This year we brought up our traditional Pinata from Progresso Mexico. Last year we bought Mexican candy too, but not this year. Some of it was pretty bad. I just filled it from the General Dollar Store. We brought home a cute blue fish this time. We wanted to do the Pinata before we went to Summer Camp, but the weather wasn’t the best. It was chilly and damp. So we met at Granville Park in the shelter. Only Tina and Tammy and the kids came, but they enjoyed it.
Cassidy 13, Carly 5, Dexter 2, Miley 8, and Austin 6……Cameron 18, was the rope puller…
They all had a turn hitting the piñata with a steel base ball bat. That fish was made so well. They hit and hit it many times before it finally opened and the candy fell out. They had a good time and filled their bags with all the candy. So another Pinata to the trash….lol…
On Monday, we drove down to Chillicothe, which is only about 40 minutes away. The Summer Camp Music Festival is located in Three Sisters Park, south of town on Rt. 29, across from the Illinois River. Three Sisters Park is 400 acres of farmland and forest areas. It was donated by 3 sisters. The master plan envisioned the creation of a living history farm, a central activity building, large festival areas, a welcome center, restaurant, agricultural equipment museum activity area, and outdoor natural amphitheater. The open fields and forested areas offer unique space for special events, concerts and festivals.
Summer Camp Music Festival has been held here for 17 years. It is a perfect area to put on this festival. This year they were expecting 25,000 people attending to enjoy over 100 bands on 9 stages. It is always on Memorial Day weekend. It is a 3 day event, but if you came for the pre party event, it was 4 days of party, music, drinking, and all the fun you can imagine. This is an event that was created and put on by Jay Goldberg Events and Entertainment, and is said to be one of the top 40 music events by Rolling Stone. I compare it to Woodstock of many years ago.
We had attended “Scamp” as they also call it, about 6 years ago. We are people watchers. It was such a fun,” ENLIGHTENING” weekend. The people we seen, their dress, or lack of…lol…their free spirits, and the music that seemed to touch their soul to the core. We always wanted to go back. Richs brother John, is head of RV Parking. Their is a lot of planning into making this festival work. Each manager has his area that he has to plan down to detail. Now John with RV Parking, has to plan his area into camping slots. He marks out the field and know just how many campers he can get in. He begins almost a week ahead to prepare his area. When the gates are open. Him and his crew lead each camper to their spot. Each one has to have their camper scanned in to show available tickets at the box office. It is a lot of intensive work, as on the first day 2/3s of the people are in line waiting to come in. Now that is only 1 area. You have Electric Rv Camping, Camping areas, Security, Vending, Artists, Vips. Then you have all the Emergency Equipment. OSF Hospital from Peoria operates a regular staffed clinic for any emergency and transport if needed, also all the police departments on regular patrol.
They rent the park for 2 months, May-June. Their is so much preparation. Electric has to be run for all the areas. Even for Electric RV sites, Vending sites and then the stages.
Their is 1 permanent stage…….Moonshine…..It is a wooden built stage that is positioned to make it a perfect amphitheater. The whole hillside slopes gentle down to the stage making it a perfect seating area for concerts. This stage was the venue for the biggest headliners.
This is the entrance to Moonshine area and all the Vendors.
Another area and Stage is Sunshine Stage. It is also full of Vendors and some carnival rides. The Sunshine Stage is a huge stage that is brought in by semi and set up.
It is probably the 2nd largest stage. It is also where some of the main headliners performed.
The next stage is called Starshine Stage. It is also a stage brought in by semi. In this picture, they were setting up and testing lights about 10:30 one night. That was about the latest I could stay up…..lol…
Now next is Vibe Tent. It is a large long tent with a stage inside. It was the home of the Electronic Dance music. Now this tent wasn’t to far from us. It played every nite till 4 am. The windows in the motorhome shook with every base beat. Their is also 2 smaller stages, Camping Stage, which is near the forest and also Campfire Stage, which is near the campfire. They also played all night long. Then we have the Soulshine Tent. They also had performances as well as many other things. Vendors, Lost and Found and some other projects. Down in the VIP area, their was also the VIP tent. The had 1 hour concerts all day long. Many of the bands were also playing up on the big stages. Last, we have the RED BARN. It is the permanent building in the middle of the park. Every nite they would hold a concert that was an extra charge. Now can you imagine the electrical nightmare. They bring in many huge generators and position them through out the park. All electric is feed off of them.
Then can you imagine planning for 25,000 people for bathroom and shower facilities. This picture is of just a few of the portable potty’s and showers. They tried to position them for the convenience of everyone in all areas. They also needed electric to work. They also brought in many regular porta potty’s.
They also have to bring in and install fencing. Obviously the parking area has to be fenced off to guide them to the right gates. Then many areas with in the park need to be fenced to guide the crowd to the right events. All the perimeter areas of the park need fence in good repair. Those areas are also patrolled constantly to keep kids from sneaking in.
When they sell tickets, you receive wristbands and you can upgrade with laminates. Each wristband is scanned into the system. The categories are Volunteer, General Admission, Staff, Guest, Vendor, Artist, and VIP. The laminates are used for clearance into certain areas as backstage and also your level of ticket, such as Production mangers or even the top management team. They are also used for the ones who are escorts. The Vendors, Artists, and Rvs all have Escorts to take them to their locations. Many areas you had to scan your wristband to allow you in to that area. Several areas had electronic pedestal scanners installed in the ground. Other areas we were supplied with hand held scanners. Each area was programed in the scanner to accept only the proper wristband. When you buy your ticket you buy a base 3 day tent camping pass. That is over $200. An Rv is more and of course Electric with RV is also an upgrade. Now you can also buy upgrades for your different access areas, VIP Camping, VIP RV, and VIP Rockstar. The next thing to try to understand is parking passes. Each car has to be checked on entering for their pass. Those categories are General, Employee, Runner, Artist, Vendor, VIP, Vip Deluxe, VIP Super Deluxe, VIP Rockstar, VIP Non Electric, South Lot, and then 1 day passes. As Security, we had to check the windows for parking passes at the entrance gates, and also according to our job assignment area, we had to make sure they were parked in the right areas. After purchasing all their tickets that they wanted, many of these people had spent close to $1,000 just to enter. Upon checking online before the gates opened many of the VIP upgrades were sold out. So lots of money was brought in by the festival. But also look at all the expense in planning.
All the different departments also had hand held radios for communication. These were all rentals also. They were handed out as needed, usually trying to have at least one in each area and the managers and important people obviously had them all the time.
Transportation was another issue within the park. No one was allowed to bring in their vehicle, 4 wheeler, or golf cart. A select few did bring in theirs, but they were upper management. Golf carts, side by sides, mules, all equipment of that type were rented and supplied to each department as needed. Their were many. Of course the Emergency Team had their share that would accommodate a stretcher, the police enforcers had theirs, and of course in Security we had ours. When we checked in for our shift, we usually were given a ride to our location. I always got a ride back, but Rich had to walk back sometimes. Many of our Security people were on duty patrolling at all times. Partly watching over everyone and also checking in on us and taking care of our needs.
I almost forgot about food. There was a food tent set up for workers on duty. We were fed free, only if you worked days. The managers were given tickets to hand out to their workers, but we as security couldn’t leave our post. Lunch and Dinner were delivered to us every day. We were given 2 sandwiches many times, fries, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, or PowerAde. My last meal was a huge container of Spaghetti, salad and Garlic Bread with soda. We were constantly given water. It was all free to us.
So their is so much planning that goes into this festival. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, and many other things we don’t even know about. It was amazing to watch it come together and work. People come from all over the USA. You’ll find license plates from many different states in the parking lots. They even ran a shuttle bus from Chicago to the Festival this year. Fly into Chicago and take the shuttle for $51 each way. You hope and pray they all come have a wonderful fun filled weekend and go home SAFE and HEALTHY.
We arrived on Monday and checked into HR. We were met my Tina, head of Hart Vitale Security. I had emailed her that we would be coming with a 38″ ft MH. She took us up to the Security Compound. Rich had to make it into the narrow fence opening, but he made it. All Security was to camp their. The Security office was also their for our check in and retrieving our assignments. The had us back in front of a garage building. Next to us was a bunk house that had 5 different doors. 2 were bunk rooms of 6 each, the others were showers and toilets. We relaxed the rest of the day.
We had to attend 1 meeting and we had a choice of 4. Tue. morning we walked over to the church for our meeting. It was a general meeting of dos and expectations and information. Way way to much to absorb without working it first. We then stopped by the Security trailer and got our schedules for the rest of the weekend. I was to start Thur morning at 7 am at VIP area. Rich was to work Main Gate. So we finished Wed. off with going into Kroger’s and stocking up and then parking the pickup in Employee parking. We couldn’t have ours in the park either. So Hope I haven’t bored you with all these facts and everything, but I think its important to realize what is all put into putting on a Festival like this. These were just a few observations that I made.
Next,…..THE FESTIVAL ITSELF……What did we see……What did we do……
……….What an Experience……..