Posted by: john – May 29, 2012
The Camp Barefoot 6 Music and Art Festival will be held again at Camp Hidden Meadows, in Bartow, WV on Thursday, August 23 – Sunday, August 26, 2012. This weekend-long event features some of the top rated acts in independent music, including Keller Williams, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Ghostland Observatory, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Zach Deputy, Archnemesis, plus the EQ Silent Disco Tent, the Camp Barefoot Bluegrass Jamboree, and lots more! Previous lineups have included Lotus, Perpetual Groove, Conspirator, Kyle Hollingsworth, EOTO, Particle, Big Gigantic, RAQ, Toubab Krewe, Hackensaw Boys, The Bridge, Umelt, Spam Allstars, Kung Fu, Papadosio, The Breakfast, among others. The event is family oriented, affordable and a portion of the proceeds go directly to the Humane Society of Pocahontas County. RVA Magazine is proud to be one of the sponsors of this event, along with our friends at EQ PRODUKTIONS.
Camp Barefooot 6 will feature a Main Stage and three side stages, featuring a rotating cast of top, independent music acts from across the county and the Eastern seaboard; Arts, Crafts and Food Vendors, bringing the finest local handcrafted objects, as well as a variety of delicious foods, all available to the public; The Kids Zone, featuring a safe, structured, and most of all fun area for kids of all ages to play and enjoy activities; as well as the featured entertainment for attending families.
We took some time to catch up with the producer and main organizer of Camp Barefoot, Scott McLain.
When did Camp Barefoot start? What made you choose the location and name?
Camp Barefoot started in 2005. We originally started the festival in Gore, VA, but the location became too small for what we wanted to create. We then moved to Bartow, WV, which is right over the WV border west of Staunton, VA. I created the name of the festival on two things that meant a lot to me in my life at that time. I loved to camp barefoot when I went to festivals growing up; and I managed a band called Barefoot Manner who at the time was touring the country. So in a way I affiliated both things.
What made you want to start this kind of festival?
Well, I used to be production crew for the Wailers from 97 to 99, and then worked with Steel Pulse and Eek a Mouse and a big regional reggae band, Zion Wave, who played a lot of music festivals. I learned a lot on the road, including management and production for events I was really interested in producing a festival when I a graduated college and began to work with Barefoot Manner. Of course, the logistics behind producing a professional festival are very intense and expensive. With the help of my music-loving friends and family, I created a grassroots company. We decided to start a motion with Camp Barefoot. Trust me, we learned a lot in the last six years, and there were many rough and rocky moments. But we are honestly very proud of what we have accomplished and the mark we have made in the music world, especially for a grassroots company.
What challenges did you face in your first years?
Challenges definitely come with the territory, from having only 8 out of 40 volunteers show up for the first Camp Barefoot, causing my already overworked, unpaid staff to work 18-hour days for four days straight; to dealing with logistics like the bands having to re-route at the last minute due to bad weather. All in all, we have stuck it out, and we have created an awesome thing. Best of all, a lot of people love what Camp Barefoot creates...
Lets talk about location. What's special about the land at Bartow?
Bartow is situated between two mountain ranges, in a hidden meadow. It is just as beautiful to drive into as it is to stay there. The air is so clean it makes your heart flutter, and you quickly forget about city life altogether! (Your lack of cell service only adds to the memory loss.) Aside from the aesthetics, you couldn't ask for better people to work with than those in Pocahontas County, WV. From the landowner to the officials, you always get that welcome feeling!
How has the festival grown over the years? And where would you like to see it going in years to come?
Each year, we get a little bit bigger and better. Our musical lineup, entertainment and attendance improves. Obviously, we would like to sell out! For us that doesn't mean 10,000+ people. Huge festivals are cool, but they are not for everyone, and we pride ourselves in knowing that we appeal to the music lover that doesn't want all the hassle of a ginormous festival.
Tell us about the music at Camp Barefoot. How did you approach the music from the beginning, and how has it changed over the years?
In the beginning I focused on what I liked, and what I thought other people liked/would like too. While I still use that approach to some extent, I now have more opportunities presented to me based on our budget and reputation. We now are proud to offer a real eclectic mix with something for everyone!
What big acts have you had in prior years, and whats the plan this year for your headliners?
In the past, we have been very fortunate to have Lotus, Big Gigantic, Conspirator, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, and many other recognizable names. This year we are super excited for Ghostland Observatory, Keller Williams, Archnemesis, Ivan Nevile's Dumpstaphunk, and repeat performances from Karl D and Kyle Hollingsworth! Of course, that's just the headlining acts, and there are too many great acts to name here, but the website offers the full lineup, with clips for your pre-festival musical enjoyment.
Do you see more electronic acts being added over the years, as it has grown?
Yes, more electronic acts are/will be added. The electronic scene has exploded in the US in the last couple of years, and is not to be ignored. While it is quite different than the normal 4-9 piece bands we are all used to, electronic music should be respected. Non-traditional instruments are a unique form of expression and not the easiest to master. This art form takes raw talent to a new level, and we are always excited to promote them along with the other more traditional musical stylings.
What the plans for the Bluegrass Jamboree, and how is that tied into the festival?
The Bluegrass Jamboree actually has dual purposes. We are bluegrass lovers, and wanted to add something special to CB6--we try to change it up each year. We also wanted to say thank you to the town for having us each year, and guess what--they love bluegrass! We lined up some national acts that everyone loves, but also brought in some local groups to get the town buzzing! As an extra thank you, we are offering Pocahontas County residents a reduced rate. I mean, who doesn't love bluegrass on Sunday?!
Lets go over a full rundown on anything special you have going on for this year.
Aside from The Bluegrass Jamboree and the stellar line up, you never know what surprises are in store! The EQ Produktions Silent Disco is SURE to please everyone. With great DJs and you in control of the volume, it is a spectacle to watch as well as let loose and enjoy! The Judy Chops have also been helping us with themed stages and funky dancers during sets. We also have surprises from our sponsors, ENO and Mountain State Brewing, that you will just have to come out and see! Last but not least, Stanlee himself will pull out some tricks from the ol' sleeve.
To see the full lineup for Camp Barefoot 6, click here: campbarefoot.org/artists
By John Reinhold