Summer Camp Music Festival


Sara McRoberts, Campus and Features Editor

You have seen fliers around campus. You have seen posts on social media. I am sure even someone you know has mentioned Summer Camp Music Festival.
However, if you are not too savvy on the extravaganza that is Summer Camp, here is the 411: The festival, so fondly called “Scamp,” is held at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL every Memorial Day Weekend since 2001. The first Scamp brought in about 1,000 patrons to watch a little more than 15 bands on two stages. Now in 2016, more than 20,000 music lovers enjoy over 100 bands on 7 stages over the course of a three day period; four days if you buy an early ticket called a “Pre-Party Pass.” Artists such as Bassnector, Steve Miller Band, Jane’s Addiction, Zac Brown Band, and more have performed at this festival over the years. Summer Camp Music Festival has become one of the largest events in the Midwest during the month of May.
One of the best aspects of Summer Camp is that there is copious amounts of ways to get involved. Between volunteering and the Make a Difference Movement, the festival offers attendees several opportunities to learn about the music industry, what happens behind the scenes, and how the festival runs internally.
Brad Miller, guitarist in the band Melk who played Summer Camp in 2015, is intertwined in the promotion and marketing world of this fest. He heads a group called The Street Team. This group of volunteer participants spread the word of Summer Camp at shows and through social media. I reached out to Miller in hopes of learning a little more about the festival, and determined to learn how college students can get involved. He explained that there are applications on the Summer Camp website ( for participation as a general volunteer, a green team volunteer, a soul shine ambassador, or involvement in the Make a Difference Movement.
“Volunteering is like a three day internship,” Miller says. General Volunteers get assigned jobs from front gate check-ins to artist check-ins. This experience can give college students direct contact into the music industry.
The Make a Difference Movement is a program that functions all year round. The goal of this movement is to spread education on the preservation of our environment. It is a way to reach out to the masses about ways they can keep the environment clean so it can thrive and be sustainable.
But why get involved in this festival specifically? “The ways the festival is set up sets it apart,” Miller tells me. The festival is not car camping like Bonnaroo or other festivals. Patrons have to walk everything into the front gates while their car patiently waits in the parking lot for Monday to arrive. Therefore, essentially, a small community is formed within the confines of Three Sisters Park. Because of this, comradery is formed among attendees. This bond has become so strong that returning patrons of the festival call it their home away from home.
“The reason they are a community is because of the music and the love of music,” Miller continues. “Music is a universal language that everyone can speak.”
Not only is Summer Camp Music Festival an incredible opportunity for college students to get involved and expand their knowledge of the music industry, it is also a life changing experience that anyone who loves music should not miss.
This year’s camp will be held on Memorial Day weekend, 27-29. You can go online to find ways to volunteer and other positions on the summer camp website.



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