Camp Nowhere returns for its second year in just two weeks with an all-star lineup including ODESZA, ZHU, and Gryffin, as well as Chelsea Cutler*, Ashe*, and Robotaki (* on select dates). Ahead of the event, we caught up with Camp Nowhere’s talent buyer at C3 Presents, Bobby Clay.
We asked Bobby about the difficulties of having a festival in three cities over three days, as well as what he looked for in artists and how it would keep the “Camp” part of Camp Nowhere alive. It’s obvious in Bobby’s answers that he’s passionate about the event, and we love to see it.
Read below! Tickets to Camp Nowhere are still available here.
How did the decision come about to host the festival in three cities on three different days, rather than one big festival on one day?
Doing one big show is without question the more traditional approach to a large scale event, maybe even the more logical one. However we really feel that we need to continue the 3 show plan from 2018 and take the show on the road and bring it to these cities in order to bolster a core fanbase. It requires so much more work, planning and time to do it this way but it’s really the only way I can see for us operating right now. We want to bring it to the fans’ front door and hopefully engage them to the point where they will come celebrate with us wherever we may land next year. Camp Nowhere is still very much in the “prove it” phase and we love that. That’s so exciting to us. We are only a year 2 show and we like having a lot of room to spread our wings and grow.
When booking the festival, what criteria where you looking for in artists? Was it that they had something special or unique? Was there any consideration to a theme when looking at possible acts?
We really just focused on working with bands that we love. There is not one band on this lineup that we don’t listen to in our down time, not one. I am probably one of the biggest ODESZA fans on the planet and the opportunity to work with them on this event is truly an honor. When the opportunity came to have ODESZA, ZHU, Gryffin, Chelsea Cutler, Ashe and Robotaki I was completely awestruck. This is a bucket list show for someone like me. It’s equally exciting to see how much of a collaborative effort this has become between the bands us. Everyone is a part of it and everyone is coming together to share their art with each other, bands, fans and even us the promoter.
How will Camp Nowhere really incorporate the “camp” aspect of its title?
I’m so glad you asked that — clearly there is no camping allowed at these venues. The way we use the word camp is not how maybe most would. We use the word camp as a designation for a place and time. Camping is a state of mind at Camp Nowhere. Yes, we play on the throwback vibe of classic American summer camps but really, we loved the contrast between the literal definitions of camp and nowhere. It’s almost like were really saying Welcome to Nowhere. We don’t pretend to be a pseudo camping festival where you can connect with nature, sleep in a bunk, swim in the lake and all that stuff. We are in city settings for the most part and we love that. It’s more like a psychedelic day camp for adults.
Apart from listening to the music, what else can attendees do at Camp Nowhere to make their experience the most memorable?
Arrive early, hydrated and with an open mind! Wander around the venues and wander around your section in Dallas and Austin. Introduce yourself to people. Welcome new people into your crew. We were really lucky that the venues were open to allowing us a GA setup in the areas that are typically seated. The 100 and 200 section in Dallas are GA and the 200 section in Austin is GA. That means that if you bought a ticket in these sections you can sit wherever you want to in that section. This was extremely important to both ODESZA and us and thankfully the venues were on board. It just helps facilitate a more welcoming and free vibe in these spaces. We want you to be with your friends but we totally get it that not everybody can buy their tickets at the same time. So hopefully this helps people be with their friends and maybe make some new ones as well.
What are the logistics behind setting up an entire festival in three different cities three days in a row? Are you setting things up in advance or moving everything at once?
It’s a really daunting task taking shows of this magnitude on the road for 3 consecutive nights. 10+ Semis, 150+ people on the road. It’s a huge endeavor. Thankfully we have an incredible team at C3 and with our local partners that are really passionate about producing the most enjoyable, safe and organized events that we possibly can. It’s been a ton of work and there is still a ton to do, but it’s all worth it. When we see people interacting with the art and singing their favorite songs we are reminded why this is best job on the planet. We just want to create a hub that encourages a connection with the bands, yourself and each other. That’s really it!
All the art for the festival so far has had a super psychedelic vibe. Will that aesthetic be reflected in the art and decorations of the festival itself?
First off, I am huge fan of Young & Sick. Artistically and musically. The guy is genius and seeing his interpretation of our vision is humbling to say the least. He has created characters and art pieces that our fans have connected with immediately. We plan to bring some of those key pieces to life at Camp Nowhere. We want give you an opportunity to touch the art, interact with it and take a picture to show your friends later. When you’re working with artist as talented as Y&S it’s not hard bringing things to life and ultimately with the music, art and people we create a microcosm of creativity, self-expression and love!