Summer Camp Music Festival has revved its proverbial motor into high gear for 2009, packing the lineup with premier artists without a substantial increase in ticket prices. In addition to legendary jam band moe. and Midwestern favorites Umphrey’s McGee, Summer Camp has drawn from a diversity of genres to formulate the 2009 lineup.
On the one hand, Willie Nelson is the big name to represent the country music background shared among himself and the many bluegrass/roots bands set to perform, while Method Man and Redman appeal to the hip-hop fans. For the hard-rock-minded, Buckethead and Les Claypool are both on the lineup, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see either make a guest appearance in the other’s set. Fans of electronica will be happy to note that Girl Talk is back for an encore of his 2008 Summer Camp performance, along with a different style of electronic music from both EOTO and Bassnectar.
Those keeping an ear to the radio in the past few years may have heard a little something about Los Lobos, Gomez or even Joe Pug ­— all of whom happen to be rocking the festival as well. And, of course, what would a festival started by a jam band be without more jam bands? Keller Willams, Dark Star Orchestra (a Grateful Dead cover artist) and Lotus accommodate the wide variety of styles within the improvisational, groove-fueled jam scene.
Local CU bands have made a splash at the fest in the past and look to further that in 2009. Underpaid Packy will be playing their first Summer Camp, joining veterans Zmick and winners of Summer Camp’s On the Road contest, The Coop. Opportunity for CU artists makes sense when you note that local booking agent Mike Armintrout plays a large role in booking the artists for the festival.
When asked about the strength of this year’s lineup, Armintrout replied, “We are really excited about the diversity this year. We try to cater to as many peoples’ tastes as possible.”
He continued, “The On the Road contest was a big part of that. We had shows all over the place, from Indy to Denver. The winners of each show were awarded a slot in the lineup, and hopefully that draws some of their fans to the festival who may not have come otherwise.”
Summer Camp is this weekend, Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24, but it’s not too late to get your tickets. Last-minute tickets will be available at the gate for the slightly increased charge of $170. The festival is located at Three Sisters Park, just off IL Route 29 in Chillicothe. The music starts at noon on Friday and doesn’t stop until late Sunday night. Is there any better way to spend a Memorial Day weekend than camping with good friends and great music?

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