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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Summer Update…..Where are We Going

This winter season has flown by so fast.  Its so hard to believe summer is coming again already.  We were so busy this winter.  We did so many things in the park, that I haven’t written about.  I will start filling them in later.  It seemed we were so busy that I never had the chance to write, always thinking of my next activities to get ready for in the park.  So now we are starting to get some down time.  As of April 1st the Workampers were done.  Everyone is leaving to go up north and back home.  It is like when you were a kid and summer camp was over.  Then you hope all your new friends will come back.  So many good memories are always made.  Now we are having our last dinners out,  our last happy hours,  and our last trips to Mexico with friends.

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Here is our last dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  First couple on the left are Ron and Theresa.  We met them at Adventureland last year.  Theresa works from her trailer on the internet.  They left for Yellowstone National Park on Thurs.  A few stops visiting their kids and Ron will be workamping at a store at the North Entrance.  What a fabulous opportunity,  except for the snow….lol….Just imagine you days off the explore Yellowstone for a whole summer…..Such Memories they will make….”Good Luck Guys”…. Glen and Kathy are next.  They live in Canada at a trailer park.  They will be leaving this weekend.  Of course Canada is colder, so their park actually closes down for the winter.  They don’t turn the water back on till May 1st due to freezing.  They are parking behind us, so it will be sad to see them go.  The last couple on the far right is Bud and Cathy.  They are also from Canada.  This is their first year in our park, but they’ve been down before.  They have also become good friends with us all.   Such fun they all are.  They just had 10 of us over last nite for Happy Hour and Supper.  They will be leaving in another week or two.  Canadians can only be out of their country for 6 months with out getting Visa’s and more formal papers.  They all have a date they must be across.  So for the last month the park has been emptying out.  Some pull their rigs, some leave them and tie them down for storage until fall and drive home, and some leaving everything, including their car and fly home.  Our park has a capacity of over 300 lots, that is RV and permanent Mobile units.  So if you figure 2 people to a trailer, we probably have around 500 here at its peak.  By the time everyone leaves their are around 100 permanent people….A Ghost Town?…..No, They LOVE it.  They say its a time of peace and relaxation….Time to go swimming and lay by the pool all summer day….

So the BIG QUESTION IS…..”WHAT ARE WE DOING THIS SUMMER”?????

We are staying here also.  Rich is working for the park doing trailer repairs and maintenance.  So many of the rental mobiles are in need of things.  New floors, and just a lot of general work.  They sit during the summer, and it takes a huge toll on them.

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My new part time summer job is working at the Cinema 10.  I’m in the Box Office on weekends.  It has A/C.   Now how nice is that.  We have 2 in town, and this one gets the second run movies, so they are also called the “CHEAP Theater”….lol….A daytime ticket is only around $2.  The other theater is Cinema 16, much larger and they also get all the first run movies.   So we can also go to the movies anytime we want.  So something new again.  I’ve never worked a theater before.  So because of this job and staying on for the summer and then still being here next winter,

……..WHAT DO I NEED……”MY OWN CAR”…..

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So here she is…..My 1997 Chevy Lumina with 101,000 miles on it…..She is in excellent shape and a one owner car.  One of the campers decided to give up his trip down from Battle Creek Michigan every year.  He is getting older and his wife died several years ago.  He sold his fifth-wheel, and we bought his car.  Rich let him keep it till he was ready to fly home.  Joe came by at 4am the other morning and picked up Rich.  They drove to the Airport which is only 2 miles and Joe flew home, and now we have a car…..It is sure nice to have my own again.  Also automatic windows and transmission….lol…The little ranger is all manual….”Living in Luxury” now…lol….So now we own …..2…1997 vehicles…..only 20 years behind.   lol.  So now…..The REST OF THE STORY…..

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We are coming home the end of May and first part of June.  We have a time schedule that we have to be back because of my little job at the theater.  We will be doing a short part time job.    We will be working Security at Chillicothe for the Summer Camp Music Festival at Three Sisters Park.  Because we still have our Texas Gate Guarding Security license,   we were able to get this job.  We attended this Festival several years back and we had such a blast.  We are people watchers and it was such a good time.

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The Summer Camp Music Festival is a multi-day music festival created by Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment and held every year on Memorial Day Weekend at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois. The event normally attracts around 20,000 visitors, of which between 8,000 and 10,000 arrive before gates open.  It was listed as one of the top 40 music festivals in Rolling Stone Magazine in 2014  They offer over 100 different bands on 7 stages throughout the park.  The park consists of 400 acres of rolling hillsides full of grassy areas for parking, tent camping, amphitheater, Farmhouse, Chapel and authentic reproduction timber barn.  Acres of fields for festival events as well as shaded forest areas.   All the required elements for a Fabulous Music Festival. 

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When we were here before, it was so much fun to watch the activity.  All the “flower children”  from the 70’s, now grown up,  bringing their family’s and still wearing tie dye, funky clothes,  and having a blast dancing and doing what “all comes natural”…..lol….

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The entertainment is fabulous, the light shows are awesome.  I think the best part is just riding threw the camp sites and seeing all the people.   How they camp, dress,…..lol….and how they interact with everyone.  How much will we see as we are working?  I don’t know ….But just being their in the presence of it all will be enough.  After that visiting with all the kids and then back to Texas so I don’t loose my little job at the theater.   Then in September we hope to be back.  Rich will work the harvest, and I might only stay for a week or 2.   It all depends on the cat…..We want to drive up then in the car, and I would take the train back, but Its Kitty…..He is the problem….I guess time will figure that out…..We need a Kitty Care Person to babysit…

…….So That is Our Summer Plans…….