Start Summer Off Right, Join Me at Summer Camp Musical Festival 2013

Summer Camp Music Festival 2012 during Pretty Lights

Summer Camp Music Festival 2012 during Pretty Lights


To a lot of us Midwesterners Summer Camp Music Festival, held annually on the second to last weekend in May in Chillicothe, IL is like a warm gentle welcome to summer that we all wildly anticipate. And when I mean gentle I mean the chance of knee deep mud, dust bowls, guys walking around in tutus with Donny Darko masks, the sweet sounds of jams going on well till the crack of dawn and the reunion of old friends forgotten in the screen of snow that was winter.

Last years Summer Camp presented me with a great opportunity to get to know a lot of new bands while also allowing me the ability to reacquaint and fall in love with ones I had already been familiar with. There was the scorching sun, dust everywhere, hammocks and tents as far as the eye could see, great people, music and most of all experiences. We were able to see Moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Gogol Bordello late night and Bob Wier take the stage with Les Claypool for the return of Primus to the festival scene. It was hot, it was sweaty, it was glorious and man was it good, which is why we are all going back this year to experience all the glory that is Scamp.

Even more though we are going back for the people, for those freakers by the speaker, those tweekers and geekers, the weird the wet and the wild, the ones that us festy kids just cant live without. It’s life, and once you’ve bought the ticket, you gotta take the ride. This years Summer Camp experience will surely be one to remember with the staple 3 days of Moe. and Umphrey’s McGee, but it’s the addition of the Trey Anastasio Band, STS9 and Thievery Corporation as co-headliners that really have me excited.

Now here’s what you REALLY need to know about this years Summer Camp, again it is set in Chillicothe, IL from May 24th – May 26th. Currently weekend tickets are in the last purchasing tier costing around $218.00. There is also the Thursday night pre-party pass where anybody that is anybody will be in attendance. Thursday allows the regulars a chance to grab the best camping spots, get settled early, avoid super long lines and you get to catch a set of Digital Tape Machine as well as Jaik Willis in the barn, these passes cost an additional $33.00. They have an assortment of VIP upgrades, Primitive RV hook-ups, single day as well as full weekend and pre party passes available on the Summer Camp 2013 website for purchase. Definitely grab yo shit before hitting the road, trust me you do not want to stand in line with all your gear for 3 hours for tickets, only to have to do it for 3 more to get searched and enter the festival.

Summer Camp isn’t just about the music, it’s also about the people, and knowing how to plan ahead can be crucial to a good time. Be sure to check out all the camping rules and info as well as get aquatinted with the schedule and the additional workshops and kids camp if you want a little more out of your experience or are bringing young ones, because if you didn’t know, you need to, and now you can.

Like I said above, ultimately Scamp is about the experience, the people, the conversations and the love. Before you set out for scamp take a second to separate yourself from the greater world that we live in daily, take some deep breathes and prepare and ready yourself for what will be a magical experience, if you make it one. Be open to try new things, meet new people, converse on life, love stress and set backs but also on the positive aspects of life and the NOW, for that’s how you grow, and that is why Scamp is beautiful, because it gives you opportunities to grow and learn and become wiser. Remember, you’re traveling to Edge City, and as it was put to me so concisely by a good friend one of the greatest writing influences I have, “people die out here, it happens every day! It doesn’t take much, but it goes against the grain,” so be safe, be smart but most of all be open and have fun. I’ll see you kids in the campgrounds, come say whattup, you can call me Toph.


Words by Chris Lucas

Photograph by Aaron Lingenfelter of Wide Aperture Images

To view photos from last year’s Summer Camp Music Festival, click here