Photos by: Joe Runge
Story by: Adam Hanson
Summer Camp Music Festival is in its 17th year returned this past Memorial Day Weekend to Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois. The weather this year was beautiful minus the short and intense storm that passed directly over the festival grounds mid-day on Friday. This was my first year attending Scamp, but it seems the tried and true are used to the occasional weather blip, and it barely phases them after all these years.
I was really impressed with how it has all the small festival vibes with a lot of the benefits of a mega-event. The scheduling of the entire weekend was flawless through and through with something for everyone going on at all times. The festival featured a good amount of art installation, live painters, interactive environments, and places to explore and relax. The forest comes alive at night with lit signs directing you past beautiful chandeliers spread among the tents and color-changing trees.
The lineup this year featured something for everyone with a ton of great jam bands and a huge range of fantastic electronic artists. Some crowd favorites sets were Ganja White Night, Bleep Bloop, Herobust, Pretty Lights' red barn set, Gramatik, Liquid Stranger, and Rezz. Umphrey's McGee, moe., Trey Anastasio Band, and the Disco Biscuits held it down for the live acts. All the performances that I saw were top-notch.
A fully loaded assortment of extra curricular activities accompanied the massively diverse lineup. Contests, kickball, finger painting, the gong tent, tons of workshops all day, yoga, dance classes, hoop classes, and glass blowing all made sure you didn't spend much time at all in your tent.
Overall, I'd say I am kind of sad that I've missed out on so many years of Summer Camp. I had such a great time and met so many great people that I now plan on attending as many years as I can. The community vibe that Scamp has is really something special and I don't see that changing anytime soon. The festival goes above and beyond on ways to support the surrounding area by offering an extra intensive 3-day experience focused around teaching action-oriented initiatives before the festival.
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