Camp Bisco: an entity, an enigma, an extravagant weekend escape punctuated by self indulgence. With enough history, hype, and hope to fill a tome’s worth of Reddit threads, Bisco is truly a force to be reckoned with. To outsiders, an air of stigma might accompany the title’s reputation, but any true music festival junkie knows that a weekend at Camp Bisco guarantees a cathartic escape, a shake from reality induced by mysteriously controlled chaos and undeniable musical gratification.
There is a certain grimy charm which makes Camp Bisco the magical gathering it has evolved into over the years. Not grimy like the sundry lunatic on the subway arguing furiously with an unseen partner while an ominous and ambiguous puddle of bodily fluids forms around them. Rather, Bisco is a charming sort of grimy, thanks largely to how visceral the experience is. Some of us may discount the annual gathering, yet when gone, we missed it terribly and complained bitterly at the attempts to replace it with a cleaner, more refined surrogate. Following the departure from it’s Mariaville venue and the yearlong hiatus which followed, Bisco successfully reinvented itself last year at Montage Mountain in the Poconos near Scranton, Pennsylvania where the festivities will take place for the second year in a row come July.
As an nineteen year old gal growing up in New York City, I found myself tiptoeing around the outskirts of the very scene that Bisco encompasses, one that I hardly knew existed at the time. After attending a plethora of musical concerts in my own backyard, my first true inauguration into this community that I now frequent and love, wasn’t until Camp Bisco 2011. I credit that weekend as the catalyst for my deep appreciation toward this community, but more personally as my introduction into an environment of camaraderie that fostered my growth into a more empathetic person. Whether your tent neighbor lost a flip-flop in the mud, or your dance partner’s pasties were popping off, it was evident that a selfish attitude was simply intolerable at a place like this. Albeit paramount that you should be having the best time of your life at all times here, it seemed just as necessary to insure that those around you were as well. I learned that it would probably be best to bid that flip-flop farewell, maybe even encourage its owner to toss the other flop in the mud for good measure. And who needs pasties when freeing the nipple was your honest intention all along? If “heady vibes” means going with the flow, supporting your peers, and making sure everyone is well hydrated, then Camp Bisco has and will continue to do its job and do it very well on that front. The myriad of outlandish stories I have from that first Bisco and Bisco’s to follow are immeasurable, and I know I’m not alone with that sentiment. It’s hard not to evoke a mischievous smile and saucy story from a past attendee at the mere mention of the festival, part of the great beauty of Bisco is found in the hedonistic revelry among friends while some of the most incredible artists ever to walk the earth provide a surreal backdrop to this supremely eclectic gathering.
This upcoming summer provides what I consider to be Camp Bisco’s most impressive lineup to date, an all encompassing spread of heavy hitters to please their astutely tuned-in attendees. Of course, The Disco Biscuits themselves will reign supreme as ringleaders of the weekend. With seventeen years of festival orchestration under their belt, we can expect some focused, high-energy performances from those guys. Odesza struck me as one of the more mainstream additions to the bill, but I imagine their presence will be zealously welcomed with open, bracelet strewn arms. Super group Big Grizmatik will undoubtedly provide the ass-shaking serenading I seek out once the sun goes down, and I expect bands like Lotus, STS9, and Lettuce to blanket me in instrumental delicacies.
If you haven’t purchased your weekend pass to Camp Bisco 2016 yet, let this be a friendly reminder not to sleep on that ticket! None of us can afford to miss out on this pure epicness, seriously though if you financially can’t afford it I highly recommend you start selling your LED hoops and extravagant crystals on ebay yesterday. Once you buy that ticket to heaven, you can catch me on the campgrounds water slide by day, and stage side by night. Be sure to RSVP so all the homies know where to find you come July 14th. Hope to see all you good looking people there!