Summer Camp Fest Was Life Changing!
This year I decided to join in on the fun at the Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL for the first time and I'm so glad I did! The line-up was incredible, the grounds were beautiful and interactive, the vendors were friendly and plentiful and there was something to do around very corner. This was one of the best festivals I had ever been to, and I even got to meet some old friends there that I hadn't seen in so long! It was a little challenging for me this year though, as I am 6 months pregnant, but the Summer Camp crew had so many amenities in place that sure made the experience incredibly comfortable like air conditioned flushable bathrooms, showers, and plenty of food options!
We drove the 24 hour drive straight from Arizona to Illinois (thanks to my lovely hubby for getting us there!) and even though it was a long drive, it was worth the journey. This year we even took a friend who was there to experience his first festival ever! It blew him away, to say the least. Upon getting there, we got in line with all the other festival goers to enjoy our time waiting for the gates to open while making new friends. Once we got past the gate check, we were allowed to run through the grounds and pick out the best spot we could find. Since it was my first year, I didn't know exactly where to go, so we chose a great area right at the entrance to the forest. I don't think we could have chosen a better spot, because being there led us to make some incredible, life-long friends with our neighbors!
Good Neighbors And Great Friends!
When asked about the festival, One friend of mine, Montana Malburg, who traveled all the way from Lahaina, HI said, "I think that the state of the world and the last 2 years has really made people cherish these irreplaceable experiences that many have taken for granted in the past. The connections I've formed from music and art have confidently shaped the person I am and pursue to be."
My favorite thing about this festival was the fact that the camping was integrated into the festival itself so there were friends all around. Normally, in most larger festivals I have attended, the camping section is separated from the venue itself which makes things much more difficult. Being integrated made it easier to travel around and interact with all the different campers without having to stray too far from the events themselves. After we got our camp all set up, it was time to explore the festival grounds and show our friends what festival life was all about!
The Music At Sumer Camp Hit The Spot!
I was so happy to see that there were many water stations available to get cold water and cool off, as well as a whole bunch of cool art to check out. The first thing I did was purchase a moon mat since I would be doing a lot of sitting (best purchase ever, if you don't have one, be sure to snag one for yourself!), and then we got ourselves to the Sunshine Stage to set up a nice spot. Since we arrived on Thursday, that first night we were able to see some great special shows by Lettuce, The Floozies, and Manic Focus! Seeing all the beautiful people dressed up and dancing in their best festival outfits was a sight I sure missed after it being so long without festivals.
The next day we began to make friends with our new neighbors (who I couldn't have been happier to have met!) and went around to check out what all the vendors had! I got some new tie-dye outfits, some festival merch with the SCamp lineup on the back, and some incredible chorizo filled bread that was suggested to me by almost everyone. As it started to cool off, we caught some Umphrey's McGee which was amazing to jam to, and also got to groove to Boogie T and Subtronics over at the Starshine stage. I sat in the back personally, because I was already exhausted at that time, but my friends all ran to the front and definitely danced their hearts out for me!
Saturday brought a whole new day of experiences for the Scamp family! I was so happy to find the time to hit some of the workshops, my favorite was the glass blowing class where we learned to blow glass and make our very own leaf-shaped pendant. I was nervous, to say the least, but I couldn't have been happier to try something new and exciting. My neighbor at camp also took the time to try out the handpan workshop and learn a new instrument! They shared a video of it with me and he looked so happy doing it. I missed the juggling workshop and the soap-making class that I wanted to go to but I heard they were wonderful. That night we caught some amazing shows by STS9, moe., LSDream and CloZee, all of which I greatly enjoyed!
The Immersive Workshops Were A Hit
When asked about his time at the festival, my neighbor and new friend Jonathon Mckee from Bowling Green, KY said "I really loved the variety of workshops that were offered. Between music, glass blowing, juggling, nature preservation, and also Native American history! They really covered many warming subjects for all to join as a community!"
On our last day, we were sure to make the most of it. We slept in so that we were ready to go for the night, I even got a shower in to maximize my comfort for the day. Sunday night brought some of the best shows I saw all weekend! It started out with The Wood Brothers which were a nice calm way to bring in the cool evening weather. After them, we made our way to see Spafford and then over to the Moonshine stage for an incredible Tipper show that seemed to bring the whole festival over just as the moon came up over the stage. Then we had some time to relax and socialize near the Illumination stage before the best act of the night, a laser filled,one-of-a-kind Griz performance that I will surely never forget (and one I actually found the energy to dance to through the whole set!).
In The End - A Perfect Festival!
Overall, I found that Summer Camp was hands down was one of the best festivals I could have ever chosen to attend, and a great one to bring my friend to that had never attended one before! After this weekend he was totally hooked and vowed to come back next year. I will be trying to come back to Summer Camp 2022 as well, as long as I can get myself a babysitter so I can join in on more of the party! I look forward to seeing you all next year!
All photo credits go to Savannah Skidmore and Anthony Chuang of The Festival Voice.