So far, on festival tour, Madi and I have been to Buku Music and Arts Festival in New Orleans, LA, Snowball Music Festival in Denver, CO, Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, AL, and Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL. It has been quite the adventure, and no words could do it justice.
As a first-timer at Summer Camp Music Festival, and also just a first-timer of any camping music festival, I'd describe it as one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. Going to a music festival is one thing, but going to a camping festival is on a completely different level. I'm sure Madi was just about ready to strangle me throughout the weekend because the festival was so much fun that it made work really difficult… Although, the perks of my slacking off were that I was able to fully indulge in the whole experience and thus am able to write so much about it.
I don't even know where to start! This seems to be a problem for me when writing about festivals, but this one especially. Summer Camp is truly an amazing experience, and it's no shocker that some festival goers have been going for 10+ years. It's not the music that makes the festival at all. Don't get me wrong though, there were some fantastic artists who came! But what makes the festival so special is the culture and the people. The culture at summer camp is indescribable and I encourage everyone to experience it at least once. Once you pass the gates into the festival grounds, it seems that all social norms vanish and the usual image that society pushes upon people are gone.
Being at this festival is like being in a world where you feel welcomed by everyone. It's great! Most people's cell phones have no service, or die by the end of the first day, and no one is ever in a rush. It feels like everyone has time to talk, and actually enjoy the time spent talking as well. It's enlightening to discover all sorts of different people who came from so many different backgrounds, and miraculously united at the festival. One lady even told me the whole thing was about unity. I agree. It's about all different sorts of people coming together and sharing their love, and everyone has a little something different to offer to the festival community. It's a culture.
I find that in everyday life, everyone is in some sort of a rush. There are deadlines to meet, jobs to go to, errands to complete, and all of that everyday nonsense. At the festival, there is no rush because everyone is just where they want to be and no one really has to go anywhere. There were times when I had absolutely no idea what time it was because I generally didn't have my cell phone on me. I think people get the wrong ideas about festivals. A lot of people think it's a 60's revelation where people gather and do tons of drugs and rage to music. Well, maybe it is a little bit like the 60's, and there might be a lot of drug use among some, but that is definitely NOT what it is all about. It's about culture; a different culture that is unlike society, and in my opinion, a better culture. I could write all about the people I've met there and the all the little random things that went on which made the festival what it is, but the only way anyone could ever understand festival culture is by experiencing it for themselves.
Peace and Love,