‘Road to Camp Bisco’- Mike Brett
The third installment in a series of fond memories of past camps and the excitement of camps to come.
Camp Bisco can not even be explained in this simple language we call English. The emotions– good, bad and everything in between– can only be understood by experiencing Camp. Camp X was my first camping festival ever and, seeing that it is in upstate New York and I am from Alabama, I knew it was gonna be an adventure just getting there. Did I mention that my birthday was the first day of camp? I told a friend about it, and after a couple nights of partying together he said, “Why not go to Camp– it’s your fucking birthday! And while we are at it, we might as well get VIP.” We had the money, just no reliable car to get there.
So we decided to just get a plane ticket to Albany and hitchhike the rest of the way, 30 miles or so. We landed in Albany and there were free shuttles to take you to hotels, so we took one of those and stayed the night. The next day we got a taxi and went to Wal Mart to buy a tent and some snack food, small camping supplies, etc. The taxi driver really wanted to take us out to festival, probably because it would have cost 80 bucks.
By a crazy coincidence, the first person we met in Wal-Mart graduated from the University of Alabama. I had on an Auburn back pack; we just wanted to leave our bags somewhere instead of carrying them around the store. “Hey, is there any way we could leave our stuff up front while we shop?” “No, Roll tide,” he responded. If you had any idea how big football rivalry is in Alabama, you’d know this was no joke. I thought, one of the first people we meet in New York is giving us shit about Alabama football? Give me a fucking break! It was really funny actually, and worked out in the end. The same guy who was giving us a hard time (the Wal-Mart employee) wanted to give us a ride to camp, and he was getting off work at 3:30. Our plan to hitchhike worked almost a little too well.
While shopping, we met these kids in Party City next to the Wal-Mart who were also going Camp Bisco, coming from electric forest. We went shopping with them for supplies and got lost, didn’t get dropped off at Wal-Mart until like 3:45 and the guy we had met earlier was still waiting on us. He was an awesome person, told us how he has taken his son to all these state parks and loved traveling. He dropped us off around 4 or 5 pm the day before the festival.
We had no car, just a tent, money, VIP tickets and the urge to experience new things. It started raining pretty bad and the bikers let us hang out with them in the check-in shed they had for their ‘country club.’ For all the shit the bikers get, they are really good people. They’re still bikers, but you know what I mean. They just want to have a good time and do their thing. Once the rain stopped they took us back to the VIP lot and hung out, until they tried to tell us we couldn’t be on property until the festival started… So we responded by saying we could sleep out in the road. We were from Alabama and got dropped off here and we already had tickets. They didn’t really mess with us too much after that.
The festival itself was unreal. Leaving the Biscuits and walking into PEX!! For anyone who doesn’t know, this is tribal house music with propane tanks shooting fire balls going off to the music. Can you say orgasmic?! VIP was awesome, with couches in the tent, one private show a night, and free lunch all three days. The showers were used by fewer people, and the bathrooms were air conditioned! Doing your business in bathrooms that are cooled makes you feel like royalty. If you are too tired you can lay in your tent or one of the ENU hammocks already put out by VIP staff and still hear music on the main stage. And there was free water!
I remember standing on this slight hill that looked over the main stage area coming from shakedown and I almost started crying. It was the most beautiful site I have seen; so many people– happy people, dancing people, crazy people– and I felt I was home. I was almost mad at myself for not experiencing this earlier in my life. What had kept me from seeing this? How could I have been cut off from so many people who loved this as much as I did? Putting this feeling into words would take away its meaning. Camp Bisco is a physical location, but in my mind it is motivation to be what I want to be. I want to be free!!
You don’t have to go to Camp Bisco to experience what I did; find your own Camp Bisco =D
Tickets for Camp Bisco are available here. If you have memories about Camp Bisco that you would like to share feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.