Guitarist Matt Robinson from the band Old Shoe and their Manager Mike Kaiz talk Summer Camp Music Festival amidst a fierce backdrop of wolves hunting. Click SHOE to view.
On Friday at Summer Camp Music Festival things really begin to pick up. For me the day started off writing my blog from Thursday and going to the press area to upload all my photos. One of the coolest thins about being a CIT is that you get a peek at the inner workings of a music festival, and you get to see just how much hard work is put into making Summer Camp run smoothly year after year. Friday I had a busy day checking out music and spent little time at our campsite. My crew and I were able to catch:
Les Claypool and the Dead Kenny G’s
Indigo Sun at Grassroots tent late night
I want to go over some of the high points in the day for me musically. First Keller Played an amazing set including “Tweaker by the Speaker” and “Doobie in my Pocket.” Things got kicked up a notch when Al Schnier of Moe came out and played guitar on “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf. The feel good sound of Keller is the perfect music for a mid afternoon set at Summer Camp.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band played a great show at the Campfire Stage between Umphrey’s sets. Anyone who was lucky enough to catch them would not disagree that the tuxedo sporting band has been the sharpest looking band at the festival so far. The band’s name coms from the legendary New Orleans venue, Preservation Hall. Anyone who likes New Orleans Jazz will love this band.
My favorite set at the festival has so far has been Primus. They busted out some of my favorites off their new album like “Moron TV” and “Eyes of the Squirrel.” What made the set so memorable was when Bob Weir came out to perform “The Other One” by the Grateful Dead. This jam lasted for 10+ minutes and was full of energy and passion. Any time you can see a member of the Dead perform you know you are in for a treat.
Lotus was another highlight. Their performance last year in the Red Barn was one of my favorite at the festival. This year I feel the headliner spot on the Sunshine stage was well deserved. They did not disappoint playing songs like “It’s All so Clear to Me” and “Greet the Mind.” We stayed in the back for this set and chilled. There was a lot of space, and I felt like dancing so I got my groove on and enjoyed the show.
We are camped in section B like we always do. This is my favorite spot to camp because you get the Camping Stage right there to provide you with good music all day long. I am really digging the new location and size of the camping stage this year. It was always one of the smallest venues on the festival grounds even though it has consistently provided some of the best up-and-coming bands on the festival scene. It is the perfect place to stop by if you are always on the prowl for new music.
Besides music I have been lucky enough to catch up with several friends I haven’t seen in a long time. I also am meeting new people every time I wander off from my friends, and it made me realize that at Summer Camp you are never alone cause we are all a big family. It was also cool to talk to Adam Alexander, a great photographer covering Summer Camp again this year. I owe him one because he is the one who took the photo of my in my chicken hat last year that was used as the camp caption challenge contest, and all my profile photos. Check out his photos, he rocks.
Make sure you check out my photos from the festival on the Summer Camp Flikr page
Follow @chickenheadfan on Twitter to stay updated on where I am at the fest.
If you’re particularly good at staying up all night (or waking up really early), you can catch sunrise kickball on Saturday. The sun was already up at 6am when the group converged on the grass towards the back of the Sunshine Stage viewing area, and about 200 people were there and ready to play.
I stayed mostly on the sidelines – the collective outfield, really – where you main job is to catch any ball that comes your way. The mad dash to get on deck to kick was pretty impressive each inning, and I’m not entirely sure how teams went (or really if anyone cared).
The real gem of kick ball is Ryan. Ready to rock in a red kimono and a speedo, he twirled his mustache before throwing out pitches (side note, he’s a really good pitcher). The crowd loves him, and couldn’t wait to show off their skills and earn a high-five or a hug from him for a job well done.
It’s not easy to make it to morning kickball, but if you ever find yourself stumbling from the Red Barn back to your campside and the sun is coming over the horizon, toss down a Red Bull and head over to kickball for an hour. You’ll be happy that you did!
Finally. The moment has arrived. We are all one in the mad land rush that’s eerily akin to the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. Chillicothe’s newly established settlers staked their claim as the gates opened on Summer Camp 2012 and a flood of wagons were corralled up hills and down. Wind swept plains and swaying forests made staking that choice spot extremely important. Those who aren’t adept at knot tying need not apply.
Our CIT group met up Wednesday night to try and snag that premium spot along a tree line. Abby, Jason, Marisa, Maria, and myself all finally had a chance to put a face with a name and figure out logistics. For our blogging services Summer Camp graciously provided 2 Deluxe VIP camping passes so we were headed over yonder to throw down tents, then hopefully to the VIP bar around the corner.
After camp was secure and setup Abby, Mo, Me, and our +1′s (Luke, Adam, Liz) all walked the grounds in their purest state. Lightly touched with just the right amount of food vendors, and visual effects it was a treat to see everything before the gates opened. We could see a spectacular light display from Moonshine as last minute sound checks occurred. Shakedown street was rounding into form, and we met some cool hoop vendors near Vibe Tent. Thursday was Marisa’s 24th birthday so they actually gave her a present in the form of a collapsable hoop! Festival spirit alive and well. We turned in for the evening to prepare for a big morning where we’d meet with Camp Director Holly to talk about coverage, press, and our role as a representative of Summer Camp Music Festival.
Thursday started off with a bluster as tents were tossed like shoes in the laundry and poles were snapped leaving canopies looking like abstract art forms. Abby and myself went around with our +1′s and surveyed the changes to the site on our way to the white Church where our meeting would be. Along the way we checked out Appleseed Collective on the Starshine Stage whose old timey swing with just the right amount of indie flavored bluegrass and was the perfect way to kick off some dust and do some foot stomping hoe down action.
We also saw Zeta June passing back from the Camping Stage and I noticed a Familiar shirt adorning the bass player. What would Janis do (WWJD?) indeed.
Holly then took us around on a tour of the grounds on her golf cart and provided us with our complementary case of 312 beer. Now that was a thoughtful way of reminding us to stay hydrated! Dust and vehicles running about made having a bandana a necessity unless one enjoys a mouthful of dirt. We washed off our wookfoot near the Vibe Tent on a inflatable slip and slide and signed up for Field Day games. These exact bandanas are also available at the merch tent.
We stuck around Starshine for our good friends Family Groove Company and to me that was the first highlight of my evening. Summer Camp veterans Adam, Janis, Mattias, and Jordan put on quite a show. Special guest in Cornmeal’s Allie Kral joined the band for an encore cover of “Benny and the Jet’s.” As Chickenhead and I watched with numerous friends I felt a sense of relaxation and understood why people say this festival is different and special. Janis and Allie showed true camaraderie that was just awesome in a musically sense as they dueled as equals on fiddle and bass respectively.
Family Groove Company with Where’s Ronny! Note: Janis pre hair flip in background.
I headed back for a few hours of “work” and a quick bite to eat at the campsite. It was pretty interesting seeing the woods fill. People were hacking away with saws and weed wackers to clear the undergrowth and make room for their tents.
Chickenhead getting accosted by a pink bird of paradise.
Fully charged on a freeze dried meal of lasagna we made a bee-line for the Soulshine Tent for a epic saga that was the Superjam lead by Zmick with members of Old Shoe, Family, Groove Company, Jaik Willis, Strange Arrangement, and Cornmeal. There were two sets the first with Brad Miller (Zmick), Matt Robinson, Paul Priest, and Joe Day (Old Shoe), Janis Wallin and Mattias Blanck (FGC). They opened fittingly with “Soulshine” by Gov’t Mule with Joe Day saving something special up on vocals and keys. Paul Priest got the crowd whipped into a frenzy with Phish’s “Sand” that psychedelically played with the audience and was complimented greatly by the tent lighting. They broke out a super funky “Ragweed Jones” with Janis laying down a mean low end. Cornmeal’s Wavy Dave Burlingame helped bookend the set on banjo sitting in for the Grateful Dead’s “Big River” and “Up on Cripple Creek” by The Band.
The second set line up included Jaik Willis, Dan Andree (Henhouse Prowlers), Dan Huber and Paul Priest (Old Shoe), Adam Lewis and Jordan Wilkow (FGC), Joel Hettinga (Strange Arrangement). Jordan took us to a beach in Brazil with a rendition of Santana’s “Oye Como Va.” Guitar solo’s by Adam Lewis raged past 1:30am with the band playing “Cissy Strut” by The Meters. Jaik sang a lengthy version of “Stir It Up” by Bob Marley and beat boxed scat rapped battle style with Dan Andree on fiddle of Henhouse Prowlers. It was quite fun to see if Jaik’s vocal prowess could match Dan’s lively bowing. Since both are friends I’ll be Switzerland and say it came out equally righteous.
One nice thing that happened during the Superjam was a brief rain shower around 1am. This made the walk back to the campsite much more enjoyable as the dust settled down considerably. Physically exhausted by 3:30am, and with a long weekend ahead of me, I wanted to grab some shut eye to prepare for a full Friday.
Thursday “pre-party” sets at Summer Camp Music Festival have always, in my opinion, produced some of my favorite sets of the entire festival. Last night was no disappointment. After we got camp situated we hit the shows almost right away.
The set that popped my Summer Camp cherry this year was Spread hailing from Carbondale, IL. They have been a staple at the festival the last three years after winning the Summer Camp battle of the bands competition. They came out in full force playing some of their originals like “Chocolatte Magna Cum Latte” and even busting out a song made famous by the Grateful Dead, “Corrina, Corrina.” The will be playing numerous festivals in the midwest this summer, and often play in both Carbondale and Chicago.
The next set I caught after a brief break at my campsite to re-hydrate was Family Groove Company. As always they brought the party. Let me just confess I LOVE Family Groove Company! I don’t think there is a band that exist that is more fun to watch than Family Groove. You can feel the energy that is flowing through the band not only by the music coming from them but by the smiles on their faces! They killed it as always playing many of their best numbers including a personal favorite of mine “Professionals Here.” The intensity level kicked it up to 11 when Allie Kral of Cornmeal stepped out to play a few including “Benny and the Jets” by Elton John. I also got to check out the show with fellow Family Groove fanatic and CIT Dave Weckstein. The set ended with one of Janis Wallin’s infamous stage jumps.
As I was leaving FGC I was drawn in to the 312 Vibe Tent once again by some of the funkiest bass I have heard in a while. Spare Parts was bringing the jazz-funk to Summer Camp, they are a band to I hate to say I am not that familiar with but see that changing now. I was blown away by there sound. I am from Chicago and will be seeing them there ASAP as they frequent the local live music bars.
Digital Tape Machine was the next to play. I am a huge Umphrey’sfan and I love their side projects as well. They are self described as video game music, and I think they are selling their selves short. Their music is video game inspired, but is so much more than the typical 8-bit electronica band you have heard.
Cornmeal took the stage after dark and played an amazing set. The love for bluegrass music is alive and well here at Summer Camp. Cornmeal has been a staple here for years and the fans love them. Everyone in the crowd was on their feet dancing the whole show.
On the way to the Red Barn we caught a song from Floodwood just as they were bringing up Allie Kral from Cornmeal. It seems like everyone wants to play with Allie! She always brings the extra energy to the show!
The Werks was the last band I saw last night in the Red Barn. I really enjoyed the music they were playing. Again, this is a band I am not the most familiar with but am soon to become a super fan. I also was able to meet another summer camper with a chicken obsession, only they had their chicken strapped to their totem.
What has also made my Summer Camp extra special so far is all the Love I am receiving from you guys! I wear the Chickenhat to meet new people and have fun. If you see me out at the festival come and say hi, take a picture, give me gifts, whatever you feel like. You all are amazing and I love ya’ll!
Happy Summer Camp!
Is it Summer Camp yet?!
I feel like I’m a kid again waiting and waiting for Christmas morning to come. haha.
The main topic to be talking about is, HAVE YA LOOKED AT THE WEATHER?! It’s going to be amazing! During the day it’s supposed to be in the 80’s and 90’s, and in the evening it’s supposed to be in the 60’s. That looks like some pretty spectacular festival weather to me. Just don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated while dancin’ your booty off with me!
Now I’m sure you’re in the middle of packing like I am, and if you drive a tiny car like myself, you’re probably having a lot of difficulty fitting everything in your car. Here is one trick that I’m using to get myself and my belongings to Scamp. Open up you’re wheel well and pack as many items as you can around your spare tire. Seriously, this will help. Here’s what my car looked like before I thought of packing items in my wheel well.
And here’s how much room I have after I packed my wheel well…….
and here’s a closer look of the items packed in the wheel well…..
It’s crazy how much room it gives you in your car!
Also, if you’re into cookin’ at your camp and love vegetables like I do, another good tip is to cut up all of your vegetables and put them in foil packets beforehand like this…..
(And don’t forget to add your seasoning and butter/margarine/smart balance/earth balance/Irish butter as well!) So when you’re tired from dancin’ and ragin’ you can just come back to camp and start up the grill.
I also forgot to mention that I’m excited to see the Food Patriots and Henhouse Prowlers in the Soulshine tent on Saturday at 1:30pm. The Food Patriots will be showing their documentary about their movement to open people’s eyes about the food that their eating. Their goal with this documentary in their own words is to “start a conversation about food that inspires audiences to make a 10% change in how they buy, eat, and talk about food”. I am most excited in this since it’s something I strongly believe in. I’m studying dietetics/nutrition with one more semester remaining, and with my future career, I hope to help others live a healthier and more active life through their food choices.
Again, don’t forget to come dance with me and have a good-ol’-gypsy-punk time at Gogol Bordello! As well at all the other artist’s sets! See ya in roughly 24 hours fellow Scampers!
P.S. “Pac That” Yellow Team!!
Love, hugs, and thugs,
Hello again Summer Campers! We are now only days away from what everyone has been waiting for since May 29, 2011, Summer Camp 2012! In my last blog I told you how to set up camp like a chicken. This time I am going to tell you what things you need to bring to Summer Camp to party like a chicken.
Chickenhead hat – For me, one of the most important things I bring to Summer Camp is my signature Chicken hat. If you see me at the festival come and say hi and take a picture with me. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date of where I am at at the festival, give me tips on shows, post pictures, or make fun of me. Whatever you choose.
Costumes/Weird Clothing Items – Besides my Chickenhead hat you might see me in numerous other costumes that I am bringing to Summer Camp. I think costumes are one of the best ways to have fun and express yourself at Summer Camp. I will be appearing in: (in no particular order) a silk shirt with berries on it, McDonalds French-Fry costume, hamburger hat, inflatable sumo-suit, a kilt, and whatever awesome things I may find over the next couple days.
Toys – This year my friends and I all threw down to get some fun things for Summer Camp. I suggest teaming up to buy with your friends because the more you buy the cheaper you get it for. We bought 300 glow sticks, 22 sky lanterns, 20 LED balloons, and 6 tubes of glow paint. We will also be bringing a laser light machine, kaleidoscope, 2 muppet style puppets, 1 frisbee, 1 bottle of glow-in-the-dark bubbles, and whatever I pick up in the next couple days.
Instruments – Music is the foundation of Summer Camp and when you aren’t seeing any performers it can be fun to make your own music or jam with other campers who brought their instruments. There is also the infamous Summer Camp drum circle that plays till dawn at the Campfire. We will be bringing ukuleles, bongos, a djembe, guitar, and nose flutes.
As you might have noticed I have will be continuing to look for fun things the next couple days, I truly believe that the search for fun items to bring to Summer Camp never ends. Send me a shout out on Twitter or Facebook if you have any tips for last minute fun/weird things for me and other Campers to bring with them to make it the best Summer Camp Ever.
Facebook – Stay connected
Hello fellow music lovers! I’m sure everybody is just as excited as I am for Summer Camp. I can’t believe my luck in getting the opportunity to be a CIT in just a little over a week before the festival after somebody dropped out! Whoever that may have been for whatever reason, thank you, thank you, thank you! For those of you who have seen my video, I will unfortunately NOT be riding my pedal bike all the way from North Dakota to the fest. I am sorry if there is any disappointment. Trust me, I really wanted that journey.
This will actually be my first year at a music festival and I am extremely excited. I am also very humbled that I can come and experience it as a CIT! Here’s a list of a couple things that I am most excited for…
- Gogol Bordello, Rebelution. Two of my favorite bands that I have not yet had a chance to see. I’ve been listening to Gogol for years now and finally get to go see them! From what I hear they are nucking futs on stage! Rebelution is just solid, their sound is extremely likeable and always a good spirit lifter. All good dancin music!
- Drum circles? There has got to be some drummers out there bringin their drums. We shall unite, jam down and groove on! I will be buying a drum this week!
Soon these things will happen, soon. Until then… Party on Garth.
Hey Scampers, one week till Scamp time! Yesss!
I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to attend Summer Camp 2012 as your Counselor in Training. It truly is an honor and a dream come true. I’m going to tell ya a little bit about myself so you can get to know your CIT a little better, and then I’m going to tell you what I’m most excited for at SC.
Since 2005 I’ve been attending 1-2 music festivals each year, and they have more or less turned into my home away from home each summer. I always choose which festival I attend each summer based on who has the best lineup for my tastes. And this year it was a no brainer, Summer Camp 2012 all the way! (I must admit though that I do have a soft spot in my heart for Wakarusa and the Harvest festival with their spectacular scenery up on Mulberry Mountain. Just check out this breath taking aerial shot!) In St. Louis, I’m always attending shows. Especially the shows of Aaron Kamm and the One Drops (check them out!). One thing that’s great about my city is that there’s always free shows going on year round, which is a great way to get into and support local bands. I usually attend shows at small venues such as the Firebird, Broadway Oyster Bar, the Old Rock House, Lemmon’s, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Schlafly Tap Room, and the Schllafly Bottleworks. As for the larger shows, I usually go to the Pageant or Pop’s.
As for SC, I’m most excited to see some Gogol Bordello. I’ve seen these accordion playin-fiddlin’ strummin’-wine splashin’-gypsy punks several times, and their energy is enough to blow your face off! If you need a quick energy boost to get ya through the rest of Friday night, make sure you check out this band. (Just don’t forget to find me during their set and dance with me in the front!) I also can’t wait to see some Umphrey’s, I’ve been seeing these guys 2-3 times a year since 2005, and like everyone knows, every show is always different and better than the last! Now let’s just hope that we can all make it to every one of their 5 of their sets in 3 days at SC. And I can’t wait for some Primus, especially since I haven’t seen them since they put out their new album Green Naugahyde. It’ll be quite a set with some new tunes in rotation. Plus, you can never go wrong with the lovely bass playin’ of Les Claypool, side project or not, he always puts on a spectacular show. I also can’t wait to get on my dancin’ shoes and hit up some Rubblebucket! This will be a first for me, but just the sound of Kalmia Traver‘s sultry voice puts me in a romantic daze. I’m also excited for some Keller Williams, Galactic, The New Orleans Suspects, The Infamous Stringdusters, Gov’t Mule, Michael Franti, G. Love, Common, Jane’s Addiction, Wooten, Zoogma and many more!
Once I first found out that I made it to the top 6, the planning and packing began. Well, mostly because I had a horrible nightmare that I showed up to SC with only my tent and the clothes on my back. That was frightening. But anyway, my festival essentials include my eno hammock, lots clean under drawers, costumes, sunscreen, baby powder, apples, and my blow up mattress. I’m always lookin’ out for the Scamper, so I purchased some goodies to give away to my fellow Scampers such as hundreds of glowsticks (for glowstick wars), glow paint, and fuzzy pink moustaches. I am also apart of the Umphrey’s street team, so you can expect some sweet Umphrey’s goodies from me as well! As your CIT, of course I will give you a personal perspective of my SC experience through technology, but I’m all about you, the Scamper. I can’t wait to get to know you and make lifetime friends in the process. I’m going to be running around in costumes half of the weekend, so if you’re dressed in a costume too, I wanna meet ya and award you with a fuzzy pink moustache! And as promised, I will be bringin’ those apples! So if you’re a fan of the apple, be ready to catch one headed in your direction. Also, I’m coming to SC with my main squeeze Adam. If you watched my contest video, he was the dude that was trying to “rob” me. One of our favorite things to do together is swing dance, so you’ll probably see us bustin’ some swing moves during sets and especially at Gogol Bordello. I’ll also be hangin’ with my friend Joe (who I met some years ago through my best girl E-Flat) and his friends who are SC veterans.
I am excited and proud to say that this is going to be my first Summer Camp! And I can’t wait to spend it with you. So if you see me out and about, don’t be shy, come say “hi”! I’d love to chat it up with you or dance our booties off together to some tasty tunes. So let’s make it the best one yet! (Not only because my birthday is on Thursday of SC, but especially since I heard some crazy rumor that the world is supposed to end sometime late this year…it’s probably a buncha psssh, but let’s do it up anyway!)
Love, hugs, and thugs,
Greetings from CIT ChickenHeadFan Jason! With each tick of the clock Summer Camp is getting closer! Like most of you, I have been working hard the last few weeks gathering all the necessary toys and equipment that it will take to make this Summer Camp the best one yet! My friends and I have been to many festivals and have learned a lot along the way. Each year our campsite gets better and better so I would like to share with you some tips I have learned to make sure your site is eggsellent (chicken pun intended).
First you need to buy (or borrow) the right equipment in order to be prepared for anything the festival life will throw at you. Here is a list of what I think is necessary to make your campsite the best that it can be. After all it will be your home for four days.
Tent – This will be your only shelter for a few days in case you plan on sleeping. I have a three-season tent that can get a little hot, but protects you better from the weather. It can get hot around 10 am so if you want to sleep a little after your late night shows you will want a tent with proper ventilation. Also it has been known to rain at Summer Camp so a tent that is waterproof and has no holes is ideal.
Comfortable camp/lawn chair - You will need a place to rest your buns after raging all day. It is also a good place to catch a quick nap in the afternoon. Cup holders are nice, and the smaller it collapses the better. You can even bring it to a show if your legs are feeling weak from all the dancing you did the night before.
Canopy - The sun is HOT, especially if you aren’t lucky enough to camp in the woods. The canopy is a necessity in my book. It will provide you shade in the afternoon sun, and shelter from the rain. It also looks cool when you cut open glow sticks and splatter them all over the canopy! This year we are going big, a 10×20 portable car-port shelter! I have already practiced setting up. Being able to set up camp quickly makes all the difference.
Hammock - This might seem like a luxury to some, but nothing will help you relax at Summer Camp more than a hammock. It also can be a lot of fun if you have a friend swing you around in it! Bringing a hammock does make the search for a campsite a little more difficult, but the woods are full of trees that are the perfect distance apart. Hammocks also attract many people. Do not be surprised if you wake up to find a random person sleeping in the hammock every morning. Great way to meet people!
Cooler - You will need to drink water sometime, this will keep it cold. Coolers also make great benches. One lesson I learned the hard way is that a 200qt. cooler holds a lot of stuff, but is a pain in the ass to carry to your campsite. Two smaller coolers do just fine!
Grill – Grills or other camp stoves are nice to have as well. Portable propane grills are the easiest to use because you do not have to bring charcoal or worry about hot coals. If you need that charcoal flavor it is permitted but remember to be safe and smart when disposing of your coals.
Food/Drink – You can bring food into the festival. In terms of food, unless you are a chef the easier to prepare the better. Hot dogs and hamburgers are Summer Camp staples. For lunch sandwiches like PB&J and ham and cheese are the best choice. There is food available from vendors at the festival (I suggest trying the brick oven pizza and breakfast burritos), but bringing your own will help save some money. For drinks, first and foremost, WATER. You can’t get enough! Soda, juice, tea, lemonade are also nice, but bringing your own alcohol is not allowed, so don’t even try!
Wagon – This is one of the most important things you can bring to Summer Camp. Getting the prime camping spot (I prefer somewhere in the woods) is key to having a good Summer Camp experience. The right wagon will get you to that spot quicker and easier than the competition. This year we bought a gardening wagon with air filled rubber tires that can climb mountains and the ability to hold 400 pounds. The standard “red wagons” have never held up for us.
Decorations: Decorations are not only fun, but they can serve a practical purpose too. Ifyou want to find your campsite again you need to make it a landmark.You can string lights up, fly some balloons, throw streamers around, or you can duct tape a mouse mask to the tree and light off smoke bombs in it. Whatever you do just make it your own!
These are what I believe to be the most important things to keep in mind when planning your campsite for this years Summer Camp Music Festival. If any first times S Campers have any questions or if any crafty veterans would like to chime into this discussion online follow the links below.
Continue this conversation on twitter with @chickenheadfan using #bagawk #scmf12
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See you soon,