Montage Mountain or “Death Mountain” as some were calling it was the new location for Camp Bisco which concluded this last Sunday. Montage Mountain and the community appeared to welcome Camp Bisco with open arms – and while there were many great aspects about this festival, there were some aspects that are making it hard for me as well as others to return next year unless some serious changes happen.
This year’s Camp Bisco lineup includes headliners such as the festivals very own The Disco Biscuits, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, STS9, Big Gigantic, Tipper, and Asmosphere. The festival had four stages, although two I wouldn’t really consider stages due to their small size. Above The Waves stage was located right inside the water park and lodge area where people could relax in a lazy river, fly down a zip-line, slide down a water slide, or just cool off in the wave pool while listening to some of the best artists Bisco had to offer. The Disco lodge was located inside the resort’s very own lodge where people could go get food, charge phones, sit at a bar and listen to some music. The Steamtown stage was a bit of a letdown. The stage was on the furthest side from the festival camping entrance and was just sitting in the vendor area. It was too small of a stage, and not much room for dancing or viewing the performers, however it hosted some big name artists such as Mr. Carmack who filled the stage area. Finally the main stage of Camp Bisco was called Electric City, and rightfully so. It definitely gave people electricity when they saw performers such as The Disco Biscuits and STS9 perform under this massive amphitheater with spectacular stage lights and visuals that could be seen all the way at the top of the hill that overlooked the stage.
The Bad & The Ugly
We arrived at offsite parking (two miles away from the festival grounds) and parked our cars at 7pm Wednesday where we proceeded to get in the security line for them to search our bags. We did not get to the front of the security line until almost 11pm. Once we were searched we proceeded to load all of our gear on school buses and a few coach buses and packed as many people in as we could to be shuttled to the festival. Before we left we looked behind us and noticed the line was at least three times as long as when we arrived. This was concerning because the festival had noted that shuttles would be running only on a minimal schedule after 1am. This caused lots of festival goers to be outside all night waiting for the few shuttles that were running to load them and their gear. Once we made it to the festival we waited in yet another line for an hour or so for a tractor to shuttle people to the base of the mountain. Once at the bottom of the mountain we were then free to climb the mountain to search for any free camping spots available. Luckily we were able to find one about half way up, but that walk up a rocky ski/snowboarding mountain with all our camping gear was no easy task. By the time we got our stuff setup we had missed all of the artists playing Wednesday night at the pool party. The organization and direction was non-existent from anyone working the festival. Asking the same question to three different people would yield you three different results, one of which most likely would include “I don’t know, go ask that person.” This also posed an issue with security not knowing what was and wasn’t allowed into the festival. Many times they would be contradicting answers about bringing in factory sealed water bottles, it all depended on who you got.
Overall I had a pretty decent time, and with the issues above being addressed as well as addressing the lack of FUNCTIONING water fill stations, this festival could really turn the experience for a lot of people around. The music and production were absolutely phenomenal, the organization (or lack thereof) and the small issues such as the water and trash bag/trash cans can all be addressed and improved upon and make this festival an amazing and fun experience for all. Camp Bisco and the organizers of the festival will listen to their fans and improve on these issues for upcoming Camp Bisco’s so be sure to check out next year’s hopefully equally as good lineup and even better festival experience!
Thanks for the good time and fun memories Camp Bisco!