So far this summer, I have attended four different music festivals: Dreamscape, Firefly, Camp Bisco and Electric Adventure. Among those festivals, Camp Bisco stood head and shoulders above the rest. From the people in attendance, the incredible lineup, and the most excellent vibes radiating throughout the mountain, this weekend was simply remarkable. I don't think I stand alone in my assertion that Camp Bisco was the best festival of the summer, and many of my festival-going peers seem to believe the same thing.
"Bisco is like home to me," said Jay Cobb, 21, from Bozeman, MT. "It's the one festival I always make sure to attend every summer. The lineup is always top-notch, the people are always great, and it just feels like so much more than a festival to me."
Cobb is part of the Pretty Lights Family, a group of die-hard Pretty Lights fans who collaborate to create meeting spaces, group photos, and a sense of real community at all events where Pretty Lights plays.
"Like this year [at Montage Mountain]," Cobb explained, "there was a water park and a zip-line set on a beautiful mountain. What more could you ask for?"
After Bisco's one-year hiatus, there was a lot to live up to. Last year, The Hudson Project, or as it has been cleverly nicknamed, "The Mudson Project," was a huge flop. When Bassnectar hit the stage on Saturday night of this year's Bisco, he asked if we were ready to avenge Mudson. With that, he blasted off into bass oblivion, bringing everyone at the Electric City stage with him for one hour and fifteen minutes of one of the best Bassnectar performances I have ever seen. In addition to Bassnectar, a majority of the headlining acts came to Camp Bisco 2015 with a similar goal: to blow the roof off and throw down the best party of the year.
And that, they did.
In addition to Camp Bisco's founders and curators, The Disco Biscuits, Camp Bisco 2015's lineup was stacked with some of the best headliners in the game. STS9, Pretty Lights, Atmosphere, Big Gigantic, Tipper and Bassnectar were just a few of the artists who graced Montage Mountain this year. Other than the impeccable lineup, Camp Bisco 2015 created an atmosphere that allowed its attendees to experience absolute bliss. I mean, that's why we go to festivals, right?
"Camp Bisco 2015 was a playground for free-spirited adults," said Odessa Burkett, 24, from Boston, MA. "You could swim, dance and laugh as you please while listening to some of the most talented acts in the dance and jam music scenes today. It was one of the most fun festivals I have ever been to."
"Camp Bisco was particularly special this year due to the bonds you had to make to forge through it," Burkett added. "With the tough terrain and [extreme heat], you had to count on your crew and find new friends to help along the way. I made lasting friendships at Bisco that I will keep forever."
Music festivals are our "happy place," the place we go to to escape the routine and normality of our everyday lives, and Camp Bisco is no exception. There is definitely something about this scene, in general, that draws a certain type of person. Many of us used to be the outcasts or the weird kids in our respective high schools and the communities we grew up in. Some of us were the jocks, straight-A students or even the band geeks. The point is, we all come from somewhere different, but at Camp Bisco and other music festivals, we are united as one. Upon arrival to our first festival, rave, or similarly labeled event, there comes this moment of clarity for each of us; it's the reason we spend most of our hard earned dollars to escape our sometimes unbearable realities. In my head, it went something like, "Oh. There is a place to call home. I do, in fact, always have a place to be my truest self. When I am here, I can truly and fully embrace who I am and what I love without fear of judgment."
While we think that we're escaping reality, the best part is that it is reality. Musical festivals aren't dreams, and the feelings we feel while we're there are not made up. Camp Bisco 2015 was the epitome of that reality.
While lifelong friendships were being created on the hills of Montage Mountain, festival coordinators, vendors, and Camp Bisco personnel were working tirelessly to ensure that all attendees were having the best experience possible. Throughout the festival and campgrounds were ample amounts of water stations, reasonably-priced food and beverage vendors (I found a vendor with good coffee for only $2), friendly and helpful event staff, and most importantly, plenty of shade and places to cool off.
It's not just music fans who enjoy the Camp Bisco experience, it's the artists who play for us, as well. Troy Probst, known to his fans as Filibusta, played the Steamtown Stage on Friday at 4:20 PM. "I'm not going to lie, I enjoyed the turnout for my set the most," Filibusta said. "I know it's pretty typical for a performing artist at a festival, but when the sun is beating down during your set, and your stage is the farthest away from the campgrounds and the water park, it really goes to show how committed your fans really are, and how bad they wanted to get the funk down. I couldn't ask for a better memory at Bisco from the Filibusta Fam!"
Filibusta certainly made the most of his Camp Bisco experience this year, as he attended the festival as both an artist and a fan. "Besides this year being the return of Camp Bisco," he continued. "The venue was located at a water park at the bottom of a ski resort with an amphitheater attached to it! That's definitely something I've never seen at a music festival. It was pretty hot during the day, so it was nice to cool off on a water slide or in the wave pool."
With all factors considered, Camp Bisco 2015 will definitely go down in festival history. Everyone who attended as a fan and any artist who played this year can attest to the fact that this year's Bisco, held at its new home on Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA, was definitely something special. Camp Bisco was, without a question, the best weekend of my life.
Even Bassnectar agrees, as he said in a direct message to me on Twitter just days after the festival concluded, and I couldn't have said it better myself, "Camp Bisco was f***ing amazing!"
Written by Robert Craig