Smile Politely

Summer Camp Music Festival to go on hiatus after 2023

A photo of the crowd facing the stage with an EDM act performing. There are a lot of bright neon colors coming from the lights on the stage, and the sunset fills the sky in the background.
Summer Camp on Facebook

Yesterday, Summer Camp founder, organizer, and promoter Ian Goldberg released a statement about the festival’s decision to go on hiatus after this year. Summer Camp has been a Central Illinois institution for over twenty years, and this decision was difficult for Goldberg and the staff to make. In an exclusive interview with Goldberg, SmilePolitely asked for some of the reasons why this decision became necessary.

“The dynamics of the market for producing a festival have changed dramatically since the pandemic,” said Goldberg. “Now, the cost of doing business has just gotten dramatically more expensive. It’s the same challenge with trying to get all the staffing in place. In order to continue delivering this experience in the future, we should look at ways to try and trim out a lot of that excessive fat in the operating costs, so we decided that it was time to just say ‘Hey, let’s start fresh and do something completely new, where we’re not bound by the traditions and the expectations of what Summer Camp has come to be’.”

Regarding his intention to continue with some sort of musical celebration in Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe next year, Goldberg replied, “That still leaves us the freedom to bring in a lot of the things that are special to people and especially special to us and keep them as a part of the festival. For example, our relationships with moe. and Umphrey’s McGee as our host bands. But we can change things up at will and basically kind of create a completely different experience without having to worry about how fans are going to comparatively think, ‘Oh, this is still good’, or ‘This is better than what I expected’. So, we made the call and said, ‘Hey, let’s do this’.”

So, if you’ve never gone to this iconic Music Festival, this is definitely the year to do it, as it will have all the bells and whistles of years past, including the incredible festival-goer community and over one hundred and fifty bands playing on seven stages. Goldberg and staff make a concerted effort to keep the lineup as diverse as possible, featuring acts as diverse as Willie Nelson to EDM icon Excision. There is literally something for everyone at Summer Camp 2023, so if you were on the fence, head over to the Summer Camp website and get tickets before next weekend.

Summer Camp Music Festival 2023
Three Sisters Park
17189 IL-29
Chillicothe, IL
Th-Su, May 25-28th
Tickets $89.50 to $349.50

Music Editor

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