Long-Running Summer Camp Music Festival Going On Hiatus After 2023 Event

Summer Camp

The long-running jam-fueled Summer Camp Music Festival at Chillicothe, Illinois, has announced it will go on hiatus following the 2023 iteration of the event taking place May 26-28 at its regular Three Sisters Park location.

Citing overall challenges in producing a large-scale music festival as well as post-COVID difficulties, the announcement hints at a new event starting Memorial Day Weekend 2024 at the same location and also presented by Summer Camp.

See Also: Summer Camp Celebrates 20th Year With Jammin’ Virtual Event

Summer Camp Music Festival started in 2001, much in the mold of the outdoor camping festival more common in Europe at the time, with a decidedly jam-band feel, with long-running host bands .moe and Umphrey’s McGee typically topping the lineup. Over the years, the event followed current music trends, embracing EDM and other genres while keeping the Summer Camp spirit.

This year’s event includes .moe, Umphrey’s Mcgee, Willie Nelson & Family, Excision, Goose, Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, Ganja White Night, Mastodon, Disco Biscuits, and many others.

Summer Camp is produced by Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment.

Full statement from festival founder Ian Goldberg:

Hello Summer Camp Family,
I am writing to share some important news with you in advance of this year’s 22nd Summer Camp Music Festival.

Over two decades ago in 2001, I founded and started producing this special event. So very much has changed with the festival landscape since then, but we’ve endured and persevered at every turn. Twenty three years of memories have included challenges, victories and everything in between. The good news is that our tradition of gathering every Memorial Day Weekend at Three Sisters Park will continue. However, due to various factors, Summer Camp Music Festival as we’ve all come to know it will be taking a hiatus. Again, the good news is that we still plan on throwing a redefined camping & music experience at Three Sisters Park every Memorial Day starting in 2024 that will be presented by Summer Camp.

The challenges of throwing a mid size independent music festival in the face of the big corporate festivals as competition both for fans and for artists, along with the logistical challenges (especially post pandemic) of throwing an event of this size in a small market in Central Illinois have had us reevaluating what we do for awhile now. But reimagining Summer Camp had its own challenges, we could not figure how to scale back the event in a way that would feel true to everything Summer Camp Music Festival has come to be. Cutting pieces of it felt like leaving our children behind. So we decided it was time to put the Summer Camp Music Festival to rest.

For now. We will be announcing more details on the new event after this year’s festival, but it will likely include certain elements that long-time SCampers will find very familiar. Most importantly we have cherished our long relationships with our host bands, moe. and Umphrey’s McGee and we look forward to what the future may hold with this new event. So, this 2023 rendition of the Summer Camp Music Festival next week is going to be insanely meaningful for myself and everyone coming to join us. Let’s celebrate together like we never have before as we close this chapter of what once was, and anticipate what the future holds together! As a kid from Pekin IL, who just really liked throwing parties for a living, I could have never dreamed we would create something like this community. It is all because of you beautiful people, and how your spirit of love and happiness permeates these grounds, online, and in your own world’s back home year after year. I am forever grateful and appreciate your support as always. 

Much Love, Ian Goldberg