Camp Bisco: A photo essay

I don’t know how it happened, but at some point in my music career, I became a guy who plays festivals. While this may bring huge events like Coachella and Bonnaroo to mind, I’m not talking about that. Those are huge, genre blending events that bring some of the biggest musical acts from all over the world to play in front of hundreds of thousands of people (That number could be wrong but I feel like it’s close enough).

No, the type of festivals I’ve played are smaller and far more “niche”. They vacillate between being electro-hippie jam bands type of parties to more on the drugged out dub step side of things. This is funny to me, as I make music that is nothing like either of those genres but, hey, they ask me to go and pay me, so I go. And. to be honest, they’re usually fun. I’ve written about these things multiple time on this blog. Here , here and , to a lesser extent, here. Yes, I complain and make fun of them but, in all honesty, they usually aren’t THAT bad. I’m simply not their target audience.
This past weekend, i attended Camp Bisco for the first time. It’s a huge north eastern festival thrown by the band The Disco Biscuits. This year, acts such as Skrillex, Atmosphere, Amon Tobin, Big Boi from outkast and about a billion others were all playing. I was performing in the Ninja Tune tent. Prior to going to this festival, I had been warned by people I know that this one is the “craziest”. Now, to me, this meant it was just the most deeply filthy and hippied out. At least that’s what I assumed. I mean, how crazy could these things get?
My friend Claudia and I drove upstate to the grounds really not knowing what we were getting into. The warnings had kinda shook me a little into thinking this wasn’t just you’re typical hippie/jam/electro/dubstep festival and something more sinister.
As we arrived, I realized this was WAY bigger than any other festival I had ever played at. I’m guess there were about 10-40,000 people there…or more. I have no fucking clue…but it was a shit ton. Contrary to my warnings, I found this festival to be, not only the most well organized and artist friendly, but also the most diverse as far as the people who went. Sure, it was packed to the gills with people in rainbow tutu’s and furry boots on and endless hula hoops…but there were also some fairly normal looking people. Anyway…I can honestly say it was the best experience i’ve had at one of these things by far. But, instead of bore you with the minutia of my time there, I figured I’d just let these photo’s speak for me (with a few comments thrown in for good measure). The majority of these were taken by Claudia Santiso with a few thrown in by me. Now, enter Camp Bisco:

It was dusty as fuck. Tons of people were walking about with handkerchiefs tied to their face like it was the apocalypse. Personally, I didn’t think it was that bad…so these people are kinda pussies.

Lots of hilarious Tattoo’s there but, without question, the winner goes to your man who got “MISUNDERSTOOD” written on his back. That’s gonna look awesome in 30 years.

I don’t know what this dude is the king of, but it certainly isn’t “pussy getting”.

The three elements of festival ladies: Hula hoops, dancing while tripping and furry boots. The fourth element, Glow sticks, was unfortunately not captured.

Sure, it was 90 degrees out…but when is a daytime field stripper not the right choice? NEVER O’CLOCK. Those two huge things in the background were the main stages. They were enormous.

Claudia caught this one. It’s like a four leaf clover covered in rabbit tails. Oh, she was topless too. Props to her for winning the “I give a least amount of fucks” award.
Oh, bt, if you’re confused, this is a little person, not a naked child. Just to be clear.

Here’s me hiding in the magical cut out forrest. I bet, if I were tripping, I’d be losing my shit in there.

Other usual suspects include:

MDMA ballerina.

Possible dead guy

Hot half naked dancer girls

Here’s a blurry one of me and guy dressed like a hot dog. Keep in mind, it was 90 fucking degrees out.

There’s a war going on, no one is safe from…

A picture of people taking pictures of Amon Tobin’s insane show.

Me Enjoying my first fried Oreo. I ate 4 of them. I wanted to die soon after that.

The stairway up to where I performed AKA the stairway to heaven, bro.

And, finally, a picture I took on stage of the crowd. Talk about putting your hands up…Good times.

20 thoughts on “Camp Bisco: A photo essay

  1. Thanks for this! I was the one on twitter asking for your commentary, and you quickly schooled me on the fact you had already issued a number of posts on these things. Anyway, I follow you on Instagram and was loving your photos (many of which I recognize here) over the weekend. Awesome coverage on this event.

    Curious to know whether you stayed there overnight and, if you did, did you camp out in the dust fields?

  2. haha…looks like you’re jerking off behind the flav cut-out to that stripper’s ass and his facial expression says he’s not too pleased. perfect.

  3. i’m glad to see you got to check shit out and get a feel for bisco. i kinda figured you would just come for your set. were you just there for sat?

    fyi, bisco sold out for the first time last year with, from what i’ve heard, 20k+ people. they said they’re reducing capacity this year. again, i didn’t see numbers anywhere but i heard 13k. this seems weird from a business perspective but i’m glad they did that because last year really was too packed in the tents.

    i know this doesn’t seem like your target audience but i’m sure you realized that more than the drugs or anything else, these people are obsessed with the music and they recognize talent in any genre, not that you were the only downtempo trip hop artist on the bill. this kind of festival is great for discovering artists you haven’t seen before and you drew a good crowd and i’m sure you got some new fans.

    are you sure those pics are of amon tobin and not the biscuits? i don’t remember him using lasers. did you like the biscuits sets at all? this is really the most incredible setting to see them.

    and 1 more thing, when’s the next time you’re playing denver?? your show at cervantes in oct was fucking dope!

    • Damn dude, lots of questions….

      I stayed only for friday night. I left around 1am. That was a long enough stay for me at any show.

      That pic was definitely Amon. I clearly remember it being taken cause the dude in the pic holding the camera is Faulty DL who i was chilling with during the Amon show. That show is fucking for the biscuits, I didn’t catch their set.

      As for denver, probably in the fall. I plan to hit the road then.

  4. Have you found that playing festivals has influenced what music you make, eg more dance-able boom bap beats vs. your more melodramatic older stuff?

    • Not so much festivals as performing live in general. I learned early on that you can’t just play the depressing songs to a room for of people who wanna party. Even if they’re big fans the idea of the show is to be fun so I try and mix all my stuff in a more upbeat manner. It’s still got the same moods but it’s way less of a downer.

  5. have you found that playing more festivals/ shows has led to changes in your production? eg more boom bap/ danceable beats than melodramatic cuts?

    never seen you live (still kicking myself for going on a date and not getting laid last time you were in chicago), but i’d imagine you play more “the art of walking” style sounds than “triptych”… amirite?

  6. cool pics – thank you!

    at festivals (esp. the smaller ones you mention), do many / any people come to see you specifically, or are you an oddity for these glowstick kids?

    and do you find yourself chilling with the rap acts also performing? You mention atmosphere and big boi, and this gets me all excited for more joints with slug (how the story goes and miss by a mile are high points for all involved parties!) and damn! to get sir lucious on a blockhead beat!!! and since i’m now on a string of too many fanboy questions …. whats up with you and lodeck releasing some new tracks?!

    • I usually have a decent amount of fans at these sorts of things. Some are better than others.

      as for chilling with rappers, i didn’t. I have no clue where big boi was and Atmosphere was playing the night after I was there.

      as for Lodeck, I haven’t spoken to him a in a minute. I don’t really have a clue what he’s working on.

  7. do you play only blockhead shit at your shows? is it like a live PA set? u making beats as you go sorta thing? or do u play other peoples shit as well?

    • I play a set that’s like if you took all my albums and threw them in a blender and added some random rap, old soul, 80’s music and rock in there for good measure. It’s basically live sequencing.

  8. the little person is my best friend evan. that’s my hand holding hers as I did all weekend! she’s a party and photo favorite to allll

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