A week ago today I came home from my second Summer Camp Music Festival.
The shows I saw at Three Sisters Park last weekend were my first shows with an actual camera… and between the camera and smartphone, I ended up with about 2200 images and 100 videos to sift through. It has taken me all week to get through most them!
This year was much better for me than last. I was familiar with the grounds. I was familiar with the layouts and the processes. I knew more people. And, I had a photography assistant… my boyfriend, Mike. He was an awesome help and who we can thank for most of the live footage from Summer Camp Music Festival weekend.
Once I decided where we were going and who we were seeing, he would broadcast live while I headed for the pit to take photos and other videos. (You’ll find them popping up on YouTube over the coming weeks.)
We used the app to keep track of who we wanted to see and when. And, while we didn’t see everyone we wanted to make it to, it helped a lot with planning… I definitely recommend the app for anyone who is going in the future.
Also, I love how well organized the bands & schedules were. When you see as much music every week as I do, it can be frustrating when a perfectly lined up schedule is thrown off by someone starting half an hour or more late. I’ve learned to roll with it most of the time, but I rarely had to last weekend. Even with lightning moving some things around, there were only two shows I saw where the artists didn’t start within 5 minutes of the listed start time. That’s got to be some kind of a record!
And, of course, the music was phenomenal.
There were a few artists with styles that are not typically on my personal playlists, but I never heard someone and wondered how they got there. So much talent in one place! (Of course, I say that a lot here in Peoria…) It was a great festival.
While it’s hard to choose among so many stand-out talents, my favorite non-local bands included Too Many Zooz, We Banjo 3, Southern Ave, The Mighty Pines, and Blues Traveler! If you aren’t familiar with any of them, you should definitely check them out!
Next year is Summer Camp 20. It will be the 20th year of the festival, happening in 2020!
While I loved so much about this year, here are my thoughts on what would make Summer Camp 2020 even more epic.
First, more local bands!
I love the concept of Summer Camp on the Road and the way local bands make their way into the festival… for other areas. Peoria is the place this festival calls home, and one of the reasons that’s true is the music scene that Peoria has. People will come from all over the country to #SCamp20, and we have the opportunity to show them why Peoria is the place to be!
I would love to see the Memphis Dives, Harvest Sons, Jeremy David Baker, and Bogart Jones at the festival next year… just to name a few. I know there are other local original artists who would be a great fit as well. We have so many who would be amazing on the stage at Summer Camp!
Second, we would love more of a female presence on the stages.
There were a few this year, and it’s possible I missed some… but there was plenty of room for more!
Men and women alike love female-fronted bands, partially because we see them so rarely compared to other bands. They stand out. Having a heavy female presence would likely be a big draw for new SCampers as well! I’ve seen a few at Kenny’s Westside Pub in the last year that would be a great fit for different stages, including DJ noDJ and Fox Crossing String Band. I know there are others. We want to see them!
Third, I heard (after the fact) that there was an open mic at one of the camps.
That should be a thing. If someone ran a stage and sold t-shirts that make a reference to being on stage at #SCamp20 that you can buy only after performing. People would love it! And who knows what new artists we might all discover…
Last, Peoria Music Live needs permission to use a golf cart.
Hey, I’m just throwing it out there. If the guys at Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment want to work on some of the other ideas first, I’m fine with that! We’ve got plenty of time to figure it out before next year. ;-)
Golf cart or not, (Or any changes at all, for that matter) we’re definitely looking forward to Summer Camp Music Festival 2020 over here. While you’re waiting, take some time to check out these photos from SCamp19! (And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the videos we captured as they go up!)
There are nearly 300 photos here, so I divided them up