An extremely diverse spectrum of people are represented at Camp Bisco. It is perhaps one of the weirdest places on earth; with rampant illegal drug use, nudity, and just about every other oddity you could imagine. It has been alleged that the festival was smaller because of people bailing on a weekend of hiking up a mountain — though it hardly seemed diminished.
I arrived to the festival with a friend at around one o’clock in the afternoon of Thursday having gotten up at five-thirty that morning. This year the event organizers decided it would be a good idea to run shuttles up the trails that were previously left only for hiking. More ATVs also seemed to be present, racing along the trail and spraying dust under our canopy. They had a tremendous staff this year to accommodate us as a direct result of what some would call a failure of a festival last year. This was only the second year at this venue, though, but it seemed as though they had a better handle on things. Pickup trucks pulled wagons full of festival goers and larger trucks, with huge tanks of water on them, would spray down the campsite roads from time to time.
Though I arrived relatively late, I was able to secure a great campsite location (along with not having to deal with a particularly long line). A friend from Colorado, who I met at Electric Forest, had already set up camp in a relatively good location. The campsites were alphabetical and we were directly under the “I,” which actually looked more like a sideways “H.” I’m not sure I would have made as many shows if I was located farther up the mountain. The walks became more and more arduous as the weekend progressed (eventually leading to me falling over on the path at one point). These walks were also through a land completely swarmed by savages in a quasi-warzone. The picture above doesn’t even show the campsites, as they are located on the slopes out of the picture on the bottom side of the frame. This gives you an idea of how much walking/hiking/rock crawling there really was.
Don’t think I’m complaining, though. It was a great time. I had a couple friends there and made some more. It was fantastic to be able to have a bunch of people camping together who also wanted to see all the same shows. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing your friends’ faces when their favorite track drops. The waterpark also compensated for the endless hiking required.
The first night was highlighted by Snails and then Big Grizmatik. I really enjoyed both of their sets. It was nice to start off with Snails while the sun was still up and we had plenty of energy. With his aggressive and slimy style, Snails is incredible to anyone who appreciates a performance with manic-like, throbbing, grimy wobbles. Big Grizmatik was a great switch up from Snails. They had a lot of energy, but also added several other elements; funk, a more melodic style, and the factor of having them all on stage at the same time. In any given track performance one, or two of them could take over. One of my favorite moments was when Griz and Dom from Big Gigantic were going back and forth in a sax duel. I came to the consensus with a friend that Dom schooled him, but that’s not to discredit Griz. The kind of following he has built is perhaps bigger than either Big Gigantic’s or Gramatik’s (the other members of Big Grizmatik). It seemed like everyone was most excited for Griz. Several people showed me videos of Griz performing a “secret set” in the RV Camp, ontop of an RV.
Personally, I was more excited for Snails and actually ended up seeing 12th Planet instead of Griz just because I have seen Griz more. 12th Planet was great in his own right and then also brought on Snails and Snails’ brother Slushii, also a producer. 12 Planet also played a set on Sunday since Destructo was unable to attend. I was there with a few people, but by this time, now the third day, we decided we wanted a nap worse than we wanted to hear 12th Planet again. We ended up going over to some lounged chairs by the lazy river (yes, there was a waterpark) and took a nap. This was still relatively near the stage where 12th Planet was playing and I had forgotten my sunglasses, but I still managed to nap for about an hour.
Space Jesus was another incredible performance. The Jesus of a serene a wobbly style, Space Jesus brought his mom to his show. It was her first music festival! Everyone went crazy when she got on the mic and told us to enjoy her son’s amazing music. Also, during Panty Raid’s set, I saw a man who bore a striking resemblance to Space Jesus. He and his long black hair and sunglasses (it was after one am) were dressed in a very official looking black blazer and slacks. When I said “Yo” he promptly turned around and walked away from the stage. Honeycomb, featured in the above track “Sycamore” performed at the end of 12th Planet’s set on Friday night. He’s an incredible beat boxer (creating mind blowing electronic-like beats using only a microphone and his mouth) and absolutely rocked the crowd into astonishment.
Other notables were Keys N Krates, RL Grime, Panty Raid, Marshmello, Lil Dicky and of course, Zeds Dead, baby. Zeds Dead showed off a number of new tracks from their soon to be released album. One of the more interesting tracks they played was a mashup of Loudpvck’s “Lit” and Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.” They, DC and Hooks, have an incredible ability to play to the crowd, knowing exactly when to change the vibe with a spirit lifting, beautiful track. It is nearly as good as Bassnectar’s ability to do this in my opinion. I was very impressed with them and I’m happy I was able to get a Zeds Dead hat pin as well. One of my only regrets from Camp Bisco is that I missed Mija yet again. I was drinking a beer with a couple friends at a table and there were only a few minutes of her set left at a stage close-by. It was crushing when we entered and realized that there was no longer a staff member telling people to finish their drinks there and 12th Planet already on stage. Next up, Basscenter – Bassnectar’s camping music festival in Commerce City, CO July 29-30.
P.S.: A friend came up with a joke based off of Getter and Nick Colletti’s viral “Suh Dude” video on youtube. “What do you cut wood with?” he asks. A very natural reaction, and mine the first time he asked me, was “An axe.” He came back with, “A saw, dude.”