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Hear Magazine will be at Summer Camp Music Festival 2014 \mm/

May 23-25th

By Kevin Tshiamala

The first Summer Camp Music Festival was held in 2001 at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL. About 1,000 attended the festival that year, and enjoyed over 20 bands on 2 stages over the course of 2 days. Since then, Summer Camp Music Festival has grown to more than 15,000 attendees, hosting more than 100 bands on 7 stages over 3 days. While their numbers have grown, Summer Camp still maintains the same energy and family feel they had when they started over a decade ago. As one fan put it, “Coming to Summer Camp is like coming home.” You’ll run into old friends, meet a ton of great new ones, and have the time of your life.”

Similar to Summer Camp, my personal music festival experience started with something small. Since then, I’ve traversed the world and have hit major production festivals all the way down to 4,000 people or less family style festivals such as Bliss Fest or Nelson and Ledges. Over the years the massive scale of festivals has diminished the reason people gather and choose to live like refugees for a few days. The antics have diminished the value of music festivals, not the latter, but the former. We now find that many attend festivals not for the music, but for everything surrounding it: the drugs, drinking, theme park antics, Alice in Wonderland theatrics, costumes, pictures, hashtags, and fomo. When the foundation on which something is created is lost, that something quickly turns into a negative. And festivals are no exceptions as evidenced by the hoards of police now involved, the deaths, the arrests, the hospitalizations, the fights and the drama. As a result, along with my professional requirements, my festival adventures came to a halt.

Though this is, if there were one festival that I would attend if the right situation presented itself it would be Summer Camp. From hearing great stories about community, music and good vibes about Summer Camp throughout the years from friends, family, and festival acquaintances, it was clear that this event had retained what many had lost — the foundation.

A few months ago when speaking with Break Science, they stated they’d be playing Summer Camp. When we spoke with Eoto, Lotus, and others, they stated the same. It was not only clear that due to the lineup this would be the right festival for Hear Magazine to cover, but that due to the family-type-vibe and overwhelming support the festival receives, that this would be the perfect time for me to once again camp out at a Music Festival.

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From researching, watching videos, and talking to past attendees, Summer Camp is not just a typical music festival. It has active and interactive games throughout the weekend for campers to participate in, with yoga, great healthy delicious food, amazing staff and facilities. But besides just the festival, Jam and Jay Goldberg Events also give back to the community that allows this celebration to occur. Almost tripling the population of Chillicothe for the weekend, Summer Camp creates a city within a city, and greatly impacts the local business economy. Summer Camp also invites local bands and provide them with the opportunity to play in front of thousands of people — a dream come true for any band.

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The more we read, the more people we talk to, it seems that Summer Camp Music Festival, since 2001, has been able to avoid falling into the trap, and have continued to do things the RIGHT way. When you run a festival the right way, everyone who participates, including the citizens of Chillicothe, benefit in some way. The most important benefits are the honest feelings of community, glee and transcendence.

Hear Magazine and I cannot wait to participate in this wonderful event for the first time. We’ll be there taking pictures, conducting interviews, soaking in the rays, and enjoying all of the wonderful music. If you’re one of the lucky ones, we’ll see you at the Thursday pre-party. Otherwise we’ll see you the following day and throughout the weekend. Make sure to say hello or stop by our campsite. Although this is our first Summer Camp, it’s by far not our first rodeo.

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For more information please visit Summer Camp Music Festival’s official website: http://summercampfestival.com/

For social media please visit: https://www.facebook.com/summercampmusicfestival

P.S. Make sure to add the Summer Camp App to your mobile device for access to everything Summer Camp. A few tips for you first time goers: plan out who you wan to see, or don’t; bring toilette paper, toothpaste and a toothbrush; bring a camelbak; make a location flagpole, or what we call a staff staff; bring a sweater or two, it gets cold at night; leave your troubles at home and only bring your positive attitude; sunglasses are a necessity; unless you’re media, you don’t need to tweet or facebook all day throughout the weekend, be present; let loose. Lastly, for those not able to attend, the couch tour is always a great alternative.

If you’re not going for the music, you’re going for the wrong reason.