The Best Non-Headliners at Summer Camp Music Festival
- Written by Jessica Sommers
- April 23, 2012
It’s almost that time of the year. The days are getting progressively longer and sooner or later the sun will finally decide to stay out. It’s springtime in Illinois, which means that right around the corner is the best damn time of the year – festival season. One of the first of the season (in our general vicinity anyway, bug off Coachella) is the Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, about two hours south of Chicago. Rustic, in the middle of nowhere, full of 20-something hippies, 17-year-old ravers and everyone else in between. Ah, you can smell the chemicals already.
Summer Camp goers are split into two camps. Some get huge boners over the 3 days of jam band staples moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. Others boast diamond cutters over Pretty Lights' practically mainstream bro-step. Still, we’re looking to dig deep, to find the non-headliner hidden treasures. So veer left of the main stage and get lost amongst the weirdos, because you never know what kind of awesome little band you’ll stumble upon that just might change your life. And don’t worry about getting lost, because you’re amongst the like-minded at Summer Camp.
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, electronic music duo Zed’s Dead is a group that you’ve seen towards the bottom of music festival bills. Why haven’t these guys gotten more love? Beats us, but here’s to hoping 2012 is their year. Signed to Diplo’s progressive and growing Mad Decent label, Zed’s Dead have been playing music for nearly a decade. With a solid electronic and subtle dubstep (yes, somehow that’s a thing) sound that mixes in faint hints of hip-hop, these guys are as original as they are talented and totally worth checking out.
Download: “Eyes on Fire”, “Rude Boy”
It’s a crime against humanity if you’re at a festival with the opportunity to see Shpongle and you choose not to see them. The psychedelic trance duo from the UK makes an appearance at Summer Camp with The Masquerade, a gigantic structure that, in simple terms, trips you the fuck out. We spoke with Simon Posford of Shpongle recently, who said he likes performing at large festivals because “the music generally works best without a roof over your head. The sky and the stars, it allows your mind to open more, perhaps.” Shpongle defines the festival-going experience, and their unique, creative, and all-around unforgettable performance should be high on your priority list. But if you want to leave with your brain intact, then it might be best to just go sit by a tree during Umphrey’s.
Download: A video of their show, and hold on tight.
AraabMuzik will be performing his sexy blend of hip-hop and original electronic music for our pleasure at this year’s festival. Born and raised in Rhode Island with a professional singer for a mom, this half-Dominican, half-Guatemalan young buck has been playing music since he was three. ArrabMuzik incorporates all sorts of different musical genres in what he produces, from soul and jazz to dubstep and trance, this dude will definitely be a hit with the festival crowd. With his electronic music being what everyone will want to vibe to, no one will be able to deny the need to shake it to his fast-paced dancey tunes.
Download: “Streetz Tonight”, “Electronic Dream”
If you’re bummed that you missed Girl Talk last year, then VibeSquaD might be the guy to fill the hole in your heart. Not quite a mash-ups artist, VibeSquaD incorporates plenty of awesome rap samples into his inventive electronic tunes, making his music infinitely catchy. This white boy from Colorado reps his home state like it’s nobody’s business, and his energy on stage is infectious. But he’s not all catchy hooks from popular rap songs; his original beats stand with the best, and he’s definitely someone to check out if you want to get a little nasty.
Download: “As We Are”, “Colorado in this Weezy"
If there’s one act that we’re most excited for, it’s dubstep DJ extraordinaire 12th Planet. First gracing our presence at last year’s Electric Forest Music Festival, Los Angeles native 12th Planet is a festival regular who doesn’t get the love he deserves. Infinitely passionate and full of energy on stage, 12th Planet’s live shows are as ridiculous as his beats and bass drops. We spoke with him earlier this year, and he said that you can expect lots of “jumping and girls taking their shirts off and crowd-surfing and people rushing the barricade and having so much fun” at his live shows, and we’re definitely excited to experience that all again at this year’s festival.
Download: “Needed Change”, “Ratchet Strap”
If you’ve ever been to a festival, then you know that most of the memories you make are when you stumble into a band late in the day, or in the darkness of the night, that’ll change the music you listen to forever. We all know that no matter what, festivals are about doing what feels right and having the best time ever, so go with the flow, go in with an open mind, and go crazy.
Summer Camp Music Festival is May 25th-27th. Tickets are still available at summercampfestival.com!