Dirtybird Campout Exclusive Interview with Ardalan

Dirtybird's local San Francisco DJ and producer tells SF Weekly what not to miss at this year's Campout (Oct. 5-7).

“Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health,” is what the arch over Downtown Modesto reads, but the Central Valley city isn’t always necessarily the most popular destination in California. That’s about to change this weekend when the West Coast Dirtybird Campout takes over the Modesto Reservoir (Friday-Sunday, Oct. 5-7). Beyond bonfires, barbecue, relay races, and camp counselors calling for air raids, this year’s musical lineup is better than ever.

SF Weekly spoke to one of this year’s counselors, San Francisco’s own DJ, and producer Ardalan, about his new projects, what songs he would remix, and  “renegade soccer.”


What’s your favorite part about the Campout?
The overall interactions every artist has with the fans and the number of activities you can participate in. Oh — and the music, of course!

Of all the counselors, who would be your ideal partner in a three-legged race?
I think Justin Martin for sure. He’s been running a lot lately.

What are things you can’t go to Campout without?
My mozzarella music sticks, a good attitude, Nasty Boy patch, cowboy hat, and the ARDY PARDY!

Let’s talk about that new event-curating project. When was the first ARDY PARDY? What is it going to be like?
The first event happened at Miami Music Week this year with Doc Martin & Soul Clap at Coyo Taco, and it was insane! The next one is this month at Minimal Effort with Kill Frenzy, Christian Martin, & Worthy for Halloween weekend [in Downtown L.A.]! It’s gonna be full of spooky surprises!

Ardalan at Dirtybird Campout in 2015 • Photo shot by Gustavo Mendoza

If you were to remix the first three tracks of the West Coast Dirtybird Campout compilation album, what would those tracks be?

  1. “Robot Butts” by n808. This tune bangs.
  2. “Kaya” by Lubelski. I like how sweet and pretty this one is.
  3. “Drum Loop” by NIQW. I love the tribal tone of this, I would strip it down and put a PHAT 808 kick on it.

What activities are you looking forward to most this year?
I have never been to Modesto Reservoir. In fact, I have only crossed the beautiful city of Modesto only when I was en route to Yosemite National Park. I’m looking forward to hosting the volleyball games this year on Sunday. There will be high fives all over, like in the movie Top Gun.

Were you selected or did you volunteer to host volleyball at this years Dirtybird Campout?
I volunteered. Initially, I wanted to do a soccer tourney, but there isn’t a official soccer activity this year. (I may throw a renegade soccer game, ha!) But I also love volleyball and I played a couple games the first year of Campout and it was so much fun! I have been practicing as much as I have been preparing for my set.

What track or release would you say was the first major pivotal turning point in your career?
“Mr. Spock” with Justin Martin, It opened many opportunities for me.

How was it collaborating with Walker & Royce? And will we be getting any more Escapade appearances like at HARD Summer this year?
It was super-fun. I love nerding out in the studio with Sam and Gavin. We all work really well together and have an admiration for Joe Pesci’s performance in Goodfellas. Escapade is a very exciting project for me and the lads. We are planning some fun surprises for 2019!


What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Creep” by Radiohead. <3

What is your favorite Campout memory?
So many memories, but probably when I won the first sack race in 2015. Also, when Justin through my cowboy hat into the crowd and someone snapped a shot of it mid-air!

What are three tips for a first-time camper?
Stay hydrated (always), be caring to yourself and others, and lastly, participate in as many activities as you can. They are the best!

What are three sets no one should miss at Dirtybird Campout?
Persian Empire, Slick Rick The Ruler, and The Martin Brothers.

Will you be taking over the blue channel in Silent Disco?
I can’t say anything yet, but you can ask Joe Pesci. 😉


Check out Ardy’s Exclusive: Ardalan’s Pre-Campout Party mix below


Dirtybird Campout, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 5-7, at Modesto Reservoir, Ardalan plays at 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the Birdhouse Stage

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