Cabin fever is revived and revved up to an 11. This summer is finally showing itself, both societally and weather permitting. Let’s kick it off on Memorial Day weekend and see some music! My app is downloaded, I’ve scribbled down which sets I want to go to, and now comparing notes with friends, I still can’t decide which is my best option. It’s all posted online because it is time for Summer Camp 2022! It’s Sunshine, Moonshine, Soulshine, and Starshine stages to rage your face off. This year’s festival season opener is celebrating their 21st birthday so you KNOW it will be legit.
The thing is, I was about 22 when I went to that first Summer Camp back in 2001. I may have notes and schedules and agendas planned but honestly, that is not the way to do Summer Camp. The urge to see it all and experience everything is never going to stop. The best of intentions will never go quite as planned at Summer Camp. It’s even better when you follow your bliss. Heed these suggestions but live in the moment. Now you’re in the flow…
How to Live like You’re Young at Summer Camp
- You gotta see the hosts Umphrey’s McGee and moe. at least once. With 3 sets of moe. and 2 sets of Umphreys plus undoubtedly, members sitting in with all sorts of other acts, it’s only proper manners to see and enjoy the welcoming sets that keep this crazy Summer Camp family going.
- Red Barn Late Night/ Soulshine Undercover Sets - Rumor has it that the Red Barn is air-conditioned. Give yourself a cryogenic blast and see some amazing music out of the sun for a set. The Soulshine Tent has tons of live art happening and a bar to refresh you.
- Participate in Field Day. When can you feel like you’re out at recess again? Do you even remember what a childhood recess feels like anymore? Join a team or live vicariously thru your favorite team as they find glory in the Donut Chow Down challenge. It’s at 2:30 on Saturday, 5/28. If all goes right you will see the champion also conquer the Big Butt Challenge at 3:45.
- Stop racing around trying to see a few songs of each band. Eat and drink from the local vendors. Take your time and smell the corndogs, if ya know what I mean. Friday will feature JRAD and Summer Camp’s official crazy cousin Keller Williams, but in between why not mingle with the neighbors? Wander over to Mikaela Davis at the Campfire Stage? If the stars come out and you happen to get lost in a conversation around the Campfire, sit a spell. Including the Pre Party on Thursday, there are over 80 hours of musical thrills available to you. You can’t work overtime to achieve maximum fun. Slowly drift down the stream meant for you and find your current. Don't work too hard, just go with the flow!
I say this because Andy Frasco is playing that wonderful intimate Campfire Stage from 2 am until 4 am on Sunday night/ Monday morning (depending on how you look at things. Are you a night owl or an early riser? Either way, you do not want to miss Frasco and the UN!)
If you must know, these are the must-haves I earmarked on my schedule, so handy and helpfully displayed on the Summer Camp app on my phone. Whatta time to be alive!
- Here Come the Mummies
- Mikaela Davis
- Keller Williams & Grateful Grass
- JRAD, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
- Leftover Salmon
- Little Feat
- Smashing Pumpkins
- Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
- Stan P Band
- Old Shoe
- The unofficially official Central Illinois hero of our generation, Chicago Farmer and the FIeldnotes
Pack up your galoshes and flip flops, sunblock, and phone chargers. It's time to go Summer Camping!
See you out there!