Settling back into the day-to-day shenanigans after leaving a festival is difficult to wrap your head around. After caravaning to the woods to nestle into a tent city with hundreds of like-minded, music-loving gypsies and letting your guard down to kick it old school in the woods for a few days– life back at the local Wa-Ho or the mind- numbing 9-5 just doesn’t feel so gratifying. Your heart is singing with the clamor and glee of a five-year-old who just got back from a romp around the playground in his shiny, new Fisher Price-mobile. Your mind is reeling with vivid images and memories of the glorious, utopian underworld you just emerged from– a world where men aren’t afraid to saunter around sans boxer briefs in a kilt and women don feathered boas and tiny mermaid tops all day. So, what do you do to ease the mind back into the earthly world while maintaining the glorious you that dreams of a realm where people only wear rainbow-colored leg-warmers and magnificent dinosaur suits and dance and laugh until the sun comes up? Here are my Top 5 Sure-Fire ways to keep your Mind Elevated and your Heart Skipping Sweet Bass-Rift Beats:
- If your house is not already an oasis, where Bob Dylan posters, colorful tapestries and Christmas lights don every corridor, then make it happen. Your home is your own getaway island so if it doesn’t make you want to mix up a margarita, close your eyes and rock out in your under-roos then it may be time to update yo’ living quarters my friend.
- Rawk out! Seriously. This may sound like a no-brainer but I know a lot of people who go days without really jammin’ on some funky tunes. Throw your favorite record on and let it fly!
- Wear whatever you want to! Again, this may seem like a childish suggestion and one that we all may think we live by, but that’s simply not true. Even if you have to wear a uniform to work, make that bitch yours. Bedazzle it, tag it with your favorite flair. Believe it or not, you will feel a little more like you and less like a walking puppet.
- Buy a baby pool and throw a party. This is an order. Summer simply is not here until you have a source of water to make you feel like you’re five again- sprinklers are nice too!
- Throw a costume party. Keep the spirit of music, art, passion and creativity coursing through your veins by throwing a silly party with friends and strangers. The reason that home-away-from-home felt so good is because you let your wild side out, discovered uncharted islands in your soul and met people from around the world who did it all with you. Do it again! Throw one in your back yard, rocking that sweet dinosaur outfit, chillin’ in the baby pool with Umphreys McGee (or whoever gets your rocks off) blasting! Party over here my friend til’ Summer Camp 2013!
On behalf of the entire Summer Camp staff and crew, thank you for an amazing 12th year! The weather was perfect, the shows were epic, and all of your smiling faces truly made this year the best one yet!
Want to stay connected and ready for Summer Camp 2013?
1. Connect with us on Facebook. Share your photos, tag your friends, and tell us about your experience at the fest this year!
2. Check out our blog. Our Camp Counselor and CITs will be posting about their experiences at Summer Camp, and at other shows throughout the year with Summer Camp artists.
3. Don’t miss our upcoming shows with Summer Camp artists! In less than 1 month (June 22-23) we have the 6th annual Universal Rhythm Assembly returning to the Peoria Riverfront with EOTO, Bootsy Collins, Family Groove Company, Brainchild, DJ SOLO and more!
We also have Umphrey’s McGee on the Riverfront on 7/5 and moe. on 9/3!!
4. Subscribe to us on YouTube so you can see all of our awesome videos from the weekend as we get them up, follow us on Flickr to check out all of our photos, and follow us on Twitter to stay connected all year long!
5. Relive your experiences by watching all your favorite sets of music in the Summer Camp archives on iClips.net! These are being uploaded now and will be available in the next few days.
Can’t wait to see you all next year!
Your Summer Camp Director
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
Well folks, we did it. And as a Summer Camp veteran, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this was possibly the best Summer Camp yet! Here are the top 10 things I loved about this year….
1. Nobody’s set got rained out this year. Whew!
2. The collective screams of approval when Umprey’s McGee started playing Tom Sawyer.
3. Moe. and Umphrey’s light shows. Duh. I mean, you can be stone cold sober looking at those things and still be in a total trance.
4. The look of joy on some guy’s face when I told him he could have my extra Saturday late-night wristband for free.
5. The dude taking a dump in a bucket right underneath the Moonshine stage arch. (Hey, I didn’t say these were pleasant memories, but that will surely not be forgotten!)
6. A dog named Akimbo. I have no idea what his owner’s name was, but I ran into Akimbo easily 6 times this festival and he always was having fun!
7. Water guns. Everywhere, all the time, all shapes and sizes.
8. Sunrise kickball with Ryan Stasik.
9. Warren Haynes sit-in with G. Love & Bob Weir sit-in with Primus. Absolutely fantastic.
10. When I got back into Chicago, I saw 3 separate groups of Scampers within 5 blocks of my house. That’s the thing about Summer Camp – you take it home with you.
Until next year, loves.
Alright fellow campers, for those of us who have been here over the years, you’ll notice a lot of new stuff this year. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far:
- RFID chips in your wristbands - this year we’re high-tech, and you’ll need to get scanned in every time you enter or exit the park (for VIP, every time you enter that section as well). Throughout Thursday, there were some congested lines as the staff were figuring them out… turns out, if your arm is too close to the person next to you, it has trouble reading them. So basically just don’t all shove your wrists together to get scanned. That said, I’ll have to assume this helps crack down on folks sneaking in for free – so, this will help keep out ticket prices down for the fair paying customers. Hooray!
- The great Sunshine / Campsite switch – we knew this one was coming when the map was released, but the relocation of the Sunshine stage is a pretty big move. What I do like about it is the better sense of community when you’re walking from stage to stage. Rather than having campsites way out on the perimeter, more people can be in the heart of the action (even if you didn’t get a prized forest spot). Jury’s still out on what it will be like during shows though… I could see some pretty tough traffic moving from Moe @ Moonshine to Umphrey’s at Sunshine without the straight path through.
- Information Boards! - this has already saved me at least 5 times this camp. As you’re walking through, look for the information boards with a big schedule posted, any workshops and activities (like Field Day), weather and other updates. These are also featuring “Missed Connections” boards (a la Craigslist)… did you catch eyes with a gorgeous hooper this weekend? Share a beer with a studly man and didn’t give your number? Summer Camp Missed Connections has you covered.
- Camping Stage – what seemed in years past as a little tricky to find and a real small set up has legit stage quality this year. The camping stage has moved, they’ve gotten a great setup with a proper viewing area, and even some serious decorations. Check it out!
The bearded solo guitarist was all over Summer Camp 2012
This interview is the first in a three part series shot in three unique locations.
Part I explains why Summer Camp is such a good festival year after year. Click JAIK to experience the beard firsthand.
Part II of our series has Jaik giving a roadside chat about the perils of flying particles of dirt. Click DUSTSTORM to check it out.
Part III from our series shows the journey of Jaik Willis and his keys. Click FOUND to discover more!
Cody Diekhoff talks about his experience at Summer Camp Music Festival.
Click DUB STOP to listen.
Executive Director Mark Ross and Volunteer Natalie Wade from Rock the Earth talk to me about their philanthropic organization and their success at Summer Camp Music Festival.
Click ROCK to see video.
Me and Joel Cummins, keys player for Umphreys!!
Ohhh, what a glorious time we’re having out here in the woods at Summer Camp! After three crazy days, three set of Umphreys & Moe, my heart is singing! I’m surrounded by hundreds of fun-loving, sexy people who have come to let their spirits soar in the glorious, funky serenades of an array of musical treats- from jam to funk to latin and steam punk.
Saturday at Summer Camp (aka, Scamp) was ridiculous fun- an upbeat reggae jangling morning as Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars perked everyone up, groovin’ and movin’ to the uplifting, spiritual tunes of their homeland Africa. The lead singers belted their messages of joy and hope in their native tongue, Krio, working the stage, grinding and dipping their hips to their up-chuck, reggae rhythms.
While gettin’ my groove on with the Sierra Leone Boys Holly (aka; my Boss) called me and asked me if I could run up to the little white church on the hill and cover a private Umphreys jam session. “Ummmm, yes please!” (pun intended) I hightailed my ass over to the church, mingled with the boys and the fans then proceeded to go inside the adorable white chapel and rawk face with a private UM Church-Style serenade. They killed it (as always) ripping heart-wrenching drum and bass then tickling all the senses with their bouncy flutter jams, rolling in and out of hard rock into funk jam. 100 people huddled in the packed-out chapel, drinking free brews from Chicago brewery Goose Island, standing atop church pews and bangin’ their boots and bare feet and rockin’ their sweet new UM-VIP gear (given out courtesy of the boys.) I love that about Umphreys. Their always willing to jam out small-town bars and talk to their fans after shows. I think I saw Ryan Stasik’s fine self wandering around Scamp, rockin’ his sa-weet handlebar moustache. I’ll have more details on all the juicy inside stories later. For now, enjoy this glorious picture of myself and Mister Ryan Stasik.
Moustache Love with Ryan Stasik, bass god for Umphreys!