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A Letter from Camp: Summer Camp Music Festival, May 24-26 in Chillicothe, Illinois
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-05-20 16:01:37

A participant in an open-mic session at Summer Camp 2012. Photo by Matt Erickson ( a reprieve from the unyielding noon sun at the 2012 Summer Camp Music Festival, I head to the Soulshine Tent for a bit of shade and cold drink. Upon entering the tent, I see festival musician Jaik Willis and a camper wrapping up a music jam together. I take a seat, and Jaik invites a young woman to the stage who is next on the open-mic list. With her cowboy hat pulled down tight and a with slow foot tap; she starts her a cappella version of “Me & Bobby McGee.” Within moments you can hear the rasp build in her voice as she works her way toward the chorus. Her brow wrinkles, and – as if she were kicked in the stomach – she buckles over and unleashes her vocal wail. She tears through ’til the end and quietly passes the mic back while the small group of observers erupts into cheers, and I think to myself: “This is Summer Camp. Expect the unexpected.” I don’t remember the young woman’s name, but her passionate one-off performance was unforgettable.

Top-tier musicians and fans will be descending on the 13th Annual Summer Camp Music Festival from May 24 through 26 at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois – a drive of less than two hours from the Quad Cities. The festival has a diverse and exciting lineup along with camping on festival grounds. One hundred thirty different acts will bring everything including blues, rock, bluegrass, dubstep, and hip hop to one of seven stages.

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