Top 4 Midwest Camping Festivals

1. Summer Camp Music Festival

      Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois annually features a stacked lineup with returning veterans Umphrey's McGee and Moe. both playing multiple sets during the 3-day-long camping festival. The lineup is as diverse as the crowd, sampling artists covering a multitude of genres, expanding from jam bands to funk and reggae. While Summer Camp consistently offers a massive lineup, the outstanding factor landing it #1 is its prominence as the most conscious music festival on this list, as well as the most family-oriented.

      When entering the festival, one may expect to see festivalgoers with their children at their sides, attending the event alongside their parents. Kid’s camp is just one example of the plethora of involvement opportunities offered to Scampers by the festival’s organizers. Activities range from charitable work such as canned food drives and community outreaches at the Soulshine tent to team-building activities such as Field Day, to mind-body-soul enlightening yoga and dance workshops. With so many additional events going on within the campground beyond the top-notch musical acts, Summer Camp is guaranteed to never have a dull moment!


2. Electric Forest Music Festival

      Electric Forest, while it has proven to be expanding at light speed over the past several years, places number 2 on this list because it is significantly younger than Summer Camp, and thus is not as evolved in its outreach programs. A diverse lineup showcases many big names within the electronic, rock, and instrumental music scenes. What makes Electric Forest truly stand out are the artistic installations found throughout the festival grounds, creating an immersive experience within the festival grounds, allowing attendees to interact with the art pieces and discover the magic of creative brainpower behind the commissioned work. Previous years have featured giant tentacles hanging down from Sherwood Forest’s trees, a miniature house in which festivalgoers could climb and explore, and much more.


3. Summer Set Music Festival

      In only its third year running, Summer Set Music Festival has taken the midwest camping festival scene by storm. Mass-appeal artists as well as some more obscure, undiscovered talents provide every music festival fan with a reason to purchase a ticket. Steeply inclined prices may deter fans, but these funds are undoubtedly being invested in improving each camper’s experience. A nearby river also allows fans to beat the sweltering heat and take a dip in between sets.


4. Rootwire Transformational Arts Festival

      For the astonishingly low price of just $125, including parking and camping, Rootwire provides festival attendees with a more obscure, positive-energy-oriented range of artists for 4 whole days! Gallery works and presentations by Alex & Allyson Grey, founders of CoSM, live painting, art galleries, workshops, swimming ponds, cuddle domes, and fire arts also make Rootwire a strong option to consider when choosing which festivals to hit up this summer.


Written by: Hanna Danecker