Nestled in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Camp Bisco takes place on the scenic ski slope of Montage Mountain. The trek up to your campsite may seem intimidating at first, but the view from the top makes the journey worthwhile.
At least, that’s the experience I had when setting up my campsite. As a perpetual jangler, I arrived to Scranton later in the evening on Thursday. Due to my excitement to get right into things, I made the decision to not wait on the shuttle service, and make the hike to the campsite myself. I strapped on my backpack, cradled my case of PBR, and descended the steps into the festival grounds.
Immediately, I was greeted by cheerful staff and attendees lounging through a lazy river, while others were getting down to a 1788-L set at the Above the Waves stage. With the extreme heat wave pressing down the weekend, the water slide, lazy river, and wave pool were well used and enjoyed by those seeking escape from the unagreeable weather.
After I had found a camping spot next to some friendly neighbors and pitched my tent, I walked in on my first pleasant surprise of the weekend. Due to unfortunate travel delays, Ekali couldn’t make it to Camp. As a welcome addition to the already stacked lineup, Chee drove up from Philly to take Ekali’s place, and good GOD he played a fire set. He had me cheesing the whole way through (ha, see what I did there?). The first night ended with an astonishing Tipper set, where Datagrama visuals were projection-mapped onto the pavilion above the stage for an incredibly surreal and immersive effect.
Tipper’s set was the talk of the weekend and thoroughly blew everyone’s mind right out of their head. Afterwards came Liquid Snails, then music at the Renegade Stage until five in the morning. This was the nonstop pace of the whole weekend.
Camp Bisco has four stages, and constant music from noon until the sun comes up the next day. Each stage has its own unique character and benefits. Above the Waves is situated in the middle of the water park, The Office offers an easy alternative from headlining acts as it’s a hop and a skip from Electric City.
I ended up spending a lot of my time at Electric City, and was extremely grateful for the shade provided by the pavilion. Electric City has the biggest and loudest sound system with boosters set up at the end of the pavilion for those in the lot, while also boasting a large visual display and full light and laser set up. Projection mapping was used for multiple sets throughout the weekend but Tipper and The Disco Biscuits made the best use of the technology in my opinion.
The coolest and most unique setup however was the Renegade Stage brought in by the Good Looks Collective and Sermon. Set in the middle of RV camping, the black bus outfitted with a Funktion-One sound system blended in seamlessly, perfectly capturing the renegade feel. Here, Slug Wife members Reso, Seppa, and Broken Note topped off the weekend with a deliciously slimy takeover.
Camp Bisco filled the weekend with so many incredible performances that it would be impossible to recap them all here. From Kursa’s extra moist mid-afternoon set to Plantrae’s pleasantly beautiful performance, there’s so much to reminisce on. Bassnectar, Ganja White Night, and Odesza all showed off the production value of the main stage.
For me, some stand out sets include Jade Cicada who absolutely astonished me with his crowd control and impeccable sound design. Malakai impressed me with a surprisingly heavy set; I’ve been a fan of his for a minute now, but it was great to see him show off a side we don’t normally get from him.
I also want to give a special shout out to the Headcount volunteers doing the Lord’s work, registering wooks to vote in the intense heat. Props to Marc Brownstein from The Disco Biscuits for helping found such an important organization.
From the lineup, to the amenities of the park, to the good vibes all around, Camp Bisco this year proved a success. There was no shortage of water and the staff generously passed out free bottles during sets to help keep us hydrated. The stages were great and the camping was beautiful. Yes, it was hot, but the abundance of good vibes and good entertainment really helped take your mind off the heat. Can’t wait to do it again next year!
How was your Camp Bisco experience? Who were some of your favorite performances? Will you be returning next year? Let us know in the comments below!