‘Road to Camp Bisco’ – Kadley Gosselin
Looking back over the years of Camp Biscos they all blend into one beautiful, muddy memory – its tough to recall all the tiny details like who was on the lineup and where you camped and what your favorite set was. However – when I think back on what’s now become a closely cherished tradition I’m floored by how powerful Camp Bisco really is. Specific memories become sonically burned into your brain – whether it’s a spacey version of the Biscuits’ Above the Waves in the fine mist after a rainstorm or the first time you felt excited and simultaneously relaxed by Bluetech – we all have those songs that when listened to physically transport us back to the little biker country club in Mariaville, New York and thats exactly what keeps me coming back for more.
Image Credit: Derek Duoba
Around this time in the year we all begin to get anxious and greedy– almost every music festival across the country has released their lineup – where’s the Camp Bisco lineup? Well kids, that’s how it goes every year – be patient, hold your breath, and in time it will come.
Well today’s the day. It’s here! Who’s playing? Are you still gonna go? VIP or GA? One day or all three? You better decide fast because you know it’s gonna sell out soon.
Entering my sixth Camp Bisco I haven’t had to ask myself these questions – it has become my summer tradition and regardless of where I am in my life – I make it happen. I return every year for that shiny golden ticket to 10+ hours of the Disco Biscuits’ sweetness. I come back so I can excitedly guess at set-lists, scream for encores and boogie in my rain gear all while consumed in a sea of strangers and friends who are united by love for this band. The dope supporting acts like DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, Ratatat, Amon Tobin, and Slick Rick are nice bonuses too – where else can you see such an eclectic lineup of artists that all have such raw, respectable talent? Nowhere else that I’ve found yet – so until I find something better – I’ll keep coming back.
Camp Bisco 6 – The Golden Year
Camp 6 was an exciting, overwhelming, exploratory experience where I first took in the sights, sounds and smells of my first electronic music festival and began to realize my love affair for the electronic music scene. I traveled there from my hometown in Vermont about an hour away with my boyfriend in our packed car – both of us giddy with excitement at the unknown. My only expectations were built on streamed albums and live shows from the artists on the lineup that I had checked out online – I really had no idea what was in store. We stopped at the convenience store in Mariaville to meet up with a few friends so we’d be in line together and ensure neighboring camping spots. The excitement in the air was electric even at the convenience store, there were people buzzing about, grabbing last minute items in preparation for a weekend of camping and sharing excited embraces with friends for the weekend ahead – we could all tell right then and there that where we were headed was going to be awesome. This Camp was arguably my favorite because of its novelty, but recalling specific memories gets tough this many years later.
Umphreys McGee Thursday night set – this dark and heavy set won me over.
Infected Mushroom late night – their intense, heart-pumping set at the main stage late night was complimented by winds and rain. Returning to your campsite you felt like you were traveling through a battleground with tents and belongings strewn about – but as I’d soon find – it wouldn’t be Camp Bisco without a little rain!
Girl Talk on the side stage – All weekend long we heard of this mysterious “Girl Talk.” Little did we know we’d be blown away by his meticulous selection of samples ranging from Elton John to Biggie.
The Join Late Night – Five words: Dusty, dirty, dance-tent party.
The Disco Biscuits Friday night set – I fell in love with “Above the Waves” this set. The Biscuits exemplified what I’d later learn to be donned as “blissco” here – beautiful, lighthearted upbeat jams, which were complimented by a pretty blue lightshow and cool night air.
The Disco Biscuits Saturday encore – They showed me how they can take a classic – run with it – twist it around and throw in a jam like no other band can.
Camp Bisco 7 – A New Tradition
After getting a taste of what Camp Bisco had to offer in 2007 my friends and I decided we had to go back for more. Camp 7 we increased the size of our crew and introduced more friends into how they’d be spending that special weekend in July for years to come.
DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist set – These two legends laid it down over the most beautiful sunset all while giving us a peek onto the decks.
Shpongle – Not the best set timeslot for the traditionally dark Simon Posford but he kicked off the evening and made it weird nonetheless.
Disco Biscuits Saturday night opener – Killing (or Killer) Eleven became my favorite tDB song that night and unfortunately I was only privileged to see them play it one other time since then. What gives?
Bassnectar – That hair. I have a clear memory of running to the stage I was lured in by Bassnectar’s Ridiculous Wobble and after that set I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same – Edie Brickell into Slayer?!
Camp Bisco 8 – Swamp Bisco
This year I actually interned for MCP Presents – the powerhouse production team behind the festival and got a behind-the-scenes look at the months of preparation that go into a festival like Camp. I worked as a social media intern and as staff for a day at the festival and witnessed how hard those dudes work to make us all happy. Seeing even a small portion of what goes into something I cherish so greatly made me that more appreciative of the entire production. Unfortunately for us – Camp Bisco 8 included difficulties on the influx front (with some people waiting in line 8+ hours on Thursday) and the 12+ hours of rain earned the affectionate “Swamp Bisco” nickname. No amount of sawdust or hay could rectify what the rain did to the festival grounds that year – but somehow we all still found enough beer and dry socks in the world to enjoy ourselves.
Daytime Tractorbeam Set – The Biscuits brought us all out of our soggy, cold misery with a funky, hilarious daytime Tractorbeam set featuring the infamous M.E.M.P.H.I.S. rap.
STS9 daytime set – After killing it in the dance tent for the late night set the night before coupled with an extravagant light show STS9 came back to the main stage for a dryer early evening set on Saturday. The setlist for this one says it all, it was a nice early evening set on the main stage. We got a really solid Arigato too – one of my favorites.
Camp Bisco 9 – Lasers!
Reflecting back on this year I am the least reminiscent. The introduction of mind-bending lasers to the Biscuits sets were a clear highlight especially following the mini hurricane that ripped through on Saturday night.
One thing that stands out is that this was my good friend Adam Childs’ last year at Camp Bisco. We all miss you, your smile and your camera Adam – thanks for capturing what none of us can put into words.
Camp Bisco 10 – Sold Out!
This year the unspeakable happened – all of the tickets sold out (people were even turned away at the gate!) Conveniently this was the first year my friends and I decided to splurge and pay the extra cash for VIP. While there is much back-and-forth around the topic of VIP vs. GA it seemed to have saved us last year. While the grounds felt crowded no matter where you were camped – having some of the perks that VIP provides eased some of the pains (showers, hot meals, the VIP viewing area). While noticeably less intimate with the increased size I was happy to see a mix of friends and impressive names on the lineup this year alongside tDB who eased the dryspell that we fans had unfortauntely run into with them touring sparingly in 2011.
Biscuits Soundcheck – That Thursday afternoon after we were settled into our campsites we were given a teaser from the Disco Biscuits – an extended soundcheck that had the whole crowd drooling for more.
Auto Orbit – The opening set on the soundstage belonged to a hometown favorite, Auto Orbit, an amazing young band from the Boston area who combine funk, jamtronica and classic rock to get you dancing.
Ratatat – Still to this day I am in awe of what Ratatat did on stage that Friday evening. A longtime Ratatat fan, I had never been particularly curious about their live shows – but one hour of their guitar shredding, bongo pounding performances left me a Ratatat groupie for life.
So now’s the time to start getting excited – round up your crew and ask for vacation time off work, find your camping gear and start crafting a totem pole so you can stand out in every photo and video taken. We may have months to go but this is all part of the experience – the anxious buildup to July 12th will make those three golden days feel so much more monumental.
Still unsure of whether you’re going to make the trek to Camp Bisco this year? Find out more about the festival here and make your decision before its too late!