The Do Lab’s Woogie Weekend braves stormy weather for a worthy debut
Last weekend, The Do Lab launched their newest event, Woogie Weekend. For many fans of Lightning in a Bottle — The Do Lab’s annual three-day festival — the best part of the weekend is the Woogie experience: the house and techno haven that brought John Digweed, Ame, Mano Le Tough and more this year. The Do Lab has essentially taken the stage and made an entire festival out of it. With the rise of underground dance music in Southern California, it’s a logical off-shoot for the brand. Similar events like Desert Hearts and Minimal Effort have proven there’s a growing market for alternative, non-commercial dance music in the area, and Woogie Weekend epitomized the movement.
In what some would consider poor luck for a festival’s inaugural showing, however, the event faced torrential weather conditions on Saturday and Sunday. Yet, at the same time, if there’s any group of people to embrace such a change and roll with the punches, it’s The Do Lab’s spiritually-grounded, environmentally-conscious community. In fact, despite the steady downpour, attendees were just as jazzed on the dancefloor, if not more enthusiastic because of it. Things turned a bit sour on Sunday as the music had to be cut off and various tents were flooded, but those who waited out the storm were rewarded with a takeover from Lee Burridge and friends.
Returning to Silverado, California, Woogie Weekend felt like a homecoming in some ways. After all, it served as the grounds of Lightning in a Bottle prior to its move to Bradley, California in 2014. With Oak Canyon’s picturesque lake and rolling hills, it was a serene sight — especially for those moments when the sun decided to pop out. The two-stage setup and medium-sized arrangement afforded easy transit around the festival, allowing one to hop between performances with relative ease — a nice change of pace from large-scale events.
As you’d expect from the Woogie’s savvy artist curation, the music was on point throughout the whole weekend. The Do Lab always goes the extra mile to book underrated talent and give them the platform to shine. These weren’t necessarily the biggest artists parading the underground circuit at the moment, but they were easily some of the most interesting. Standouts from the weekend included Alexi Delano on Friday night, as well as Tara Brooks, J Phlip, and Danny Daze on Saturday.
While rain may have dampened the weekend, it certainly didn’t dampen attendees’ enthusiasm. Woogie Weekend attracted the same kind of loving community as its parent event, Lightning in a Bottle — albeit skewed to more house and techno heads. The festival was the perfect amount of people, set in a beautiful location. With better weather, and perhaps a bigger budget for booking talent, Woogie Weekend has the potential turn into a truly memorable event. We hope to see it return next year.
Photo Credit: The Confluence