Dundee Lodge Campout is like a smaller, weirder DIY pickathon – Blogtown

Dundee Campout 2021 thanks to dundee campout

In August 2021, going to shows still seemed like a risky proposition. But the Dundee Lodge Campout — a small music and arts festival on a farm in Gaston, Oregon — seemed like a pretty safe bet. Dundee was presented completely outdoors with plenty of space for art projects, camping and swimming nearby, gathering a crowd of 450 casually hip-looking attendees and their free-spirited kids.

There was a beer shed selling quality local brews, independent vendors slinging neo-Neapolitan style pizzas, and a small stage that musicians lined up and played to a fairly tight clip. A band member carried his bass drum over his head, through the buzzing crowd.

Some groups seemed rather clumsy in the light of day. Others – like Sad Horse – were completely committed, rocking the crowd from a foot off the ground. Dundee has a strong Luddite, lo-fi feel – with a distinct lack of cell service – like Pickathon in his early years.

“I think it’s fair to compare us to Pickathon,” Erik Trexel, the festival’s co-founder, told the Mercury† “That’s probably the closest we can get to what we do. We’re a little rougher around the edges — sticking to a more DIY ethic — and we can’t get much bigger than we currently are.”

While Dundee was new to this writer last year, the 2022 incarnation – taking place on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August – will be the fourth party and the most ambitious of the organizing team to date.

Camping in Dundee in 2021.

Camping in Dundee in 2021. Suzette Smith

Trexel co-founded the Dundee Lodge Campout in 2018, after attending a small Bluegrass festival on the farm. Witnessing the eerie beauty of the area and the small but respectable stage, his imagination started spinning. “I thought ‘wow, we need to get people here because it’s just a really special place’.”

Keelin Mayer of Abronia joined him in the project and drafted the bill. Dundee’s organizing team has since added Fran Bittakis (of Joop Joop), Beckey Kaye and Brianna Peasely to its ranks – adding aspects of diversity and fine arts to its vision.

In 2020 they had to cancel a fairly ambitious two-night bill, and in 2021 they kept the campout small, with just one night of programming. This year, however, Trexel says the team has put together almost exactly the same lineup they wanted for 2020, with two additions: Chicago composer Circuit Des Yeux and Michigan noise rockers Wolf Eyes.

The bill is a dizzying overview of diverse and fascinating artists: Space Lady, Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, Sir Richard Bishop of Sun City Girls, Light Asylum, Grouper’s dream pop project Helen, Zomes and more.

“We try to have a wide variety of bands,” Trexel said. “But the bands we choose are definitely on the fringes of their respective genres. There’s a strong unconventional, psychedelic vibe, but I’d say the majority of the musicians are from or have ever been in the punk scene. They embraced each other all the do-it-yourself spirit [of Dundee]†

The walk from the Dundee Campouts swimming spot.

The walk from the Dundee Campout swimming spot. Suzette Smith

While the party doesn’t allow campfires (it will be August in Oregon after all), they do have an impressive selection of food vendors lined up, such as Umano Pizza, Renegade Kitchen, Autobahn Coffee and PDX Empanadas – last year’s festival heroes, who kept cooking after many carts ran out of food. Trexel says the vendors have a better idea of ​​audience size this year, so that won’t happen again. The party will also reprise its entire bar barn.

While the festival can’t get much bigger in terms of audience, Trexel mentioned many more ideas the team wanted to try out in the future, such as a Pickathon-esque children’s stage. He also wished they had a shuttle to the Elks Recreation Area swimming spot to make it more accessible – it’s only ten minutes away, but it would require a fence. General accessibility is high on his list of issues he wants to address. The festival’s camping area, for example, is in a series of uneven grassy hills, but Trexel says they also have places where people can get special permission to camp, closer to the stage and without any steep grades.

The $150 ticket to the festival covers both nights in one go. They don’t mess with one night tickets because they have to try and get those people to go home.

“We’re only selling 500 tickets, which keeps it pretty intimate,” Trexel said. “But it’s also difficult because we have to sell all those tickets to earn our money back. We do have a goal to pay the organizers something someday, but at the moment it’s everyone’s labor of love.”


Dundee Lodge Campout takes place at Dundee Lodge, 50845 SW Dundee Rd, Gaston, Oregon; Fri 19 Aug & Sat 20 Aug, $150 includes camping but not parking, youth under 14 free, more info on the festival site, tickets here

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Dundee Lodge Campout is like a smaller, weirder DIY pickathon - Blogtown

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