Headstash's CAMP BAREFOOT Review Guide
- By Jordan August and Alan VanToai
- Published on August 23, 2011
August 18-20 – Camp Hidden Meadows – Bartow, WV
5th year – Estimated attendance: 1,500
2011 Lineup: Walter, Roberts and Deitch, Kyle Hollingsworth Band (2 nights), The New Deal, Perpetual Groove, Zach Deputy, RAQ, Papadosio (2 nights), Brothers Past, Future Rock, Orchard Lounge, Pimps of Joytime, The Meditations, William Walter and Co., Segway (3 nights), DJ Williams Projekt, Jackass Flats (2 nights), The Mantras (2 nights), Jesse Chong Band (2 nights), Big Daddy Love, The Malah, Funkuponya (2 nights), The Big Something, Zoogma, Sci Fi, Kings of Belmont, Farm Vegas (2 nights), Silo Effect, Former Champions, James Justin and Co., UV Hippo, Murphys Kids, No BS Brass (2 nights), LarJar (2 nights), Crucial Elements (2 nights), Pelicanesis, Fletchers Grove, Deaf Scene, The Peoples Blues of Richmond, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Jesters of Kindness, DJ Ricochet Red, Black Girls, J3 Project, Judy Chops, Family Tree, Downtown County Band, Jeff White, Octopus, Sol Flo
Festival Website: http://www.campbarefoot.org/
Jordan August's Highlights
Rock and roll all night. Curfews were definitely not an issue at CB5. The music was in your face until the sun was about to come up every night. No one wants to go back to camp if they don’t have to, and CB5 kept the entertainment going all night.
Comfortable temperature. The hot, sunny days and the cold, dewy nights are how I like my festivals. Nothing is worse than waking up in the morning sweaty and miserable. The dew gets everything wet, yes, but it cooled everything off and allowed me to sleep in.
Kyle Hollingsworth Talking Heads set. “Crossedeyed and Painless” with a “Psycho Killer” encore – need I say more? What a dance party this was. Everyone was singing and dancing together in harmony.
They have an instrumental live-electronic sound reminiscent of STS9, but with build-ups, peaks and breaks similar in intensity to Disco Biscuits jams. Add to that the tasteful hip-hop samples from Jay-Z and Three 6 Mafia, and you have all the makings for a bumpin' good time.
With every bit of soul and swagger, Denson led on sax and vocals, while drummer John Staten - a massive physical presence behind a comparatively tiny-seeming drum kit – pulled tight fills and runs with what looked like mere flicks of his wrist.
DJ Williams sat in on guitar and complemented bassist Chris Stillwell's humble, confident demeanor. Stillwell, barely moving the entire set, let his bass lines do the talking.
Big Something, with their sax-driven jam-rock and catchy originals, played two killer sets over the weekend. Segway's electronic improv delivered three bangin' sets throughout the festival - the last of which featured Pigeons lead guitarist Jeremy Schon in one gnarly sit-in.
Deaf Scene brought their guitar heavy psychedelic rock to Camp Barefoot's Instant Moustache Stage for the second year, complete with free screwdrivers, muffins and tasty rockin' spacey jams.
Jordan: It seems counterintuitive to go to a festival of free spirited people to camp and party and be worried about not having service on my cell phone. But it would be nice to know when the weather gets bad and be able to check in with e-mails and other business.
Alan: Throughout the weekend, the placement and time allocations for different bands didn't seem to correspond to the buzz from the crowd. Sometimes, the conflicting side-stage would pull hundreds of people, leaving main stage acts with only a dozen.
Jordan August's Surprise
Big Something. A guy by my campsite was a promoter and fan of the band, telling me they were not to be missed. After engrossing myself in the Baltimore music scene the past few years, I have a huge respect for local talent. Jumping on the bandwagon early and establishing friendships is a great way to see people for who they truly are.
This band ended up being amazing and I was thankful for the recommendation. Never dismiss anything when your neighbor suggests a band for you to check out – your new favorite band could be on stage now.
The drive. The last hour of the drive to Camp Barefoot was a tour of some of the most beautiful landscapes on the East Coast. There were mountains, wild rock formations and barely any houses for the last 40 to 50 miles.An hour or so from the festival, you lost cell service, so by the time you got to camp there was not even a trace of hope for any cell reception. Everyone at the site became united in a funny way by the remoteness of the location – something many of the artists commented on as they took the stage. We were in the middle of nowhere.
The dogs. Camp Barefoot is a pooch friendly festival, and as a result, was descended upon by some of the cutest canines having the time of their life. A huge number of pits, labs and all sorts of other best friends of men could be seen socializing, play fighting and being cute all weekend.
The temperature. Aside from Rothbury 2009, this was the most comfortable (and unique) temperature for a festival I've been to. During the day, it was usually around 80 degrees, clear skies and sunny. At night, it fell to a chilly 55 degrees. I'd rather have that than intense one way or the other because layering with sweaters at night was fine, and in the morning you could easily sleep past noon in a tent without dying from heat and humidity.
Whenever anyone asks me to describe a festival I always try not to use the words "magical" or "special" – first because most festivals could easily fall into those descriptions. Also, it just sounds kind of tacky.
With that said, Camp Barefoot 5 was indeed magical and special. Between the wild drive into Appalachia that isolated us together in the wilderness, the breathtaking scenery, the amazing musical talent, the adorable dogs running around and the comforting hand-painted signs everywhere, the vibe that Stanlee Ventures and Camp Barefoot created was one of ease, relaxation and pleasure.
(Find more of Jordan's pictures in our comprehensive photo gallery)
What did you think of Camp Barefoot 5? Highlights, lowlights and surprises. Let us know in the comments below.