festival taking place this weekend (Friday, May 17, to Monday, May 20) on native land situated between Los Angeles and San Diego. A portion of every ticket sold will benefit the tribe and aid them in maintaining their land.
“What makes DUSK unique is that we are presenting an essentially underground lineup in a festival setting,” the promoters of DUSK tell Hornet. “A lot of local artists are overlooked by the big-ticket events that have started to occupy most promoters’ focus, so this is in a way a response to that. We are a mostly female and female-identifying queer women-run festival. Our lineup is diverse in terms of gender and sexuality. It’s important to us that we create a space for everyone to belong and feel welcome to. It’s our duty to foster unity around this festival; it’s almost the biggest act of rebellion you have when society at large is presenting the opposite.”
DUSK: California Music Campout takes place in an off-grid, unplugged environment. It has a limited capacity, which is part of an effort to maintain a family, low-key feel — a music festival and a camp out, a place to come together and be unified, to party and to explore and to feel safe to express yourself regardless of what that means.
But it’s still a place to hear amazing music and to dance, with a lineup that is made up of some of L.A.’s best local DJ talent, plus a strongly curated international lineup. Talent like DJ Harvey, DJ Nobu, Chris Cruse, Analog Soul, Kathi and Bears in Space are just a few who will be pulling the crowd to new, swirling heights.
DUSK producers say about what to expect from this weekend’s event:
There is a stream where we will set up a wellness area, and a shaded area for our Moroccan Chill Out Lounge with low-slung, vibey seating. Our café uses recycled wood for its structure and transforms into the Paradise Oasis Bar every night, where a cast of queens give out complimentary rosé, beer and elixirs. Our main and only stage is built and designed by Stephen Rivera and inspired by natural artist Andy Goldsworthy to blend with the environment.
The California dream of a hedonistic escape with music is something we were all inspired by growing up. DUSK is that: a gentle campout but with an absolutely kick-ass lineup of DJs on a world-class sound system and stage, on private land two hours outside L.A. and an hour outside San Diego. The Southern California landscape and lush hideaway in a secluded valley is the perfect liberated space for our gathering.
It’s important, as a community, not only that we feel safe and like we have places to come together, but that we remain visible. It’s important that we stand up, and that we refuse to be denied access to who we are. That we demand to be seen. Not just for ourselves and our community, but for the larger community, for those of us living in places where being seen can mean incarceration or worse.
The producers behind DUSK: California Music Campout are doing their best to make sure that we — all of us — have a safe place to come together and be open and free, to be our truest selves, in a beautiful location with amazing art and music. So get some camping gear, and demand to be seen by dancing all night long.