Written by Fatima Hasan; Photography by Fatima Hasan & Cory Callahan
With breath-taking scenic overlooks, secluded waterfalls, lush forests, and windy hillsides, Pennsylvania provides an opportunity for people to see tons of beautiful views. It’s truly a brilliant place to re-discover everything nature has to offer.
Camp Bisco, one of Pennsylvania’s top-tier music festivals, is nestled in a peaceful mid-size town called Scranton. After a drive up Mount Montage, festival patrons are directed to either on-site or off-site parking depending on the type of ticket purchased. As a first-timer at this festival, I must say that hiking up Mount Montage to secure a camp spot is no easy feat– steep inclines and rocky terrain is definitely a challenge as attendees lug their gear from wherever they have parked. A little bit of challenge doesn’t stop these Bisco fans though…
Although the weather was incredibly hot all weekend, Camp Bisco attendees were in high spirits and were glad to settle into their campsites to start raging for the weekend. As every festival-goer knows, camping can be dreadful in the extreme heat of summer. One of the best parts about Bisco was being able to cool off at the waterpark during the day– the lazy river, wave pool, and slides were great. This is something completely unique to the festival and totally adds to the overall vibe. Additionally, it was nice to escape to places like the Lodge for a little bit to eat and rejuvenate in the air conditioning. It really seemed like Montage Mountain workers did a great job ensuring that the pool water was clean at the water park too. I also particularly liked how patrons had the opportunity to purchase cases of beer at the festival, this was definitely an aspect of the event that I found to be appreciated by many fans.
Beyond that, I was highly impressed with each stage design and their quality of production. Electric City, the main stage, was huge and there was usually plenty of room for attendees to spread out and enjoy the space. If standing up in the crowd isn’t your thing, there were plenty of seats underneath the Pavilion that provided perfect viewing of the stage from relatively close. It was really great for watching artists while they were performing. Furthermore, the lawn area was a great place to lay out on a tapestry, flow, eat, and/or hang out with friends. During headlining sets that bring sizeable crowds like The Disco Biscuits, Tipper, Illenium, and Bassnectar, I never felt crowded in at this stage and I think that factor really enhanced my overall experience at these shows. There was plenty of dancing space in the back!
The design of Above the Waves was pretty cool as well, especially considering it was placed right next to the wave pool. I liked how the stage is constructed facing a hill, so attendees can walk up the incline to actually see the lights, production, and artists on stage.
Along with Camp Bisco’s larger stages, the festival curated two smaller stages. The Office was a cool, intimate stage that was open to everyone during the day but was utilized as the VIP stage after-hours. Sound quality was pretty decent at this stage, and it was great to experience the rowdiness some artists like Yheti brought to the area. Seeing the small space completely filled with attendees was wild.
The Renegade stage, curated by the Good Looks Collective, boasted Funktion Ones and was a cozy area tucked away right by RV camping. During the day, this stage was easily accessible to all attendees. However, if you weren’t a VIP ticket-holder, it was a little bit more difficult to travel to this stage late at night while The Office stage was dedicated to VIP sets (you have to walk past The Office stage to reach The Renegade stage). Thus, attendees had to utilize various shuttles to reach The Renegade stage at this time. Regardless, I thought the stage was incredibly unique– the DJ booth was located inside of a renovated school bus that was completely decked out.
The diverse lineup of talent at Camp Bisco this year left me in awe as well. I was able to catch three full sets of The Disco Biscuits and, without a doubt, each one left me more impressed than the last. Tipper, Bassnectar, and Liquid Stranger featured solid track-lists in their sets and left most attendees mind-blown.
On the first night of the festival, Tipper put on an eclectic performance that was supplemented by detailed and vivid visuals. I was speechless when I experienced Tipper’s ability to scratch– his set had a perfect flow and was one-of-a-kind. Bassnectar also celebrated an anniversary at Bisco this year, as it was his 10th year playing at the event. I definitely feel like this Bassnectar performance was one of his better shows that I’ve seen, he incorporated a bunch of tracks that are fan-favorites in his set– ones he usually keeps locked away for special events. On the last night of Camp Bisco, severe rain and thunderstorm warnings forced Liquid Stranger to stop his set early in order to evacuate the crowd. Although getting rained out was a bummer, dancing in the rain for the beginning half of Liquid Stranger’s set was an incredible experience. Per usual, he played a great mixture of his own music along with other heavy-hitters produced by his friends in Wakaan. One of the best parts about Liquid Stranger is that he is a fluid and consistent artist; he gives his all every single time I see him perform and his sets always compliment the crowds’ vibes. To no surprise, he completely filled the Above the Waves stage with attendees for his first time performing at Camp Bisco.
Other artists with memorable performances include Sunsquabi, Frequent, STS9, Anna Lunoe, G Jones, Papadosio, Yheti, Lotus, The Floozies, Space Jesus, Bass Physics, Zeke Beats, and many more. I was super disappointed that I couldn’t catch TAUK due to Saturday’s weather complications.
During our time at Camp Bisco, we were also able to conduct exclusive interviews with Bass Physics and members of Lotus, Papadosio, and TAUK. Stay posted as we publish continuing coverage of Camp Bisco, as these artists discuss their experience at the festival, their current work, and much more!