Chillits is an annual ambient music weekend-long outdoor party, usually held every September, starting in 1999. From then through 2009, it was held at a private retreat center near Willits, California, US, and at an alternate location in Plymouth, California, US from 2010 to 2012. There is one main sound stage, with music playing almost continuously through the weekend by many DJs and, occasionally, live musicians. Attendance is limited to a few hundred people. It was started by the Cloud Factory community, then expanded and took on a unique character.
Most of the DJs and live musicians who play at Chillits could be considered amateur, in the sense that they do not attempt to make a living from playing music but instead donate their time and services. Some are San Francisco Bay Area technology luminaries, such as Brian Behlendorf. Starting with the 2000 gathering, many of the sets have been recorded and made available for free online (see links below).
In 2003, Mixmaster Morris performed at the event, and subsequently mentioned the campout in a BBC documentary later that same year . Following Morris's visit, additional recognition was garnered amongst the Internet community, resulting in the listing of music sets from Chillits on Boing Boing   . Other notable visiting acts include Black Sifichi, Lena, Robert Leiner, Gamelan Anak Swarasanti , Safety Scissors, Wobbly, Quiet American, Jonah Sharp, Randy Jones and Balearic Mike.
Due to the size of the venue, attendance at Chillits has always been extremely limited. The information sheet distributed with tickets says "Every year, the Chillits organizers agonize for months over how to distribute tickets so that everyone who wants to can attend. And every year, some good folks miss out. It's an obvious quandary: if we sold thousands of tickets then everyone could go, but we'd quickly lose the comfortable, laid-back vibe that makes Chillits so popular."
Ticket distribution is largely based on participation: collective members and others who involve themselves in the responsibilities and tasks made necessary by the planning and execution of the event are awarded the right to buy a pair of tickets. Basically, if you work it, you can attend. This work includes but is not limited to set-up and clean-up shifts, meal shifts, DJ/performance slots, door and parking shifts, equipment responsibilities, coordinator shifts, etc. There is a lottery system designed such that anyone who wants to attend may put their name in for a chance to get tickets, as well as a mailing list that facilitates the buying and selling of unneeded tickets, between private parties, right up until the event begins. There is obvious difficulty in trying to please everyone all the time, but over the years much effort has been expended toward pleasing as many people as possible. Few similar events have been created, despite the availability of this and other similar venues across the land, despite the obvious demand.
- sets from 2013
- sets from 2009
- sets from 2008
- sets from 2007
- sets from 2006 (only a few were successfully recorded)
- sets from 2005 – Boing Boing review
- sets from 2004 – Boing Boing review
- sets from 2003
- sets from 2002
- sets from 2001
- sets from 2000
- earlier years were not recorded, and/or the recordings are not available
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chillits.|
- The Cloud Factory
- BoingBoing.net – Chillits 2009 ambient music mixes online 
- BoingBong.net – Chillits 2005 ambient DJ sets online 
- BBC Documentary Moments in Love, in which Mixmaster Morris mentions Chillits.
- "BBC Documentary Moments in Love". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Chillits 2004 ambient DJ sets online". Bong Boing. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Chillits 2005 ambient DJ sets online". Bong Boing. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Chillits 2009 ambient DJ sets online". Bong Boing. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Gamelan Anak Swarasanti". Gamelan Anak Swarasanti. Retrieved 2011-09-26.