Bandit Town, just west of North Folk, Calif., is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and will soon host the All Night Campout, a weekend music festival taking place Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30-31.
The ghost town, in the dead-center of the state, was home to Marlboro commercial shoots, Civil War reenactments and wedding parties, but has stood sorely under-utilized for the last two decades. Until Jen McMillan, a former Long Beach vintage store owner, snatched up the rustic outpost last year, after discovering it on a road trip with her friend Shooter Jennings.
The All Night Campout is the biggest event (after the rousing sucess of the sold-out Family Picnic on July 4, pictured above) to take place on the 4.4 acres that hosts a saloon, a little chapel and even a jail, in case anyone gets rowdy. (Just kidding, it’s an old prop from Richard Kiel's 1991 film "The Giant of Thunder Mountain.”)
Appropriate to its central location, McMillan and organizers have booked a bill of bands from the Bay Area (Golden Void, the Fresh & Onlys, and the Asteroid #4) as well as many indie luminaries from SoCal, including Cosmonauts, Tropical Popsicle, Total Navajo and two acts who’ve recorded with local buzz label Burger Records, Summer Twins and Death Valley Girl. Other acts include Zig Zags, Ivory Deville, L.A. Witch, Jjuujjuu and Dahga Bloom.
No slumber party is complete without music, but that’s only where the Campout begins. Food trucks, movie screenings of classic westerns, and the nearby swimming hole (Lake Manzanita) will offer refreshment and entertainment for all cowgirls and -boys.
Attendees are invited to camp by tent, small RV, airbrushed ‘70s van or Beetle bus (among other choice rides). Tickets for the weekend are $65, and have already sold out for the “camp in your vehicle” variety, but others are available. Don’t forget to bring your bandanna-wearing pooch (it’s pet-friendly) or your ID (the event is 21 and over, but little kids are welcome).
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