Pulling into Summer Camp for my first time I couldn’t help but feel a bit apprehensive. Everything I’ve read or seen on the web says “It’s an amazing fest… as long as it doesn’t rain“ Yet, here I was, pulling up to the gate on Friday morning after 3 solid days of precipitation. Stepping out of my jeep into the parking lot I immediately sunk into the mud up to my ankles and thought to myself “Welp, I guess it’s time to get dirty!”
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.
Let’s look at the creativity and courageousness exposing the truths, the deep meaning underfoot, like bugs after the rain, this past year has been insane. Rearranged and renamed, complaints unrestrained, this is the new normal. I’d wanted to write scripture about Shoe Fest, some sort of article of faith, a declaration of devotion to what made me fall in love with festivals in the first place… Alas, this is my iconoclast blast that shall be touted on Facebook groups across America, the finest in toilet reading material.
I was a real nowhere lass, sitting on my nowhere ass, making all my nowhere plans for nobody. Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be spent at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL for Summer Camp Music Festival. Two years without my big blowout weekend left me a real blind bat. I had feared when they announced an August attempt, would it even happen? Would it be safe? Would it be the same? I was unperceptive to what I used to consider my thing, my scene, festivals were my jam.
I’ve had a few whirlwind romances with festivals before, but I’m infatuated with you, dear Shoe Fest 2019. The understated red and gold signs off the highway invited us in and although I cannot find the right words to say, I shall try to express how I love thee. From the moment we entered Camp Shaw-waw-nas-see in Manteno IL, we knew that this would be a truly special Labor Day weekend. There was a twinkle in security’s eyes when they approved our non-firework no glass bottles camper ready wagon. They waved us through as if it were their job to bring the most satisfaction and to welcome us in, accepting us as another member to the Shoe Family Tribe. We quickly and easily parked, gazing out over the sea of cars in anticipation of the festival grounds.
Unlike larger festivals, Shoe Fest is a unique festival, in that it offers patrons folk-rooted music with multiple interactive experiences. The main focus of the festival is on bringing people of all ages together to relish in a carefree community where they can leave their busy lives behind and actually have a good time.
I made a wish on the Zoltar fortune Telling machine. I wished I could unwind and rewind back to the glory days. I wished my youth wasn’t wasted when I was young. I wished to be me, free of worry, like the days of childhood Summer Camp, adventurous and curious, exploring the wonders of nature.
Shoe Fest is proud to announce the first round lineup for the 9th annual festival. Shoe Fest will once again be held at the beautiful and scenic Camp Shaw-Waw-Nas-See in Manteno, IL (less than 1 hour south of Chicago), Labor Day weekend (August 30-September 1). Tickets are on sale now with a price increase this Friday, April 19th. Highlights of this year’s initial lineup are multi-Grammy winner and the king of newgrass, Sam Bush and the incomparable singer-songwriter Todd Snider.