Four days of unadulterated fun and adventure await all those attending Illinois’ Summer Camp Music Festival this year. The Sherp breaks down what makes this fascinating festival unmissable next week. 



Summer Camp Music Festival is a camping festival held in Chillicothe, Illinois. The festival has been held at the Three Sisters National Park yearly since 2001, and hosts over 100 artists on 7 different stages in the course of 4 days. The festival was one of the first of its kind, beginning as a jam band-only music festival, and expanding into a wide variety of genres from new to old.


1. Field Day 


Field Day at Summer Camp is an event held by the festival similar to the Field Day you may have experienced at real day camp. In this event, the patrons who signed up are split into four different teams, each team is assigned a color. The four teams battle it out in a series of fun activities. The winning team of Field day receives a trophy with their names inscribed on it, along with a free keg party (filled with root beer for those Scampers under the age of 21).


2. The Camp fire 


Summer Camp has camp counselors just like a real day camp. These camp counselors are returning Scampers deemed worthy of playing a bigger role in the festival. The Campfire is the home to these counselors. The Campfire is one of the many stages at Summer Camp, except what separates this stage from the others is the giant camp fire in front of it. This stage is also home to many fun acts and activities.


3. The People 


The attendees of Summer Camp are part of what makes Summer Camp, Summer Camp. One of Summer Camp’s main missions is to maintain the family vibe that they’ve had since the first Summer Camp, and the attendees of Summer Camp give proof to that. When you attend Summer Camp you feel like you’re actually apart of something, rather than just another face in the crowd, and this is hugely attributed to the way Scampers treat each other. Their mission is to make everyone feel as good as they do at that moment.


4. The LIVE Music 


The Summer Camp lineup holds talent from large to unknown, featuring genres from both ends of the spectrum to please even the pickiest of music listeners. It doesn’t stop there as the music goes all night with their infamous late night sets featuring some of the biggest talents off of the lineup. During these late night sets, artists often collaborate, creating some of the craziest combinations of sounds in music today. Oh yeah, and not to mention, 5 sets of Umphrey’s McGee.


5. The Sustainability Initiative 


Summer Camp has made the initiative to go completely green, and to leave no carbon footprints behind. Their goal is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. They do this by placing color-coded trash cans around the festival grounds. The trash cans are split into three categories, Recycling, Compost, and Landfill. The trash is then sent to a team of volunteers who work tirelessly to split up the trash by hand. This is just one of the many ways they work to make Summer Camp a completely green festival, to learn about more ways they do this HERE.


(All Images Courtesy: Summer Camp Music Festival Facebook + Jason Kaczorowski Photography Phierce Photography by Keith Griner Abby Fox Photography Dann Wunderlich Photography)