A B2B Festival Squad Chat About Summer Camp

photo by Austin Allen

Following our last B2B article discussing all things Electric Forest, we’re letting Alex and Ariana indulge their true chatty-Cathy-selves again to talk about what they’re hoping for and expecting when they make the trek to Summer Camp Music Festival, taking place May 27-29 in Chillicothe, IL.


Ariana: All I can say is, bring a wagon.


Alex: *blank stares*


Ariana: Oh right you haven’t been! Ok story time: so last year was my first time at Scamp, and I don’t think I realized going into it that car camping wasn’t a thing. Or maybe I had been told and forgot/was too excited to take in that that meant I would have to lug all of my shit from our parking spot to our campsite over a mile away.


Alex: I hear that’s kind of great though, and it really makes the festival feel like a more fully immersive environment.


Ariana: Definitely true. Only problem is, I was on antibiotics at the time, and took one on an empty stomach. Then quickly ran out of water. Then, all of a sudden it was 90 degrees and there was no shade. Apparently the line in years prior had never been as bad. I ended up sitting under an umbrella sipping someone else’s Gatorade (shoutout to that dude in line, you might not know who you are but I do) for over four hours while my friends shoved my stuff ahead little by little as the line moved along.


Alex: Ok, so a wagon would have been helpful. Sounds like you were just overall underprepared to be honest. Gotta love all of the friendly people you meet at a festival though!


Ariana: So true. Don’t be like me, read our review from last year so you know what to expect.


Alex: Speaking of expectations, how about that lineup? Its stacked!! Three days of Umphrey’s Mcgee and Moe, Manic Focus, The Werks, Nahko, Gramatik and so many more fantastic artists will be performing! Who are some of the artists you are looking forward to watching?


Ariana: Manic Focus and Gramatik are definitely high on my list, just under Pretty Lights Live. I got to see that wonder of the world in Santa Barbara earlier this year and it was exquisite. I didn’t get a chance to catch the Everyone Orchestra last year and am definitely making it a point this year. Rezz for sure. I wanna catch Maddy O’Neal to see what she’s been up to. And Jaw Gems! I got to interview them last year (outside a festival) and they’ve been doing amazing things.


Alex: What are some other things to do at scamp? Every good summer camp has fun activities to take part in, right? Did you participate in the Summer Camp Field Day Color War last year?


Ariana: I’m not huge on organized activities to be honest. Last year after somehow surviving the entrance process and overdoing it trying to make it to every set on Friday night I decided to plant myself in a hammock all damn day on Saturday. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I took day two as my “vacation” day, and could actually see some really awesome bands play right from where I was sitting since we were camped right next to a stage. It was sweet; I felt totally ready to go on Sunday and definitely got the most out of my festival experience when all was said and done.


Alex: What are the festival grounds like? How are the camping areas and is there easy access to water and bathrooms? Are the stages to close together or is there a long hike between shows?


Ariana: Since there’s no car camping, you can nab a spot right next to a stage, which is something I’ve never experienced before at a festival. Obviously those spots go fast, same with spots in the “forest”. Basically, there’s limited shade and everyone else is stuck making their own or sweating it out in the sun. We had some veteran friends who staked out a spot under the trees early on and were nice enough to include us, which made the whole experience absolutely delightful.

Water and bathrooms are easy enough to find once you get the lay of the land, but there’s only one shower area on the far side of everything. A bit of a walk, but no more than 10 minutes. I suggest showering in the middle of the day when lines are shortest…or early morning, if you’re still up.

Same goes for stages, the grounds aren’t massive but it’s definitely worth planning your day to get enough time at each set.


Alex: I saw that some of the late night shows require an additional ticket. Are these extra tickets expensive and is it worth it to try to get them?

Ariana: There are special shows in the “Barn” that are ticketed. I didn’t bother since there’s already so much musical talent on the rest of the stages your wristband grants you full access to, and if I remember correctly there was no one in the Barn who wasn’t also elsewhere over the course of the weekend. In all honesty, I wouldn’t bother.

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