The 80/35 hangover (should) be clearing up by now, so it’s time to prepare for another festival! The 2nd annual Adventure Camp Music Festival is taking place August 23-25 near Decorah, Iowa. This is another weekend camping festival, so make sure your sleeping bags are clean and ready to go. I talked to festival director Kyle Sorenson, who gives us the lowdown on what to expect this year.
Q: Tell me a bit about the festival—what can people expect this year?
A: Well first off we are switching venues to a full on private campground. This year we will be at Chimney Rocks Campground. We have moved to a bigger spot with river access right along the Upper Iowa River. We will feature on site camping with showering facilities as well as canoe/tube/kayak rentals right on-site. We will also be featuring four stages, instead of three.This will include one main band stage, a main DJ stage, a hip-hop stage (with a breakdance floor and graffiti wall) and a second DJ stage in the forest.
Q: Describe a typical day at work for you.
A: This year I am the festival director and do all of the booking of talent, venue, lighting, sound etc. Right now, aside from someone else handling graphics and design, I am handling close to all aspects of the event. It’s a little daunting at times, but with constant organization I manage to stay on top of it all.
Duties include the Internet… all of it. Joking aside, it’s a lot of time spent between Facebook, emails and the phone. Now that everything is booked and and in place for the most part, I’ve shifted roles to promotion, which includes flyer design and video editing. Then when the event gets closer I will be the first person on-site setting up the different areas and fencing off areas and the last person to leave after cleaning up after the event. So I guess it varies a ton depending at what stage we are at, but all stages include constant work.
Q: Who are you most looking forward to seeing perform this year?
A: Future Rock, Toki Wright, General B & The Wiz, Haphduzn, Nostalgia… I could honestly go on and on. Its really fun booking an event because you can really set the tone and book a wide variety of amazing talent. I hope to at least catch a handful of sets over the weekend, if time permits.
Q: What’s one thing attendees should know before attending Adventure Camp?
A: That it is a weekend of camping. Well, two nights and three days. So come prepared for anything. Mother Nature can always throw a curveball, but we’re ready to play rain or shine. This will be some peoples’ first camping trip/festival so its always good to make a checklist and be ready to leave your homes and technology behind for a weekend in the woods.
Q: What kind of success did you see last year (the first year of Adventure Camp)?
A: Last year we had around 400 people attend. That’s pretty good for a first year festival. But considering that the event wasn’t really conceived until August 5th (and was held September 14th and 15th) it shows that people caught on quick. We had about three weeks of mainly Internet and word of mouth promotion before the event. So achieving that kind of turnout the first year, we’re aiming to raise the bar a lot this year.
Q: How do you see the festival growing in the next 5-10 years?
A: I hope we can max this campground out over the next 5-10 years. I would say it would never grow beyond a 2,000 person event due to the size of our land. We want to keep it at this location for many years to come though and not move to a bigger piece of land for the sake of having more people. That being said we aim to raise the bar every year talent- and production-wise. This way down the road we can really start adding some fun lighting installations and added activities, art exhibits and more.