Words by Benji Feldheim :: Images by Brett Saul

Summer Camp 2006 :: 05.25 - 5.28 :: Three Sisters Park :: Chillicothe, IL

Summer Camp 2006
After last year's Summer Camp festival I finally understood what a parent might feel when their child returns home after their first long chunk of time away from home; walking in at sunrise with purple hair, metal scattered throughout his or her face, reeking of cigarettes and booze. In 2003, less than three thousand people came to Summer Camp to enjoy the outdoors with a soundtrack. People got wild on drugs, little water and even less sleep, but the incredible music was still the main reason for being there. But in years since, it expanded to three days and more zombified faces walked the grounds as if it was a massive fest like Bonnaroo. In 2005, no tornadoes tore it apart, but the attendees didn't have the spark of years before. It seemed as if this fantastic gathering turned a corner toward the dark side of the scene - the depraved decadent fools who think uninhibited means acting like an asshole. Parents must let their kids go through the rebellious phase, and afterward accept the changes in the child. But the child should learn some balance to the madness and find a way to enjoy the beauty in naturally occurring things. Besides, parents are imperfect people as well. My hypocrisy can only go so far, because this Summer Camp was far and away the best yet.

Thursday, May 25th

Andrew Bird :: Summer Camp 2006
The weekend began with the pulsating rhythms and screaming horns of the Alma Afrobeat Ensemble from Champaign, IL. Many bands claim the Afrobeat title without really coming through with an authentic sound, but this beefy band of five horns, keys, two guitars and three drummers/percussionists tears through real Fela Kuti tunes like a thresher. Family Groove Company from Chicago kept things hot with their precision playing and hard funk on original tunes like "The Charmer" and "Virginia Hill," while leaving a distinct expert mark on tunes like "The Chicken" and "New Speedway Boogie." More on them later, they deserve it.

The Kilborn Alley Blues Band has been knocking blues fans on their asses in Illinois and beyond for years, and they brought the gritty thunder to Summer Camp. One of the most powerful performances of I've seen them pull off, they tore through a set of wailing soulful shuffles and up-tempo stomp fests. Singer/guitarist Andrew Duncanson was a man possessed. Later, New Monsoon took things to an odd place on the Sunshine Stage with their random blend of sounds from around the globe. The combo of tabla, guitar, drums, conga, bass, keys and didgeridoo sounded like a hootenanny from Calcutta. Their layers worked solidly together without overdoing the sound, and they played a solid set of world-funk. The night moved onward with Groovatron tipping the scales toward scattering, composed rock to close the night. Jake Cinninger (Umphrey's McGee) sat in on the band's "Bone Diggin'." Their weighty set ran a wide gamut of styles merged together for a set that built steam up in the barn.

Friday, May 26th

Daniel Sproul - Rose Hill Drive
Summer Camp 2006
When the body finally switched to festival mode, it was time to hear some new and old faces strut their stuff. Backyard Tire Fire kicked off the day with their rough blues and rock. BTF is another band bringing a touch of darkness to the fray that is well received because of the reality of their stories. Brainchild from Peoria, IL rocked out the camping stage with their brand of odd-metered funk, raging dual guitar attacks and tight rhythms. Another symbol of bands in the scene leaning toward darker sounds, Brainchild also exemplifies a mindset where shyness in playing is not an option. They rock and are proud of it, and the audience agreed with their screaming cheers. Pnuma Trio followed with their eerie trance stylings. Bringing more rock fury and delving into trance techno were the main themes of the many bands at Summer Camp. Rose Hill Drive showed the campgrounds that the days of nasty, shit-kicking power trios are far from gone. After catching a bit of world funk with Chris Berry and Michael Kang, it was time again for Family Groove Company to show the grounds how it's really done. This Chicago quartet is the best example I've heard of what it means to play as one. Their sensitivity towards each other's sounds is the un-fakeable product of honing a tight technical backbone and then improvising. Yet, unlike many players with high technical prowess, arrogance is totally absent in this band, and it makes it all the more enjoyable. Along with their high-powered rocker "The Charmer" and tight grooves of "Ready Fire Aim" and "Byron's Got the Time," FGC also brought some snaky evil out with "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)."

Vince Herman :: Summer Camp 2006
Onward to the main stage to experience The Disco Biscuits with not-quite-so-new-anymore drummer Allen Aucoin. TDB seemed to have really settled with the change in line-up and are back to their twisted experiments of lashing rock and creepy trance. Their musicianship was in full swing but still made time to have some fun with Brendan Bayliss from Umphrey's, who came out to sing on "I Got A Feeling." Vince Herman took to his job as emcee, spouting random country tunes off the top of his bearded head and eventually introducing the next band; Umphrey's McGee. The Umph came out for two sets of sheer fury. Highlights were a "Nothing Too Fancy" that returned a few times during the show and a sudden "Ocean Billy" that sprang right out of a hard funk "Jimmy Stewart," which came from their tight reggae groove of "Utopian Fir." Songs from Safety in Numbers such as "Words" and "Intentions Clear" become more comfortable each time they bring them out. Kang came out to add violin to "We're Going To War," followed by a final return of "N2F" to take all the wind out of the main stage area.

moe. :: Summer Camp 2006
Next, moe. came on for their headlining spot, hitting the gas right away with a fierce "Rebubula" that would carry on for a few days. Their cover of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" had the whole grounds singing and swaying. Closing their set with "Brent Black" sandwiched by an explosive "Tailspin" set a high bar for the rest of the weekend. The late night set showed an interesting facet of The Disco Biscuits - their taste for metal. Opening the set with "Sweating Bullets" and moving on through "Magellan" and "Cyclone," they seemed to keep switching their moods around, going from dark to happy in an instant. With plenty of hard drum and bass grooves, they carried into Saturday morning with fury.

Saturday, May 27th

Cornmeal :: Summer Camp 2006
Day two-and-a-half started with the undulating break-beats and ambient howls of Drop Q, a Chicago quartet versed in a furious jazz and techno mindset with enough flow to keep odd meters feeling steady. Alongside the dance and hard rock skills, hanging over the grounds were different takes on the roots of bluegrass. Cornmeal's five-piece balance of old time knowledge and raw electric rock energy made dust rise from stomping feet. The intense picking of Dave Burlingame on banjo and guitarist Kris Nowak, matched with the hard screeches and wails of Allie Kral's violin, hit hard with the booming rhythm of Chris Kangi on bass and drummer JP Morgan. The band's explosive playing lit up the Sunshine Stage. A wave of hard playing with clean tones came out of the woods after Cornmeal. Ernie Hendrickson and the Make Believe is a Chicago group of veritable pros bringing tight syncopation with a pop backbone. They had great energy and clearly have a broad knowledge of music. Tea Leaf Green has been on many taste-maker suggestion lists for the past year. The San Francisco quartet has a strong leaning toward straight-up rock & roll and raises intensity as a group instead of just backing up the soloist.

Rusted Root :: Summer Camp 2006
Rusted Root was a random treat this year. In sticking with an indefinable quality of nearly all bands at this festival, the group took the crowd through a cycle of world sounds rarely thrown together. A band with that much sound can be overdone, yet Rusted Root maintained control over their layered repertoire. At times the crowd jumped, at other times the group swayed, but either way Rusted Root caught the crowd's attention.

With a longer stay on the main stage, moe. played with utmost trickery and sheer force in jams and song arrangements. Hitting hard with "Born to Run," moe. went right for the high energy and never waned. "Big World" into "Bullet" gave a chance for some stretching away from the tunes, only to close out the first set tightly with "The Pit" into "Head." During the second set, the Buffalo five showed their penchant for jam endurance as they brought "Rebubula" back out, which was left unfinished the night before. The long version went way out into bizarre space and all the way back to shredding rock to change into "Buster." A last return to "Rebubula" finished the set, and a mellow "Road" seemed to remind everyone that strength was needed for later.

The Brothers Past and Tea Leaf Green late night hit a tone towards fierce rock in the sweltering Red Barn. The sauna air led way to some sheer rocking out by two bands exemplifying the hard rock sub-theme of Summer Camp. Somehow people stood the steam all night, but your humble narrator needed air.

Sunday, May 28th

Summer Camp 2006
The final day began with the clinics, one of the true gems of Summer Camp. Glenn Kotche from Wilco and Vinnie Amico and Jim Loughlin from moe. were on hand to enlighten festival goers on mindset and techniques for drumming. Kotche talked about staying open-minded to ideas since "you never know what'll make sense later." He played a rumbling, melodic drum kit rhythm he wrote with Vinnie and Jim jumping right in to a gypsy-beat. All three agreed on the importance of taking inspiration from other forms of art for music.

Oteil and the Peacemakers were up next on the main stage. The band continues to push the boundaries of their playing. Their listening capabilities are matched only by how hard they play when each member steps out for a solo. Drummer Chris Fryar and Oteil Burbridge make for a fierce rhythm section, colored by the virtuosic guitar of Mark Kimbrel and Matt Slocum's tight keyboard work. Paul Henson added some southern soul with his vocals on "Check Yourself," and Oteil sang on "My Sweet Lord," delving into the spiritual side of the Peacemakers.

Umphrey's McGee :: Summer Camp 2006
Next, Umphrey's came on for a short day set with a few new tunes and some trusted older nuggets. "Eat" showed the band's composing skills, and "Der Bluten Kat" ran the gamut of Umphrey's tricks, from tight, odd-metered syncopation, hard rock and tender melody. On the Sunshine Stage lurked a snaky sound from deep on the Bayou. Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band will not be matched anytime soon. The Reverend leads the way on shouted preaching vocals and acoustic guitar or Dobro. His wife Breezy keeps the tempo sharp on washboard, and brother Jayme Peyton maintains a steady backbone on a small drum set. It's called the Big Damn Band because of the thick sound emanating from the three players, it's like a blues jam from hell. Closing their set with the up-tempo "The Train Song," the band showed their ability to engage the audience with a massive call-response blow out; a Big Damn Band indeed.

Jeff Austin - YMSB :: Summer Camp 2006
Back to the main stage for Yonder Mountain String Band. To some purists, YMSB is blasphemy. While keeping one foot in the strong tradition of Appalachian music, they have also embraced amplified tones to their instruments and modern songwriting sensibilities. When it comes to any form of art, the usual result of forward-thinking is simply blending the roots with new thoughts. One doesn't exist well without the other. Their set ran a broad spectrum of sounds from earthy funk to sped-up foot-stompers. Al Schnier (moe.) added some guitar-picking to the band's rich tone on "Crow Black Chicken," as Yonder showed a lot of skill during their set. Walking back to camp, I caught the last bit of The Lee Boys tearing through "Purple Haze" to close their set.

Al Schnier - moe. :: Summer Camp 2006
moe. took their final spot as a chance to pull out as many stops left in their arsenal as possible. The first set opened with "Seat of My Pants," and the energy stayed strong throughout "Happy Hour Hero" and "Sensory Deprivation Bank" which led to the first break in music after a return to "Seat." The band's songwriting skills sometimes get overshadowed by their endurance jams, yet on this night they balanced these facets delicately. The second set was the best I've seen from moe. in a while, starting with "Bear Song," which soon became "Timmy Tucker," sending the audience into a frenzy. "Dr. Graffenberg" had a section of The Beatles "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." The set closed with an epic "Plane Crash," and the band encored with a mellow "Be Gone" and a rocking "Spine of a Dog."

Split Squad Late Nite

Split Squad I :: Summer Camp 2006
The prospect of moe. and Umphrey's taking their stage-sharing to a new level by splitting up the bands and reassembling them for a one-time late night to close the fest had many possibilities. But it couldn't be perfect, as it's hard to play a whole set with people who rarely jam together. The first Split Squad consisted of Cinninger (guitar), Ryan Stasik (bass), Joel Cummins (keys) and Andy Farag (percussion) from Umphrey's along with Chuck Garvey (guitar) and Vinnie (drums) from moe. Highlights from this set included "Achilles Last Stand" and the ripping funk of "In the Ghetto" by Donnie Hathaway, which went right into UM's "Syncopated Strangers." moe.'s "Shoot First" brought out a rumba feel, and things got weird on Zappa's "Po-jama People." It seemed the band was trying to stick to the songs instead of being more spontaneous, but it was a superb start to the night. The music may have been great, but the heat in the barn was enough make people very sick. The promoters really must make a new arrangement for the late night sets or at least make that sauna more ventilated. Not only was it uncomfortable, it seemed to interfere with the bands' music and sound engineering.

Split Squad II :: Summer Camp 2006
The second Split Squad featured Brendan Bayliss (guitar) and Kris Myers (drums) from Umphrey's, along with Al Schnier (guitar), Rob Derhak (bass) and Jim Loughlin (percussion) from moe. The band opened up with moe.'s "Moth," followed by Loughlin taking lead screaming vocals for Iron Maiden's "The Trooper." In the running for best song of the whole fest was "All in Time" into "Bring You Down" back into "All in Time." The organic way the group blended the two groups' songs seemed more rehearsed than possible, and they were even able to work some "Fire on the Mountain" into the jam. "Shook Me All Night Long" and an explosive "Havah Nagilah" done in true traditional style brought the party out for a crazy rendition of "Life During Wartime." Kris and Jim brought seriously ferocious drumming, switching between percussion and drum kit. By then the heat felt almost normal... almost. Split Squad Two ended with "Farmer Ben" and "Moth." Schnier brought everyone outside away from the heat for the two full bands to end the festival with acoustic renditions of "The Weight" and "Night Moves," featuring a weary, drenched audience singing along as steam went up all around. An amazing festival on many levels for bands and fans new and old, Summer Camp brought it solid this year.

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[Published on: 6/9/06]

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thesaxophonist starstarstarstarstar Sat 6/10/2006 07:39AM
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A+ Great few days to blow of some steam and get down and dirty with an eclectric array of sounds. Can't wait for next year, I found a social security card/medicare card, if you misplaced yours there get back to me. devlinc at lakeland dot edu

knockkneed1013 starstar Sat 6/10/2006 07:51AM
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Growing up in Illinois, I have attended all but the last two summercamps(due to a move to cali). Anyways, I kind of feel this festie has taken the turn to the terrible, due in part mostly to the promoters. They care nothing in terms of the festival goer. Last yr the NO2 balloons were EVERYWHERE> And most of the time the people running the tanks are the very people hired for security, the people hired for your safety. And I am not against partying whatsoever, but it seems this is what this festival has turned into. After going to High Sierra the past two yrs, I gotta say, Summercamp lacks severly in every department. Do yourself a favor, save your money, and spend your money on a festival that will surely make u mad at Jam and Jattv(promoters of SC) for not taking better care of the festival goers.
On the other hand the review was decent, and covered a wide gamut of bands. Hard to do for a festival atmosphere.

toestothenose starstarstarstarstar Sat 6/10/2006 10:13AM
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Nice work folks!


SampleB starstarstarstarstar Sat 6/10/2006 01:12PM
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summercamp was first time to the fest but i will return again and again. the venue is beautiful...the music was great..whatever you complaint...there were undercovers there and ruined some peoples week. otherwise...gimme some moe!!!

Lord-K. starstarstarstarstar Sat 6/10/2006 08:22PM
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knockkneed1013 summercamp Lacks in every department?....I thought you just said it was a giant party so it cannot be lacking in that department. Anyhow summer camp continues to improve every year although more could be done by the promoters to accomdate guests yes. The overall vibe and fredom more than make up for this wonderful 4 days of music. See you all next year. Nice job Benji.

Rebacreates starstarstarstarstar Sun 6/11/2006 03:20PM
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Great article Benji. Best festival of the year!!

Marc1971 starstarstar Mon 6/12/2006 06:12AM
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I agree with the mention of High Sierra as the festival that should be the standard. Summercamp is getting a bit sketchy, but that is the price we pay. I also agree with the ineptitude of the Red Barn. This place SUCKS to see shows. Rent a Big tent ala Bonnaroo and have the late nights in there. The Red Barn will certainly kill someone soon...Also, where was the ALO review?! These guys were my surprise hit of the w/e...much better than the regurgitated sounds of Rusted Root!

ledhed starstarstarstarstar Mon 6/12/2006 07:31AM
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This was my 3rd Summer Camp and was definitely the best. Took last year off because of other committments. Moe. was outstanding and the array of bands was super. I just hate dragging all my gear to camp from the lots. Not easy if you've recently had a heart attack. But this is the best overall for families. It was realing feeling like a summer camp with the families that were there from young to old. Keep up the good work and looking forward to next already!!!

madaeb1 starstarstar Mon 6/12/2006 10:07AM
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As Al Schnier said "Best SummerCamp EVER!" By far, hands down. What a great weekend. I have been to four or five, last year was dirty, this year RAWKED!

As for the nitrous - who cares. Stay away. And I didn't see one tank this year. Three Sisters Park is the best place to hold a festival. The bands tear it up, especially moe.

moe. Thanksgiving - Chicago Theatre - YEAH!

shacklefordwantsapizza starstarstarstar Mon 6/12/2006 10:44AM
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Knockkneed- i appreciate your concern about the scene - my merry band of fools love summer camp- venue, vibe etc. and hope that it can remain a safe and fun place to enjoy excellent live music for years to come- all and all the best kick off to the summer festival circuit. However, i have to say, the scene this year was nothing like your coment portrayed. did you or did you not attend for the last two years?- if not- how did you know there were so many balloons last year- which there were... (LAST YEAR!) this year- i must say there were SIGNIFICANTLY fewer tanks- all weekend i only encountered one- I must respectfully disagree with your assessment- aside from the excruciating heat in the barn- the promoters took great strides to insure comfort. Hayrides to the camp site, a constant flow of ice/package store/ musician workshops and not to forget a suburb line up for a relatively small festival. Jam and Jay have definately worked to cultivate this festival into a respectable and safe event- again- they definately fixed the gas issure this year. In the future please refrain from passing judgment and turning people off from a festival that you haven't attended in two years.
Otherwise- great article- very impressive picture- see y'all next year!!!

pheelalrights starstarstarstarstar Mon 6/12/2006 01:38PM
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"the dark side of the scene...But the child should learn some balance to the madness and find a way to enjoy the beauty in naturally occurring things."
What is happening to our once peace loving community? I know and firmly believe in better living through chemicals, but the key in the phrase is better living. Keep it natural!

soggybread starstarstarstar Mon 6/12/2006 06:43PM
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good article,

my first but i thought the drug atmoshpere wasnt bad, my complaint is the lack of total emotion from the crowd. when moe. was about to come on i could hear crickets, wtf

point being every do moe. chants every night to practice for shows

sbcallstar starstarstarstarstar Mon 6/12/2006 07:38PM
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I thought it was great to see so many musicians playing with other bands, It gave it laid back feel, everyone seemed to really be enjoying themselves, I saw Rob from MOE, sit in with a band called Jassy Grazz, in the church, after his bass clinic. Its cool to see someone like him jam with a up and coming band that played on the campers stage. Also, the red barn did sound horrible.

oogieBwoogie starstarstar Tue 6/13/2006 09:21AM
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I heard about the ugly vibe going on last year, but in my opinion this year was completely lacking in dirty bad vibes. I had an absolute BLAST and plan on going for years to come as long as it stays like it was this year. I'm not even a big partier!I was a little nervous about all the drugs that would be there at first but it turned out to be all good. I just loved the music and the incredible kind and happy vibe that the festival had this year. Probably the best weekend of my life.
I didn't see a review of keller's performance in this article which is a shame concidering he put on one of the best performances i have ever seen! Other than that and the lack if description of the vibes THIS YEAR, great review.

crescentvale starstarstarstarstar Tue 6/13/2006 01:07PM
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If anyone didn't notice YONDER MOUNTAIN ( NON STRING BAND) used a pre-recored dumb beat at wakarusa n summercamp for one of the new songs off the sold-out new album. Change is ok, but putting a fake dumb beat on a band i put 1000's of dollars into watching n listening has just lost another fan.

mrbrownstone419 Tue 6/13/2006 03:05PM
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knockkneed knows about the last two years because i gave him the scoop. both of us have been to a few shows and he's just offering up an honest opinion. he doesn't have a problem with nitrous per say, it's the fact that everyone just littered their ballons all over the place (i thought it was a fest for "hippies"). i've been to every camp since it started in 99 and last year was awful (too many people there for the wrong reasons). this year was much better but there's still room for improvement. i've been to both high sierra and camp and it's not even close, high sierra blows it away. here's an example of the promoters not taking care of the festival goer. there were 8 showers for 10,000 people, wtf? hsmf has showers all over. as far as i knew you could buy ice in 2 places at scamp (both were a long walk from my tent), hsmf has ice for sale all over. also, i don't think the number of porta johns has increased the last few years, but the number of people has. that being said, i had fun at scamp this year again. the line up was the best it's been and the people seemed to be there for the music and people were less sketchy (although i did hear about a few thefts). also a late night tent instead of the red barn is a must. my highlights from this year were tea leaf green, rev peyton's big damn band, and ymsb (although i don't really care for the new stuff, it's just alright. i hear what your saying, panicathome)

greatful71 starstarstarstar Tue 6/13/2006 04:31PM
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I loved Summer Camp this year! My only other SC was in 2003, which was great as well. It's a much bigger deal now, but they have handled the growth well. Some have talked about the drugs being a problem, but it really wasn't that bad...and I had my family with me, so I would have been sensitive to it. The music was fantastic! The vibe was great...smiles all around.

If people were smart and didn't go to these festivals to try to make money by selling drugs, there would be less of a problem...take what you need...keep it to yourself and your buddies...and all of this heat that is coming down on our scene will go away...if you don't...every festival will start to turn into Wakarusa...;-(

Also, I recommend the VIP tix to everyone for next drinks...massages were A+...I'll be doing that again next year for sure!

It was HOT! But the promoters can't do anthing about that...I agree...the barn is TOO HOT!!! OPEN A DOOR OR SOMETHING...heat stroke city!

If that is all I can bitch about...then it's all good! We had a great time!

zusman1400 Wed 6/14/2006 03:34PM
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Summercamp is more like Bustedcamp. My girlfriend got arrested along with over 300 people. There was copshop set up at the festival taking kids away from their weekend of fun and their were at least 4 police officers in seperate vehicles pulling people over on the road that gets to the venue and harassing them and arresting them. There were enough undercovers to arrest everyone there if they had wanted to. Summercamp should change location or just not happen anymore.

stanos starstarstarstarstar Wed 6/14/2006 04:32PM
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i agree with most of you, i'm glad the scene wasn't so sketchy this year.i come for the music first and foremost,this doesn't mean i don't like to party and have a good time because i did my share of both,but peaople should realize that this is the real reason to for as the lineup this year rocked the last four i've been too.and yes there aren't as many showers as people but you have to expect a little less comfort than your home when your at a fest.i just hope i'm still able to come back in 25 yrs. to this thing.peace and love fellow campers and free high fives for everyone!!!!!!!!!!

The Glick starstarstarstarstar Wed 6/14/2006 04:38PM
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The Glick

Drop Q was fantastic, those guys are fine musicians and I can't wait for them to put together a little tour.

spaceface7 starstarstarstar Thu 6/15/2006 08:40AM
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Damn,I wish I made the trip out to this one. Sounds and looks like a real good time. MOEPHREYS!!?!? Can't wait for tha MoE.Down

madaeb1 starstarstar Fri 6/16/2006 07:22AM
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Zusman1400 - play it smart and that would never happen. Funny thing is there are undercovers at every festival. Stop slanging drugs. Its that simple.

rebubula7 starstarstarstarstar Mon 6/19/2006 01:40PM
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Had a great complaints other than that damn red barn!! Gotta do something else for the late nights!!! This year was even better than last year! But folks stop comparing SC to High Sierra....last time I checked they weren't the same festival. Not all festies can be created equal! Some are better than others but if you worried about a shower then stay home! The music is what should keep us coming back, not the number of porta potties. Overall it was a fantastic weekend!

rebubula7 Mon 6/19/2006 02:08PM
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Tarpington Lives!!

gymnopilus Mon 6/19/2006 09:51PM
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madwyer says "play it smart and that won't happen". Well FYI, the undercovers there were walking around campsites and busting people they saw smoking pot. These people weren't evan selling drugs. And I am not saying this because I am bullshitting. I saw it first hand sitting in the peoria Jail facing mushroom charges. So Fuck you, and fuck summer camp! I wouldn't have attended if I had relized they sold that park to the state government. And also to the people who put the event on, I will forever wish bad kharma your way for not warning people about the sting operations and the cops, you could have let people know. I saw many people who are going to do hard time. But it's okay, you made your precious money and you don't give a fuck about your fans. I just spent $1000 dollars on a lawyer. I cant believe the trouble I am in for a fungus that has so much potentual to do such good to the world. If everyone in the world ate a psilocybe mushroom just once in there life, perhaps the world would actually be a positive place to live in............

mrbrownstone419 Tue 6/20/2006 03:40PM
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did you or did you not know that mushrooms were illegal when you had them in your possesion? don't cry when you get burnt playing with matches.

jj1 star Wed 6/21/2006 03:35PM
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006



CHILLICOTHE - Julie Harms let out a scream upon hearing that Summer Camp at Three Sisters Park would be no more.
"No. You're kidding. That is really sad. It was such a great venue," said Harms, 19, who attended the outdoor music festival for the past two years. "I can't believe they aren't going to have it there."

But the three-day festival, which attracted more than 8,000 people this year, has gotten a reputation as a "drug fest," some said. And park officials decided to stop hosting the event.

Harms of Varna said she didn't see a lot of drugs and wasn't offered any, but she heard they were around.

"I think you have that with any concert regardless of the size or location," she said. "I go for the music. I like the atmosphere. It was very laid back. Everyone was dancing, having a great time. It was a great time."

The park's decision was spurred by a request from an emergency room physician to end the six-year-old event.

"During the weekend (of this event), we have such a concentration of drug overdoses . . . that we do not usually see during the rest of the year," said Dr. Richard Frederick of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. "To me it was a public health issue."

Festival promoter Jay Goldberg said he was shocked by the decision and will continue the concert - which grossed more than $1 million - elsewhere.

"I do feel blindsided by it, for this reason: During the festival and immediately after the festival, we received compliments from the professionals involved," Goldberg said. "Any time you have an event that has thousands of people . . . you are going to have all these different issues. The whole object its to be well prepared."

Goldberg said he spent more than $7,000 to contract with OSF to have an on-site emergency room at the festival. He also hired a private security company for the festival and had 30 to 40 people working per shift. In addition, he said, he contracted with Chillicothe and Peoria County for on-site officers.

He also had agents with the Multi-County Narcotics Enforcement Group on site. "Of course there were 20 some arrests. But that is out of 10,000 people," Goldberg said.

Mayor Gary Fyke says he stands behind the Three Sisters Park board's move to end Summer Camp.

"I thought they made the correct decision," said Fyke, who had gotten a number of complaints from residents of the "conduct of those attendees."

The city has put together a survey to question local businesses on the economic impact of the event. Regardless of the survey's results, however, Fyke believes the "reputation" of the music festival, one involving an "illegal drug cult," is not in Chillicothe's best interests.

Alderwoman Judy Cantwell was surprised by the decision, but she understands it.

"All we have ever heard as a city is negativity. There have been complaints every year about the drug trafficking and other things that went on at the event," said Cantwell, who attended with her husband. "But I really think the promoters bent over backwards working with the police and fire committee."

The decision will have a significant impact on sales tax revenue, Cantwell said

"It is a big boost. The hotels are booked, it is a huge event,' she said.

crescentvale starstarstarstarstar Sun 6/25/2006 03:12PM
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Thank you to jay and the staff for putting together this event for as long as they could. This the end of the jam sence as we know it, and i feel fine. I have said before more people more problems.

zzach16 starstarstarstarstar Tue 6/27/2006 04:59PM
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When it is all said and done, Chillicothe will be sorry, and we will still be happy at a different venue. F@#k Chillicothe. Probably a town of hippy-hating raging alcoholics anyway. I'm going to SC 2007 no matter where it is next. Who's with me?

ninja of love Wed 6/28/2006 10:16PM
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ninja of love

This was my first time at Summer Camp and I had a blast! I didn’t see anyone getting arrested or anything but that is extremely annoying. Personally, I don’t want to go to a place that doesn’t want to have me. Summer Camp will live on no matter where it has to move. I agree that music should be the primary motivation for attending any music fest but drug use has to be expected. I think you can go for the music and have a great time while doing your own thing, as long as you are safe and look out for each other. I don’t get why people are getting pissed about other people using drugs. Some people do drugs and some people don’t. Drugs themselves aren’t negative, although they can become negative when abused or used inappropriately. Why can’t everyone just respect each others choices and get along? Everyone’s there to have fun, why does is matter how they do it?

TheFungus starstarstarstarstar Mon 7/10/2006 08:51PM
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They should start hosting summercamp at loyal family in missouri. It's a good venue.

Jackson4 Tue 8/1/2006 01:57AM
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Considering im from Chillicothe ive been to the past 3 SummerCamps.. and Yes its very depressing that there will be no SummerCamp 2007 in Chilli next year. But Most of the town wants it back there are petitions going around the major store and benifactors of SC and hopefully Sc will be back in 08... and this years was definaly by far the best even though i lost everything i came with including 100 bucks and my journal i still loves it

cashy55 Wed 8/9/2006 11:20AM
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i loved SC! it was awesome (even tho it was hotter than hell) and i have no clue why they would move it from chillicothe! i'm gunna miss it... and the magical drug forest

al starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/10/2006 11:02PM
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Best four days of my life, I'm gonna miss Three Sisters.

Robinlynnaf starstarstarstarstar Fri 10/13/2006 06:58AM
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Summer Camp was absolutely fabulous this year! I had so much fun! The bands were awesome all day everyday! You really couldn't ask for much more. The red barn definately needs to be done with, though. It would be a shame not to have the festival at the same park again next year, but they'll be the ones losing out. Drugs are everywhere, of course with 10,000 people you're going to find some, but people were there for the music and the great time had by all. one can forget about the river. I can't wait till Summer Camp family is all going regardless of where it's at!!!!

iaminthisoneforshure starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/18/2006 08:24PM
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i would like to interject if i may. i have been going to festivals for the past 15 years and the scene has definatley changed. foremost i am down-right annoyed with this new breed of ignoramus that calls itself a hippie and uses that term synonomously with "dewd, why can't we have drugs here, this is a hippie festival", hehe want some molly! go f yourself dude! your killing yourself and you prey on the innocent people to make a buck! yeah we all have choices to make on our own, but not everyone is gifted with the will power to turn down your pressure, so stay the fuck away from festivals and go throw your rave parties. more bullshit, is all the people coming to the festival slangin heroin, go fuck yourself too man! i agree with the city in stopping the festival, cause everytime dumbfuck brings there drugs into the festival that same shit ends up all over the city. i lose track of friends for weeks, they become different people cause they took some nearly lethal dose of molly, or somebody laced some shit. and what is with this new breed of fred durst/kurt cobain/ bob marley look-alike contest? get a clue, ooooh your so origional!! your kidding yourself! i see you walking around with book bags full of i don't know what, but i can guess, lurking all over the place, your not there for the music, your there to make money and ruin peoples good times. i have seen you a wakarusa, bonnaroo, SC, high sierra, 10,000 lakes, etc..... i haven't seen you in the crowd of one show unless your fucking zonked out of your mind and your friend is foaming at the mouth lying on the ground! someone said i belive in the use of chemicals to open one's mind, i agree, but people like this are just stupid. i would love to go to a festival and see people walking around happy and open minded, minus the assholes! it can happen and it has happened. don't sit around the camp groud with fucking ghetto blasters playing 2pac and biggie, or mob deep, or some stupid shit, go somewhere else, you look like a fucking fool!!! it's all the derelicts that come to these festivals that end festivals.

"It seemed as if this fantastic gathering turned a corner toward the dark side of the scene - the depraved decadent fools who think uninhibited means acting like an asshole." Right On!!!!!

Brainchild kicks asss!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gymnopilus Tue 12/5/2006 09:23PM
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I was wanting to say that my previous post on this web page was kind of harsh, but understand I was very unhappy when I wrote it. But let me just say that after this summer camp mess, it turns out I am getting the same charge for a sacred fungus, as someone who raped someone. I am getting a class 1 felony. Criminal Sexual Assault (i.e. rape) is a class one felony. I had 2 ounces of mushrooms, and I am getting charged with the same thing as someone who had 99 grams of heroin. In fact aggra vated assault in Illinois (holding someone at gunpoint) is only a class A misdemeanor. Violent offenders are getting off while harmless people trying to give someone a tool to reach a part of themselves perhaps they may have ignored, are getting treated like rapists. This is one backwards world we live in folks. They say my sentencing range is 4-15 years, though I might qualify for boot camp which would be 6 months. Anyhow, theres lots of people from this venue going through the same stuff. The people who put it on were well aware of the big barn infested with undercover MEG agents, however they did not bother to metion it on there website or anywhere. I agree with some peoples statements about being annoyed with people just coming to events just for drugs. But let me just mention the majority of people arrested were good people, and was for mushrooms. Just more victims of the mass violations of human rights in this drug war, which is not focused on hard addictive drugs but on thought control.

PAPPABEAR Mon 6/11/2007 02:40PM
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marc 1971 leave the red barn alone, its nice for late shows small and sacludded, its always nice to sneek people in folks so help your neaighbors i no i did (banana out).

biscuitskid21 starstarstarstarstar Tue 3/10/2009 05:42AM
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