May 24-26, 2013
Chillicothe, Illinois: Kind of in the middle of nowhere, but I suppose its close if you’re in Illinois!
Three Sisters Park: Super cool place for a festival! The line was a little crazy when I arrived on Thursday, took about 2-3 hours to get in. But inside the festival grounds there are trees and open fields. They could use more permanent structures, such as a couple of paved roads to help with the mud, but maybe for next year!
Summer Camp has many different pricing tiers, and also a Sunday Funday option! In order to go to the Thursday Pre-Party, any late night show, or purchase a VIP pass you must purchase at 3-Day pass as well!
- 3-Day Early Bird $151.70
- 3-Day Early Advanced $167
- 3-Day Advanced $182.30
- 3-Day Getting Closer $197.70
- 3-Day Almost There $218
- Sunday One Day $74.80
- Thursday Pre-Party Pass $33
- Late Night Red Barn $29.55 each night
- RV Primitive Spot $154.80
- RV Spot w/ Electricity $232.20
- VIP Upgrade with 1 late night $199
- VIP Deluxe Upgrade with 2 late nights $299
- VIP Super Deluxe Upgrade with all late nights $419
- VIP Rockstar Upgrade with all late nights $999
Camping is great at Summer Camp! It is tent only camping, which seems tricky at first, but it makes everything closer and safer and more like a community of people. When you arrive, you must park your car in the lot, and then walk your stuff in. Most people bring a wagon or big backpacks. You can camp in big open fields or in the woods, next to stages or in a quiet spot.
You have to drive there, but they strongly encourage carpooling! The drive is two and a half hours from Chicago if you need to fly in and then rent a car.
Undercover cops were everywhere at Summer Camp this year, it was actually pretty ridiculous and disappointing. I saw them beat people to the ground and treat them like absolute dirt for no reason at all. I have never seen under covers all over a festival like it was at Summer Camp. I heard there were over 200 arrests just inside the festival grounds.
As far as bag security and checking goes, that was pretty quick and easy. You are only checked when you first enter the festival grounds, not before each show you attend. Any security I encountered were really laid back, making it easy to bring in your own beer. I heard about different experiences from others, so I guess it was luck of the draw.
The people at Summer Camp were fabulous this year! Lots of people were ready to get down and dirty in the mud!
Weather wasn’t great this year. It was cold most of the time, and rainy the rest. When I arrived on Thursday around noon, the rain was just stopping. It held off until late Friday night, which was great! The moon was full and epic and perfect on Friday, which always makes for a great night of music! Saturday, however, was rainy all day long, and Sunday wasn’t much better, ending in a vicious thunder storm causing the music to be cancelled in the middle of Trey Anastasio’s set.
HANDLING OF THE WEATHER:
Summer Camp did a decent job handling the rain and mud. There isn’t much you can do about mud, but laying down some wood chips or something could have helped. They never actually cancelled music except for the last night when the storms became really dangerous, and they waited until they absolutely have to, which I really appreciated as a huge Trey fan!
I love Summer Camp’s lineup! Tons of Umphrey’s McGee and moe., plus The Avett Brothers, Keller Williams, Trey Anastasio Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, STS9, Thievery Corporation, Zeds Dead, Big Gigantic, EOTO, Cornmeal, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Lettuce, and so many more!
Yonder Mountain String Band crushed it, Keller Williams raged it with More Than A Little, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe was incredible, and Lettuce brought that funk! You really couldn’t go wrong, every band was amazing!
Umphrey’s McGee and moe. lead off the festival! They each play all three days, with both daytime and night sets.
LATE NIGHT SHOWS:
You could listen to music all night long at SCAMP! Quixotic in the Red Barn was my most memorable moment of the entire festival – watching those dancers fall from the ceiling is something I will never forget!
The stage setup at Summer Camp was perfect! They were close to each other, each had different types of music, and the VIP sections didn’t get in the way at all! It couldn’t have been better! Plus I LOVED their names:
Moonshine was the main stage, with a sweet laser show at night, a big hill for easy viewing, and awesome sound!
Sunshine was a pretty big stage as well, with lots of room to dance and excellent sound quality.
Starshine was a bit smaller, and the sound occasionally overlapped with Sunshine as they were right next to eachother, but it had great acts all day long!
Soulshine, or Make a Difference Tent, was a smaller tent for the late night shows, and it ended up being a great way to stay out of the rain! Morning yoga was in this tent as well as many workshops.
Through the campgrounds they also had a Camping Stage and a Campfire Stage for awesome smaller acts. These gave you an incredible intimate feel!
The Red Barn is the real treat at Summer Camp – it is totally worth the extra money for the late nights in here! They are indoors, and I will never forget how incredible it was to see Quixotic perform in there! People were falling from the ceiling everywhere I looked!
Field Day! Every festival needs something like Field Day! It is amazing!! Not only does it take you right back to middle school, but it is a really fun competition to participate in! Field Day is the Saturday of Summer camp. This year’s activities included Sunrise Kickball (my personal favorite), Capture the Flag, Bags Tournament (Cornhole, as I learned), Pizza Eating Relay (noms!), and a Photo Scavenger Hunt, which actually helps to promote the non profits at Summer Camp, yet another added bonus! Congrats to the Red team on winning this year!
As if the forest wasn’t trippy enough in itself, there were live painters, performance troupes, an epic ferris wheel, and the infamous Red Barn. I like to call Summer Camp a tripper’s play ground.
Nomlicious as always, and not the worst prices I have ever seen! Shout out to Minglewood Brick Over Pizza
So many incredible vendors and artists throughout the venue!
Yoga classes were the perfect way to start your day!
There were hooping workshops, Native American influenced drum & dance circles, and so much more!
HELP THE ENVIRONMENT:
Summer Camp had a huge emphasis on Make-A-Difference and non-profits as well as recycling.