Road to Camp Bisco – John Church
It’s late in the evening, and I find myself huddled under a lowered EZ-Up with two of my closest friends. The wind is howling around us as we struggle to keep the tent from lifting up into the night sky as the storm rages on. The sounds of the not-so-distant scream can be heard occasionally over the breaking of tent poles. Against my better judgment, I decided that it would be in some way beneficial to peak out from under our shelter to get a gauge of how things were progressing in the field. From under the edges of the aluminum frame, I looked upon the ensuing chaos that gripped the poor hippies and tree thuggers alike across the storm ravaged meadow. From the south came the sound of rope snapping under its limits, and I turned to see a tent launch into the air as if it were destined for the moon, only to crash down upon the devastated sea of tents 100 yards away. I dipped back under the EZ-Up and looked at my friends and calmly stated, “This is it boys. We’re gonna die.” I could think of no place that I’d rather be than Camp Bisco.
The storm of ’07, which we all called a tornado but was later classified as a “severe wind shear,” marked the scariest moment of the festival for me, next to being front row and three sheets to the wind for Infected Mushroom Live. But Camp Bisco meant so much more to me at the time and still does when I reflect upon it. I know now that it is a place of sordid dreams and musical love affairs. It is a wonderful melting pot of beeps, bops, drips and drops.
I was less than a year into the jam and electronic scene then and had only seen the Biscuits a handful of times. As you could expect, much of my time was spent wandering around aimlessly trying to come to grips with the craziness that only Camp can bring out in people. The Biscuits were my favorite band by this point, but I still had no idea what that meant.
During that amazing weekend on the hills outside of Mariaville, I came to an understanding of something that would take root in me for years to come, something that would come to be the basis for my decisions that led me to where I am today: the understanding of what love for a band really is. The idea that one can drop everything for a last minute show announcement or plan for a whole year to travel across the country for two sets of pure auditory bliss.
To this day, I hear people talk down on my favorite band and on the favorites of others. But aren’t we really all the same? We have all found a sound, a place, and a band that makes us feel alive– a band that helps us create some of the best experiences of our lives. Memories that we will look back and smile upon for years to come. Memories that we will tell our children and our grandchildren. Memories that will become stories of how we were back in the day…
The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter which band is bringing you to the festival. It doesn’t matter which band you follow the rest of the year. We are all brought together for the same thing, which is this undying love and eternal search for the best show because it’s not the pile, it’s pilin’ it high. We scour the tours, festivals and venues for that show that just utterly melts our brains, the show that leaves us speechless and unable to move at the end of the encore. In our astonishment, we retreat to our campsites to recall the highlights, yet nitpick on the mistakes we heard, as they played our favorite jams.
And for the record, my favorite would be a tie between HAB and Aceetobee. Go ahead, PT. Do your worst.
Some look upon our criticisms as youthful stupidity. Why would we talk trash on a band that has given us so much joy and driven our destinies in the way that the Disco Biscuits have for me? I’ll tell you exactly why we do it. It is out of caring and love that we criticize. We want them to be the best. We hold these musicians on a pedestal because of how their music makes our souls feel alive on the highest tides and our spirits shimmer under the very moon and because in our minds, they already are the best. It surprises us when they provide anything less than perfection. There are others who share these feelings but for different artists. I guess what I am really trying to say is that it doesn’t matter who you are raging to as long as you are raging. If the music has touched your soul and spirit as it has mine, then that is plenty sufficient. You have seen the light, and it shines upon your path as you go forth in the world. It drives you to push on when you are feeling down and it provides the harmonic soundtrack to your brightest days. It makes us feel alive when the whole rest of the world urges us to roll over and accept conformity.
Camp Bisco was where I discovered this. It happened so quickly on my first night there that I didn’t even notice it at the time. I was walking from my rain soaked campsite searching for my friends when a random little “biscuette” stumbled up to me and said, “Welcome to Bischome.” I laughed at what I thought at the time was probably the silliest statement I had ever heard. But there was wisdom in those dilated eyes and that botched attempt at a clever pun; wisdom that I, in my noobness, cast aside as mere eccentricity, like the preachings of a rambling homeless person on a street corner. Looking back though, she had it right. She had experienced something that would come to be what defines who I am today. Just as I’m sure it has for many of you. She knew what this place really was, even if I didn’t.…
And in less than a week and a half, we will all be going back there. So, my friends and family, get excited. We are going Home Again.
Thank you so much to John Church for his Road to Camp Bisco submission! Sensible Reason is still looking for a few more submissions to our Road to Camp Bisco (RtCB) series. Please submit posts to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on how to write your own and examples of last years posts check out this link!