On Friday June 22nd we arrived at the Universal River Assembly for the second half of Family Groove Company, and I’m glad we made it because they eased us into a great night of bumpin’ with their upbeat yet chill jams. The night was warm and pleasant, it was the my first trip to the Peoria Riverfront and I couldn’t have asked for a better setting. The venue is a picturesque park running alongside the river with a large and beautiful fountain spraying dashes of water high in the sky, greeting you as you come in the main entrance. The sun was still barely hanging in the western sky when we were getting in and we could hear Family Groove Company rockin’ it out as we passed the children playing in the fountain.
Once “inside” the atmosphere was nice and relaxed, with the perfect amount of people to space ratio. If you wanted to get up close to the stage, there was no shoving through crowds; or if on the other hand you wanted to hang back, there were plenty of chairs and picnic tables to sit on. DJ Solo made it difficult to stay put though as he brought us some fun and heavy tracks. Among some sweet originals, including a particularly unique song that borrowed a line from an insurance company commercial – of all places – he pumped it up with a sweet cover of my favorite Darude song “Sandstorm,” and got the crowd ready for the headliners.
EOTO is a band that I have seen many, many, many, times. It is amazing that despite these numerous encounters I do not get tired of their shows. The truth is, and I have said this before, that they manage to keep it fresh unlike any other band I’ve seen. With only two members, Jason Hann and Michael Travis, one would think it would be difficult for them to keep up with the current music scene; however they not only keep up, they sail past most acts that may even have bigger lights and performances, bringing forth a percussion-loaded jam unlike any other. Plastic petals lined the stage, flashing colors and images to EOTO’s dub-stepesque beats. It is hard to describe their sound, I would say that they are a jam-band-electronica-bass mix, but it doesn’t matter what “genre” you call your own I am willing to bet you will LOVE this duo. When they’re not jammin’ out as EOTO they’re playing in String Cheese…need I say more?
I was SOOO nervous…I was pacing; I was worried I would fall, I would trip, I would stutter, I would pee my pants…luckily none of that happened and I am so relieved. It was a great experience, such a natural euphoria to be up there in front of so many people and getting to announce one my my favorite bands of all time. I wish I could do it every year! As I have reiterated over and over, all the band members were ultra cool and made me feel comfortable going into it and that for sure helped. Thanks again, guys! You rock…in every way =)
Hello there fellow SCamper Dudes and Dudettes!
So the best weekend of the year has come and gone. I can’t believe it – it feels like it was a dream. I honestly am in disbelief of everything that has happened. I am SO happy that I decided to enter the Camp Counselor Contest, it was a last minute decision and I submitted the video on the last day at 8pm. From there we made the first 12, then we made the next round of 6. What many people don’t know is that I decided to make a second video for the following round in which I was going to do “tricks” as I jumped out of a tree. Well in making that second video I landed wrong after I jumped and suffered a concussion, four days of the worst migrains I’ve ever had, a bruised knee, a bruised jaw, a deep cut in my neck that wouldn’t stop bleeding for a day and a half and I chipped 3 teeth and lost half of one of my molars. Can anyone question whether I am dedicated to Summer Camp? The few weeks trying to win the contest was super stressful – I had everyone I possibly could spreading the word and voting…friends and family from as far as Argentina, Spain, Italy and Colombia. All the pain and hard work paid off though and we made top three and then finally won. It was amazing. The day they announced it, I had adrenaline constantly running through my blood and I couldn’t sleep; after coming to Summer Camp for 6 years I was going to experience my favorite festival in a way I could have only dreamed about.
I had so many things planned, so much I wanted to cover and see but the weekend seriously flew by and my aspirations were much larger than what was physically possible. However, I was able to get some awesome videos, catch some great sets, meet some amazing people, do really nice interviews, capture sweet pictures, and dance and hoop my heart out. Summer Camp is so big – there is so much going on that it is impossible to do it justice; for those of you who haven’t been – you will never know how amazing it is until you experience it for yourself.
I again want to thank the entire Summer Camp crew for creating the Camp Counselor Program. For die hard fans, it is the chance to live the festival through a completely unique understanding. As someone who goes year after year it was so special to get a glimpse of the world behind the stage. I will forever treasure these memories and will continue to attend Summer Camp every year, but now with a greater level of appreciation.
The highlights of the weekend are meeting moe. and announcing their first set, being side stage for moe., UM and Gigantic Underground Conspiracy, getting to see Wavy blow out his birthday candles, and getting a drum lesson from Vinnie. I tried to plan the best I could for the weekend, but there is just so much going on it’s impossible to plan for it all – so for the next year’s counselor I suggest you make a general schedule and stay organized. Being counselor is a great experience, but it is your duty to represent the festival and that is a huge undertaking – I knew that going into it and yet it was still even grander than I thought.
I am sad that Summer Camp 2012 is over; but I am already getting excited for Summer Camp 2013. From my first video entering the SC Counselor contest I claimed that Summer Camp is the best festival ever, and it is. The line up is amazing every year and the people who make it happen are all so awesome and nice. Thank you Summer Camp, thank you fellow SCampers, and anyone who is considering coming next year – it will be the best experience of your life.
Keep Striving for Peace, Love, and Unity Fellow SCampers,
Camp Counselor Maria