FESTY NEWS: 10 Reasons Why Summer Camp Music Festival Was The Best Way To Launch Festival Season This Year



My first Summer Camp was definitely one for the books! This past Memorial Day weekend at Three Sister’s Park in Chillicothe, IL became home to a festival that quickly became one of my favorites. This 15th year anniversary had a lineup that included headliners Umphrey’s McGee, moe., STS9, Widespread Panic, Steve Miller Band, Big Gigantic, and GRiZ, it was hard to pass up the opportunity to see such great music all in one magical place.

I decided to enhance my Summer Camp experience by upgrading to VIP, which only made attending that much more worth it. I shared some amazing experiences with a ton of my friends, both old and new. I want to share with you some of my favorite things about Summer Camp 2015!

10. Love Was In The Air

During Umphrey’s McGee’s on Saturday, I felt blessed to witness an awesome marriage proposal. While Umphrey’s was jamming, four people held up white flags that said, “Will you marry me?” and of course she said, yes! Who wouldn’t want to get engaged while their favorite band is rocking out

9. The Vendors

The variety of all of the vendors at Summer Camp was amazing! From official merchandise, to the delicious food, and the craft all vendors, every single one had their one special touch to add to the festival. The official merchandise was so enticing that it mad it hard not to buy everything! With the variety of food vendors from pulled bbq pull pork nachos, to fried chicken fingers, and huge slices of pizza, I wanted to sample all of it!

STS9 Red Barn 2

Photo by Melanie Hass

8. Sound Tribe Red Barn

With an hour and a half setlist that included just 8 songs, this was a whole new Sound Tribe. The intimacy of the Red Barn and comfort of the VIP standing area made this late night set a spectacular one to witness. Saxton still killed it with the lights, even with such a small room to work with.

Umphreys Soundcheck

Photo by Melanie Hass

7. Upmhrey’s Soundcheck

Venturing off to explore is one of my favorite things to do! While going to check out the official merchandise after setting up camp, I heard live Umphrey’s McGee coming from somewhere. My boyfriend and I ran to the Sunshine stage and got to hear the songs “2nd Self” and “Spires.” It was an awesome moment only few got to be a part of.


Photo by Jason Kaczorowski

6. Thursday Arrival

Arriving Early definitely has its perks. Not only giving you access to over 30 per-party artists, you get pick out the good camping spots! We were lucky to get a spot in the shade section of VIP. Thursday arrival also gave me access to the Red Barn Late Night that night, with 5 more hours of remarkable music from Dopapod, Turbo Suit & Friends, as well as Manic Science.


Photo by Collin Taylor of Live Edits Lab – www.facebook.com/LiveEditsLab

5. GRiZ

Can we talk about the lazers in the rain? I could not believe how amazing the lighting looked with all the rain pouring down. Although I felt like the rain held off until right before GRiZ went on stage, the rain gave his performance a special touch. After already playing 3 show before Summer Camp and 7 shows in 4 days total, I can’t believe how hard he threw down. Being from Colorado, I love the hometown homies SunSquabi. Andrew Clymer and Kevin Donohue from SunSquabi, got up on stage along side Grant and shredded.


Photo by Phierce Photo of FX Media

4. VIP everything

I don’t normally buy VIP, but I figured why not make my first Summer Camp experience even better! VIP gives you; 1 Thursday Pre-Party Pass, VIP Camping, VIP Parking, VIP Bar Access, Special VIP Poster, VIP Main Stage Seating Access, Access to 1 Red Barn Late Night Show. As well as amenities like free showers, and air-conditioned bathrooms. I think VIP was the way to go and I will probably it for future endeavors.


Photo by Phierce Photo of FX Media

3. Weather

The forecast called for rain, but I had faith it would hold out! For the most part it actually did! Until Sunday night, the weather was beautiful, but the dark clouds eventually rolled in, and a quite a bit of rain came down. I would overall say it was a wonderful weekend!


2. The Festival Grounds

I thought the grounds were very well organized. I loved each stages difference setting. I felt like each band played on the appropriate stage, and after getting over stage name confusion, it was easy to figure out where I was supposed to go to catch the next act. There were so many vendors located throughout the festival it was never hard to find whatever you were looking for. The paths though the general admission camping made it easier to get from stage to stage in a moments time.


Photo by Phierce Photo of FX Media

1. The people

Talk about making a girl feel like she is home. Pulling in to Three Sister’s Park, it just felt like it was going to be a great weekend. From the green trees to the large open fields filled with beautiful people, I knew as soon as I stepped out of the car that I was going to enjoy myself. Whether it was connecting with old friends, or meeting new ones, I was in love. Summer Camp isn’t like other festivals where you feel like you have to fend for yourself, it brings to you a family. I met so many awesome people, including a cute dancing baby who brought joy to heart, a funny hammocking neighbor who made laugh, and so many people who made me smile while listing to some of the best music.

Overall Summer Camp made me want to return again next year. With music so great, I can’t wait to see what the future of Summer Camp holds in store. See you next Scampers!

Written by Melanie Hass
Special thanks to Live Edits LabPhierce Photo of FX Media, and Jason Kaczorowski for the photos.

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