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[Review] Summer Camp Music Festival 2015: Top 5 Artist Collaborations | May 22-24th, 2015

Crystal art installations at this year’s Summer Camp Music Festival.

My body still aches from tromping around Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL. It was a weekend filled with friends who had traveled from all across the country to enjoy one beautiful weekend together and get the funk down. As I return to my everyday life, I cannot get my mind off of how great this year’s Summer Camp Music Festival was. The festival celebrated their 15th anniversary in signature ‘Scamp’ style, filled with some of the best entertainment and production set ups that the Midwest has ever seen.

This farm-raised festival has been a staple in the Midwest scene for years where it’s known for its eclectic lineup and down home vibes. That is why artists love Summer Camp; it gives them the opportunity to play and work with colleagues and mentors in their industry. Summer Camp is an outlet for musicians to bring to life mind-melting collaborations or a way to treat fans to secret sets sprinkled throughout the woods and fields. 

Here are 5 notable artist collaborations that took place during our wild weekend at Summer Camp.

Godboner performing at Summer Camp Music Festival 2015

1.    Godboner ft. Gene Ween

Friday was a stacked night for Umphrey’s McGee who rocked three sets throughout the day. However, Umphrey’s second set saw the band’s self-proclaimed alter-ego GodBoner take the stage with Gene Ween, former lead guitarist, and vocalist of the experimental alt-rock band Ween. With Gene at the helm, the band ripped through a plethora of Ween originals including bizarre tracks like “Spinal Meningitis,” “Baby Bitch,” and “Transdermal Celebration” that really got the crowd fired up and made for a truly memorable set.



2.    STS9/Victor Wooten

As the clock struck midnight Friday evening, you could see scampers scurrying to the Sunshine Stage where Sound Tribe Sector Nine was set to kick off their first set of the weekend. You could feel the energy in the crowd, and the momentous fact that this would be Alana Rocklin’s first time performing with the band at Summer Camp Music Festival – She completely owned the stage. Opening with the always joyful “Click Lang Echo,” the set was mostly filled with newer songs including “New Dawn, New Day,” and “Totem.” As the band began to wind down their set, a sudden collective cheer rang out. Victor Wooten took the stage next to former student, and STS9 bass player, Alana Rocklin. The pair then continued to slap out a nasty bass dueling version of “Gobnugget” that had the audience in shock and awe. STS9 definitely put some goosebumps in my Friday night vibes.

STS9 performing at Summer Camp Music Festival 2015.

3.    Big Gigantic/Snails/The Motet

Big Gigantic is known for their high-energy shows. Saturday night of Summer Camp was no different. The duo wasted no time getting the party started as they cranked out a handful of old bangers including “Sky High,” and “It’s Goin Down” that had everyone at the Moonshine Stage getting rowdy. At the midpoint of the set things started to really turn up. Big G welcomed dub newcomer Snails for a trap-tastic track followed by a dirty dubstep collaboration. Finally, Big Gigantic brought out members of The Motet, who helped the duo close the set with a splash of extra funk. Definitely a set for the books.

4.    Moe./Hornsby

Moe.’s southern style jams are what many attendees look forward to each year. Alongside Umphrey’s McGee, this band is a true staple of Summer Camp Music Festival. The band’s fourth set of the weekend featured very special guest Bruce Hornsby. After taking his place behind the keys and smiling up at the crowd the band unleashed a series of Grateful Dead cover songs including “Sugaree”, “Help on the Way”, and “Franklin’s Tower” that had the Sunday crowd singing along. You can catch Hornsby playing alongside remaining Grateful Dead members this summer as a part of the ‘Fare Thee Well’ tour.

SunSquabi performing at Summer Camp Music Festival during Filibusta Live Band. Photo by Sarah Hoffman for Compose Yourself Mag

5.    Sunsquabi

Although Sunsquabi wasn’t on the lineup this year, it seemed you couldn’t turn your head without seeing them perform. You could have seen them play as a part of Filibusta’s Live Band in the Vibe Tent late night Thursday or grooving with Manic Focus to help close his set on Friday. The guys also treated campers with a secret rogue set in the Grassroots Dome Saturday night. To cap it off, GRiZ brought the band on stage for their collaboration track, “Get Down,” that ended Griz’s set with a bang. These incredibly talented boys are clearly filled with a passion to play. Find them getting down at a festival near you.

Year in and year out, Summer Camp continues to pull amazing talent within an incredible atmosphere. A playground for fans and artists to come dance in the dirt and dust. After seeing all the amazing collaborations in 2015 we can’t wait to see what next year has in store! We will undoubtedly be seeing you all back on the farm next year!

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