My fellow SCampers!
With many of my immediate festival family members driving across the country to Hulaween in Suwannee, FL for what I am considering the official END of outdoor festival season, I sit and ponder to myself what a great season it has been. I review over all of the material I have shot, all of the great music I have witnessed, and most of all the people I have met throughout this entire journey. I am one very happy and amazed festy goer. I don’t really know how I managed to pull off this run, but in hindsight I got nothin but smiles.
Here’s the Pun-Recap of my journey of four major festivals in one summer starting with our favorite festival:
Summer Camp Music Festival 2013
Being a Summer Camp Counselor in training opened more doors for me as a blogger than any past experience has. I feel that the Camp Counselors have an even greater chance at direct impact on the media aspects of Summer Camp than anyone who was official media. They gave me so much opportunity to shine as a blogger and to meet a lot of my favorite musicians on the planet to boot. I got a real good look on the operations behind how things roll and I hope to continue lending a helping hand for years to come. The family of folks behind the scenes that run this amazing event really do a great job at trying to make every year at Summer Camp better and better. It was an inspiring thing and it really brought out some of my best energy this year. It was a rainy year, but it didn’t stop me from running with my camera through a downpour to get to the VIP tent for amazing once in a lifetime performances or to the red barn for Everyone Orchestra shows that blew minds. A lot of love was shared.
Mountain Jam Music Festival 2013
This was the first time I ever drove out of the state by myself to a festival. This was also the longest I have ever driven to enjoy a fest. I truly enjoyed my time and experience at Mountain Jam. It is a very beautiful festival experience being literally on the side of a mountain. It was also another rainy weekend, but everyone still made the best of the weekend. This was the only festival I had no media obligation to. I just enjoyed myself and my friends all weekend long.
Electric Forest Festival 2013
Being from Michigan this is my home festival. I have been enjoying this venue since 2008 at the first Rothbury Festival. Every year since 2011, I have had the amazing opportunity to shoot highlight videos for the people at the festival with photo and video credentials. I attempt to trump myself every year and this year was really special for not only myself, but many of my festival family as well. It instilled an assurance that Rothbury really is one of the coolest venues and it lives up to the crazy expectation of bettering itself every year.
Lockn’ Festival 2013
This amazing festival popped up as a blip on the radar right away for me, as the line-up was just something that couldn’t be ignored. The amazing amount of epic jam they brought to the table sparked my interest enough to apply for media and led me to making the trek all the way from MI to Arrington, VA. I am really glad that I did because it allowed me to really have a once in a lifetime chance as a photographer to get as many amazing photos as I possibly could. The stages weren’t too large for my lenses and it really broadened my portfolio out. I couldn’t have been happier to be shooting some of the most amazing photos that I have to date. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Michael Kang w/ Zac Brown
Overall I couldn’t be happier with all of the amazing experiences I have had this year. With winter approaching quickly, everyone bundles up with anticipation for announcement and dates for what is to come next season. I know I am excited to shoot a few indoor local events to keep my festy gland from tingling out of control. I hope everyone finds a way to keep themselves at bay as we await the amazingness that is festival season 2014!!!
Do you smell that crisp September air? You know what that means; the sad realization that the 2013 Festival season is coming to a close. But hey, as Dr. Seuss said, ” Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. ” Looking back at the festival timeline from May until now, I have a grin from ear to ear!
If it was possible, I would travel America during the festival season going from one to the next. For now, that is not possible as other life commitments don’t allow for that. These are the reasons though that festivals mean so much to me. They allow you to connect with other like minded individuals and set yourself free from outside worries that life throws at you. The feeling of arriving at a festival is something extremely unique and my whole body craves it.
For me, I was lucky enough to hit up four festivals this summer.
Starting off, I went to Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garretsville, OH May 10-12 for a weekend of Papadosio. The weather wasn’t what you want for a festival; it was cold and rainy. That never gets in the way for me of having a great time. As long as you look ahead and prepare for the weather at a festival, you should be golden.
It was a very enjoyable weekend. Papadosio played amazing as usual, and their new light set up they have been using really zones you out into their sets. Other acts that were there include Broccoli Samurai, Fletcher’s Groove, and Color Wheel.
Check out a clip from Papadosio playing at Spring Dance:
Spring Dance really got me primed up for the most amazing festival experience I have EVER had, being Summer Camp! It was the furthest drive I took this summer for a festival, taking about 11.5 hours and 700 miles! Nothing makes me happier then being on the open road, and even more so when you know where the road leads to.
Summer Camps line up always has something for everyone! My top 5 favorite acts I saw were moe, Umphrey’s Mcgee, STS9, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Gramatik. That’s actually hard to write though, because I did not see ONE bad act at Summer Camp! Looking back, I am upset that I missed out on Nahko & Medicine for the People! Their newest album, Dark as Night, truly has been my favorite album this summer.
Being the Summer Camp counselor was not only an honor during that weekend, but is an experience that has kept on going since then. My best memory of that whole weekend was being in moes trailer and having them along with Victor Wooten perform a private set to my brother, my sister, my girlfriend, and myself. Checkout a clip of that performance here:
I also had the opportunity of announcing moe right before they took the stage for the first time on Friday!:
I had so many other memories from that weekend that keep my soul smiling. Another one that sticks out was being on stage for Umphrey’s McGee on Friday:
The crowd at Summer Camp was amazing too! It’s clear that Summer Camp is a more than a festival, it’s a family! Even during the craziest of rain at Scamp, I held on to my smile because I was with the Summer Camp family and NOTHING could stop us from having a good time!
I had a nice solid month in between my next festival, Electric Forest, which ran from June 27- June 30th.
Electric Forest was another glorious festival. Their line up is a little more electronic, but what really drew me there was 3 nights of String Cheese Incident. I had never seen them before going, and it’s been a mission of mine for a very long time! They blew away my expectations!
Electric Forest was another festival that had a strong community feel. Everyone was very awesome! Even more so then the music, the community can make or break the feel of a festival.
My top 5 acts of Electric Forest include: String Cheese Incident, Lotus, Empire of the Sun, Nahko and Medicine for the People, and Railroad Earth. The only thing I did not care for about EFF, was that general admission gives you a very small plot of camping space. We barely were able to fit everything we had in the area; however I understood the size of the festival and that it was necessary to fit everyone in.
Ah yes, last but not least, my most recent and sadly my last festival of the season, Summer Dance.
Summer Dance takes place at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, and for me, this was the first and last location for my summer of festivals which was awesome! Summer Dance took place from August 30 – September 2. The line up was awesome which included 2 nights of lotus ( 4 sets total ), One More Time ( Daft Punk Tribute ), Broccoli Samurai, Future Rock, Orchard Lounge, The Manhattan Project and more!
It was an awesome way to close out the festival season. One of my favorite parts of Nelson Ledges is they have a quarry in which you can swim and jump off into! It’s so refreshing and it’s awesome that you can swim and listen to music at the same time.
Here’s a clip of Lotus raging this year at Summer Dance:
And with all that awesomeness, that’s all she wrote for this year in my book! It was an awesome ride and I can’t wait to do it all again next year hopefully adding even more into the mix!
Although this is the end for me, there are still tons of other festivals happening this season, including Catskill Chill, Lockn’, Night Lights fall Music Festival and more!
Even though it’s all coming to an end, there is something we can all agree on that is fun in the fall; MORE MUSIC! All of the fall tours are starting to flow out every day and I’m liking what I see!
I hope everyone else’s festival season was as good as mine! Until next year…
-Camp Counselor Kyle