The Search for Health and Happiness at Camp Bisco
The splendor of camp is in its simplicity. What is an orch? What is a theme? What is a festival? Sometimes the best recipes have the least ingredients. I’ve seen them all… and somewhere between the faux Kerouac bus photo ops and the artfully calculated tripping forests that have sprung up like trendy weeds on the circuit something gets forgotten .(Although the carnival at Waka certainly a sparkling optical attraction the best ride I took was crawling underneath the stage during the bass nectar set with my girl Cate – looking out onto unsuspecting front row of rolling heads, sitting in the dirt, inhabiting the barrel of the drum) So maybe that’s just me; a preference for the quick and the dirty, the raw and the unaffected. .
What do we need? Good tunes, good folks and a plot of land for a few short but well honed days. So when I am asked to write about the healthy and happy elements of a well acknowledged drug romp that is only a shadowy vestige of the politically idealistic hippie movement of old… I have to wrack my brain if I want to be honest… and although I’m prone to dramatic exaggeration, my speech may be flecked with lies, I try to mostly walk in the light of the truth. We’re a long way from Woodstock – figuratively if not geographically – they were trying to alter the world, we are trying to alter our perceptions and escape it for a little while. Blah blah blah. So I’ll just focus on what’s going on inside that fort cause face it – that’s why we come.
And whats going on inside the fort is what is happy and beautiful, if you can let it be in its
Communal convulsion that drips into perpetual spasm; that ticks like a leak and rivets to a beat – maybe this is how we can describe good electronic music. Camp Bisco 9 fell into festy orbit with all the trappings of the best electro line up round the rotation this summer. Not to say that camp didn’t cook up some good rock and roll as well – and of course no tinkling bouncy thumpster can steal the thunder from the main act. Only real thunder upstaged the biscuits in this (albeit die hard) opinion. So the music was right – telepath took the stage on Saturday, scrambled off then on again while bisco closed out one of the best day time sets I’ve seen (this isn’t an article about music but that mr. don into pat & dex …. Even on time sounded good) aeroplane, eskmo, rusko, future rock – I’ll repeat myself and leave it at that – shit was right.
Now people are the second reason you come to camp. Look around. These are your friends. And for a few days at least these nuts along your camp site’s peripheral are your people, if only because you to hit the same scene. I tend to like the campers - everyone from dudes in skirts to tree thuggers to high school grads down for their first rodeo. Although I will admit that this year will be remembered for an insane amount of robbery – stories are all over the place - one lady I know who by karma’s laws ought to have been exempt… But such is life. Lock up your shit.
So forget the scoundrels cause you can never shut them out, and anyways you better focus on your folks who will help you when the badness comes… in whatever form it takes. Cause we’re all outlaws and I’d venture to say that we like it that way. I know I stick with the people who will allow me to expound on my future Indonesian adventures while rolling around in a muddy pit. We would be fools to deny the dark side of Camp Bisco, and perhaps health and happiness appear brighter by contrast.
The real beauty in a situation as strange and ripe as Camp is the alien inclination to interact with some stranger who (to you anyways) is little more than a well weathered yet simultaneously prolific patron of what makes the bottom of this barrel look so deep. There wasn’t even half as much rain as last year. But in Bisco land, when it rains it pours… and here we are flailing and flapping down in the muck and somehow convincing ourselves and the world what we’re doing is called ‘dance.’ In this alone I think we make a pretty good team. So despite the innumerable mocks and mark ups from the resilient, repugnant crop of seedy spunions, you never have so much fun in your life as the few fleeting days you spend getting as weird as you can with them. Well done campers.
By Katherine McNamara