In ten days, thousands of festival goers will fill Three Sisters Park in Chillacothe, Illinois for the 20th annual Summer Camp Music Festival. This massive annual event features tons of performances, activities, and truly memorable experiences year after year. Summer Camp historically takes place over Memorial Day weekend. Due to the pandemic, the event was rescheduled for August 19 – August 22.
One of the best features of Summer Camp is the diverse array of genres gracing the lineup each year. You can find bluegrass, funk, indie, hip hop, many flavors of EDM, and everything in between. Umphrey’s McGee and Moe are always the major headliners of Summer Camp and almost always, both play every day of the festival. Also on this year’s lineup is Ween, Billy Strings, Tipper, STS9, Griz, and Dirty Heads.
Below is some info to help you get the most out of this year’s Summer Camp Music Festival!
Get To Know The Festival Grounds
Summer Camp’s home is Three Sisters Park, a 400-acre outdoor venue and recreation area located off Highway 29 outside of Peoria. Summer Camp has a great festival layout established with multiple camping areas and stages. Because the venue is so massive, it can helpful to keep a copy of the map to help you get around – you never know when you’re going to need the first aid station or to find a porta-pottie.
Another tip: be prepared to walk a lot unless you scored an RV camping pass or have VIP. There is no GA car camping area, so anyone in GA camping will need to haul their stuff in on foot at least a mile – unless you score one of the coveted camping spots in the woods. Bring a wagon or a sled to help drag your gear, and consider packing light. If you want to avoid the hike, Summer Camp offers a $50 festy-cab option to help you and your crew get around the vast festival grounds all weekend.
Make The Most Of The Line
No matter what day you come in, you will probably have to wait in line for a long time. This applies to both the line just to park and the line to get inside the festival grounds. However, don’t fret – the line is a party in itself! So grab your chair, some snacks and drinks, and be prepared to be patient and chill. Plus, you’ll probably even make some new friends during the wait to get into the festival grounds.
Get A Ticket For The Thursday Pre-Party
Did you know Summer Camp is actually a 4-night festival? Attendees who purchase the Pre-Party pass can start lining up on Wednesday night to be a part of Thursday shenanigans. Being one of the first through the initial gates can help you land great spots for parking and camping.
Experience As Many Performances As Possible
Seeing all your favorite artists out of a lineup this stacked can be a difficult feat, so we recommend planning out your schedule. You can download the Summer Camp app on Android or IOS and use it to build your schedule with your crew. Also, don’t forget to check out some artists on the bill you’ve never hard of before! There are tons of true musical gems hanging out on the lineup underneath the major names. If you like getting down to some funk, check out Yam Yam. Hip-hop heads will want to check out Thee Delinquents. Fan of bluesy roots rock? Don’t miss Aaron Kamm and the One Drops. Bluegrass gems who will be performing include Kitchen Dwellers and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades.
Take Care Of Yourself!
First, staying hydrated is the number one key to any successful festival experience, so bring a water bladder if you have one. Leaving that killer set and trekking to the water station because you’re dying of thirst is a major bummer. Second, don’t forget to fuel your body with good food. Finding a great bite to eat at Summer Camp is almost too easy. You’ll be able to find everything from BBQ to Chinese to Gyros, and vegetarian options too. Finally, don’t forget there are showers available at Summer Camp. Sometimes a nice shower after a night (or three) of raging hard makes all the difference – showers are available to those with VIP passes, or you can pay a fee if you have GA.
Learn Something New
Summer Camp features a ton of activities and opportunities to learn something new. You can take a workshop in glass-making or juggling. Want to get the day started off right? Head to a morning yoga session. Interested in learning more about the Native American culture in the area? Participate in a drum circle. There’s even a scavenger hunt and a field day you can participate in! Check out the app for a full schedule of activities.
Check Out The Late Night Events
Summer Camp goes hard, with music going all night long. Most notable of the late night events are definitely the ultra-special performances in the Red Barn. This year, we are especially excited for Saturday’s B2B with CloZee, LSDDream and special guest Maddy O’Neal. The Red Barn is a small space and an exclusive experience, so you need to purchase additional tickets for these shows if you have a General Admission ticket. VIP upgrade tickets include one Red Barn ticket and exclusive late-night performances in the VIP Lounge. You can also check out other late night performances for free at the Campfire Stage, Starshine Stage, and the Soulshine Tent.
Can’t Make The Whole Festival? Buy A Sunday Pass!
Can’t afford the cash or time for the whole weekend? The only single day tickets available during the weekend are for Sunday – you could still check out Tipper, Ween, Cherub, Three Six Mafia and more.
As with any festival, your Summer Camp experience is absolutely whatever you make it to be. We couldn’t cover all the bases here so be sure to check out the official Summer Camp website, Facebook page, and the Subreddit for more valuable tips and insider info. Tickets are still available, so snag one if you haven’t yet!
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