Summer Camp 2018…We Attended..Again

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During our time back home in Illinois, we also decided to work the Summer Camp Music Festival….Also called….SCAMP. We have Level 2 Texas Security License. That enables us to get a Security job for the Festival that is on Memorial Day weekend. This event is now the host of more than 20,000 attendees, from young children to 80 year olds and over 125 bands on nine stages over three days (four if you make it to the Thursday Pre-Party!). Summer Camp is the biggest event in the Midwest every Memorial Day Weekend! It is organized and run by Jay Goldberg Productions. It is an awesome, mindboggling festival that you will never forget. It is like revisiting Woodstock from years ago. We so enjoyed our selves last year that we decided to do it again. I contacted Tina in the Security Dept and set us up again for this year. This year was easy as they knew us. The easiest way to work is to stay on the grounds. The shifts are for 12 hours. Since we drove the car up from Texas this year, we borrowed Scott & Brandys MH. We pulled in on Tue and were guided into the Security compound. Wednesday our shifts began. I like days, and Rich likes nites.

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This is my set up. A comfy chair, clip on umbrella for the sun. My back pack from the cruise, complements of Get Out Their Vacations. It contained my cell phone, extra external battery. A roll of toilet paper for emergency….lol…(ya never know)…..snacks and drinks…..Most of the time we were given a walkie talkie. I was positioned back in VIP again.

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Behind Vip tent was the New Glamping Set up. These tents came with full set up. You could choose your bed, single, 2 twins, or queen with linens. They had electric and contained a lamp, a throw rug, and a chair or 2. Now the prices was exorbitant. After you bought you reservation with upgrade for VIP, and then your Glamping reservation, you have spent well over $1,000. You still don’t have a bathroom or shower. All Glamping tents were sold out.

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This time I was positioned to watch the line up for the gates to open. Their were thousands of them lined up all over the park at different entrances. They had wagons, wheelbarrows, back packs, canopy’s, sleeping bags and coolers. They were all ready to begin partying.

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Finally the gates opened. You can see them on the hillside. They looked like ants scurrying up the hill into the forest. Now they were also searched as they went in. The Guards were looking for drugs, firearms, and weapons of any sort and alcohol. So much was confiscated. Rich was up by the Main Gate where he was last year. He was near the main search area. They found so much stuff. Of course not only the Security was their, the cops were also. They have a big force in the park comprised of Local, (Chillicothe), County, State, Drug Enforcement Officers and I believe the Homeland Security was even their. Their was also a Task Force of Undercover Officers. They showed me their badges to get through one of the gates I was on.

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The music would start in the morning around 10. It would revolve around all the stages in the park. Their were a number of these Taxi’s in the park.

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Here is some of the props they had. Almost anything would go. Many hula hoops, and different type of banners. They would hold them high and dance to the music.

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Some of the out fits……. or lack of…..Lets just paint and decorate with sequins, our body parts!!!

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Now I seen this guy last year. I hear he attends every year looking like this. He is not a young man, nor physically fit. Why you want to walk around showing those body parts, I don’t know.

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This stage, Moonshine, is the only permanent stage in the Park. They all congregate, enjoy the concert, dance and sing, and then disperse to the next venue they want to see. The day is never ending with music through out the park.

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This is one of the large stages brought in. At night the colors were beautiful. Music continued till 4am somewhere every nite. Our Security Compound was behind one of the stages. When I went to bed at nite, the music shook the windows in the MH. And I mean they rattled. Kitty was with us, but he actually did pretty good. He must have remembered from last year….lol…

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Many of the kids were back up early in the morning, but many were slow. Their tents and hammocks were strung all around in the forest areas. In the mornings I seemed to be down by VIP everyday. Across from VIP was some food stands. They would come staggering in to buy breakfast and coffee. They were such a mess from the nite before. Hung over or what ever. Portable showers and bathrooms were placed all over the park. Always full of people. The trucks were constantly driving around pumping out the pottys.

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Here is another crazy costume. Yep, he’s wearing a diaper. Finally it was Monday. Park closed at 12 noon. Well they try, but it never works. All the kids know that. In the morning the security, and officers start going through the park waking everyone up and telling them to leave. They come stumbling out the gate. We seen many who could hardly walk. They packed up the things the best they could. So much stuff is left. They not only leave their trash, but they leave tents, coolers, chairs, wagons, wallets, cell phones and what ever they don’t want anymore.

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Security goes through again tearing down all tents. Making sure all people are gone. They also go through bag and consolidate all the trash. I was at the main gate as they were leaving. It was my job to not let them back in. I had one lady come to me and ask “which way to Chicago, right or left at the entrance of the park.” OMG….They were hitchhiking. Another had their nephew leave them. They lived in Ohio, 2 states away. Imagine that. They weren’t all that upset. They hitched a ride with some lighting people. They were going to Indiana. Then someone was going to met them and pick them up from their. Another mother lived a hour away. She dropped her daughter off on Friday. She told her to meet her at the main gate Monday morning. She waited and waited. 3 hours later, she came by and said her daughter was home. She hitched a ride. I would have been just steaming mad…..OMG….How can a girl do that, hitchhike, and not tell her mom where she was until she got home. She know her mom was their waiting.

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Some of the Graffiti on the fences

They don’t find all the drugs of course. Their were many cases for the ambulances to take care of. They had a full staff of medical their for all issues. The worst case was a 36 year old man took a hit of acid in the wee hours of the morning. He walked down to the highway which must be a half mile, was naked and walked in front of a car. He’s lucky he didn’t die, but he broke many bones in his body. I heard he would be hospitalized and in rehab for months. So another year over. 20,000 people herded back out by 3pm. Most left by car, some hitchhiking. Some called Uber or Taxi’s to take them into Peoria to the Airport. Their also was a bus shuttle to Chicago which was 2 hours away. They flew in from all over the country.

Another Summerfest over. We were asked to stay a few days and work. Now the vendors and all the equipment had to be packed up and leave the park.

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Just a few of the Portable Showers

Their was many people, we found out, who came in and wanted to supposedly help to clean up. Basically there a number of scavengers who want to loot. So that was our purpose. Check each vehicle and make sure they were their for a legitimate reason.

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Its seems every Memorial Day it rains. Weather was beautiful…..Until Wed. Morning…..A huge rainstorm came through. We woke up and found we were surrounded by a lake. Our power cord was under water but still working. So we sure weren’t stepping out.

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Couldn’t believe all the water that was dumped. We stayed in till it went down. It went fast. Rich finished his day guarding, I stayed home. I had had enough.

So Summer Camp 2018 was now officially over. Time for us to head back to McNabb.

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Summer Camp Music Festival 2017 – Part 1

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.

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Cassidy 13, Carly 5, Dexter 2, Miley 8, and Austin 6……Cameron 18, was the rope puller…

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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…inner-picture

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.

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Summer Camp from Air….Copyright, Jason Kaczorowski Photography 2011

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.

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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.

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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.

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This is the  entrance to Moonshine area and all the Vendors.

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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.

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It is probably the 2nd largest stage.  It is also where some of the main headliners performed.

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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…

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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.  20170523_084316

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.20170604_091546

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.

 

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Our view of the Red Barn before all the Electric RV section filled in….

 

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……..

 

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