Iâ€™m back, rested and finally fully clean from Camp Bisco 11. A truly awesome experience — probably the most fun Iâ€™ve ever had at a festival. So many great people, with excellent music throughout.
We arrived at the Upstate New York grounds mid-day Thursday (July 12) and checked in. Immediately we met some great people camping in the Media/Artist Guest lot. We quickly set up our home for the next three days and decided to check out the festival grounds. I really liked the setup. It was spread out in a way that didnâ€™t create sound bleed, but also allowed you to have ample time to get from set to set. The staff/volunteers were very friendly and helpful. And everyone was just so nice, Iâ€™ve never had more people apologize for accidentally bumping into me at a festival.
Day 1 highlights: The M Machine — even though it was only one of the guys, the set was still high energy, especially for an early set time (during which the day’s heat seemed to creep up quickly). Afterward, I checked out Michetti, who Iâ€™ve never seen before. He is a dubstep producer and also one of the guitarists in the band Conspirator.
Next up, Star Eyes — a member of the world famous Trouble and Bass crew from Brooklyn. She had an awesome bass-heavy set, even grabbing the mic to show off her vocal chords. Unfortunately most of the festival missed out on her set but the 50 or so people that were in the tent were treated to one of the best sets at Bisco.
After that came one of the bigger names, Skrillex. And letâ€™s just say I was not as disappointed in his set, despite all the naysaying that’s come with his newfound fame. He really has been evolving his live shows and focusing more on the tunes and production value rather than â€śpressing playâ€ť and jumping into the crowd. After that we continued the night with some of Skrillexâ€™s label mates. Caught the end of Kill the Noise. And the surprise of the night (well if you werenâ€™t checking twitter on your phone), was the tag team set of Zedd and Porter Robinson. These two have so much energy, opened with Zeddâ€™s remix of “Spectrum” and kept the energy going dropping classics like “Breaking a Sweat” and lots more. But Day 1 was a great start to a great festival.
On Day 2 we woke up early (but who doesnâ€™t when camping — the suns up, and so are you). We headed over to the media tent to give our phones a much needed charge. And then we took full advantage of the media back stage area and took some life-changing showers.
We started day two catching the end of Brooklyn-based electronic duo The Knocks at the main stage. Then to Eliot Lipp, another electronic-music-maker from Brooklyn who I regret not getting into until now. The live set was incredible. The crowd was loving it, lots of people dancing and just enjoying the great tunes. I definitely look forward to what the future holds for this guy. After that we took some time to rest at our tent, but the great thing was we were able to hear the set from Nadis Warriors who treated our ears to some beautiful funky jammy electronic sound, that reminded me a bit of The New Deal.
After some rest, refills on the beverages, beer pong, can jam and snacks we headed over to the main stage to see Big Boi, but Big Boi wasnâ€™t there. He was very late. 30-40 minutes late. He only got to play a short set, although the crowd seemed to really enjoy it, and sang along to every song. Mostly Outkast hits. Too bad Andre wasnâ€™t there.
The rest of the day was spent hopping from stage to stage and catching some acts Iâ€™d never seen before including Lotus, Emancipator, and Starkey. And I must say I hope to see them all again. We started to close the night seeing Dada Life had a great presence on stage, but I sometimes questioned the tracks they selected.
Finally we ended the night with what I thought was one of the best performances — Mim0sa. Even though he at one point asked â€śHow you Feeling Bonnaroo?â€ť I still loved every minute of his dub-heavy set.
Day 3 started with an overnight rainstorm. A big downpour caused the camp to frantically fix tents, cover electronics and even caused some people to sleep in their cars. I thanked the rain gods for the chance to clear away the dust and cool down camp, just a bit.
I was kind of exhausted Day 3, so sorry for the lack of pictures. But day 3 was yet another one where it was worth struggling to see everyone I could. Minnesota, a great up-and-coming dubstep DJ, played a great midday set and lived up to all the hype. I saw and heard Atmosphere talk about how he is going to get everyone pregnant, and also stick his hand up a horse’s ass and pull out some shit and put it on the stage. Besides that, he played a great set. I also finally got to see Big Gigantic. I really dig the electronic/jam cross over — such great stuff. Bassnectar was both fantastic and disappointing at the same time, due to recurring mixer issues. To quote one of my friends: â€śEvery time the drop happened I had to hold my breath because I was afraid the mixer would go out.â€ť He still brought the raucous energy that had the majority of Bisco jumping and singing along. He was the only act on at the time, so there was a potential to have all 20,000 people watching him.
I couldnâ€™t miss A-Trak: always a solid set, and always a great variety of music. Then, after seeing lots of stickers around camp that said â€śWhat the Fuck is Zoogma?â€ť We found out, they are an awesome electronic jam band who played a sick cover of Ellie Gouldingâ€™s “Lights.” And I finally got to see Gramatik who blew me away, was the perfect set to end Bisco, so perfect I neglected one of my favorite duos, Simian Mobile Disco.
After catching part of their Day 1 set, I of course also caught another of festival founders’ The Disco Biscuits, who in total played six sets throughout the weekend (including some exclusives for those who purchased VIP tickets). Amidst some great laser visuals, the band brought out many of their classic hits including â€śMunchkin Invasion,â€ť â€śAnd the Ladies..,â€ť â€śRun Like Hellâ€ť and â€śBasis for a Day.â€ť
Thank you to the Disco Biscuits for putting on this amazing festival. Our thanks also to the Caren West crew, especially Chad. And thank you weather gods for keeping it dry the majority of the time. We will be back next year!