Break out the zinc oxide and pitch a tent — it’s Summer Camp time. See how some of our local favorites Elsinore, Zmick, Headlights and Peoria-natives Two Girls will celebrate this weekend of live music in the great outdoors.
buzz: Who are you most excited to play with at Summer Camp this year?
Elsinore: We’re excited to see The Flaming Lips and The Roots.
Zmick: We’re excited to play alongside all the great artists at the festival, but we’re especially excited to check out The Avett Brothers, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic, STS9, and, and The Flaming Lips.
Tristan from Headlights: We would have been excited to see The Flaming Lips, but we actually play in Detroit that night so we have to leave right after we play. We’re really bummed, but it’s the first night of our tour, so we don’t really have a choice.
Joel from Two Girls: Dark Meat is playing, so that should be pretty cool. We played with them about a month ago and it was pretty great.
buzz: Did you guys ever go to summer camp? (The sleep-away, t-ball playing kind).
Elsinore: No, but I saw Heavyweights a few times growing up. You know, the fat-camp movie.
Zmick: Two of us did and definitely learned some essential outdoor skills to help with the camping at the festival.
Headlights: I went one summer and it wasn’t really sleep-away. I mean, we went on camping trips over the weekend. Nick, our bass player, went to jazz camp.
buzz: What are the differences for you guys between playing local venues and playing festivals?
Elsinore: Well, the outdoorsy, everyone selling pot or mushrooms or cookies with something in them or half-cooked chicken or burritos or eggs- things is way different than anything downtown Champaign or Canopy-area Urbana has to offer. I guess sometimes you feel like swinging either way. I don’t really know if that answers anything, though.
Zmick:Local venues are great because we have a chance to really build our crowd with a lot of shows in one area. All the venues are inside. What we really love about playing festivals is that they are outside and we have an opportunity to play for tons of people that have never heard us before.
Headlights: Festivals are a much larger scale, and of course, are generally outside. Playing outside is fun but challenging because the sound is very different and it all kind of disappears into the atmosphere. You kind of just have to trust that it sounds good. Also, usually there are a lot of acts, so you don’t really get a sound check. You just kind of throw your stuff on stage and play. It’s always a fun environment, though.
Two Girls: There will be a lot of people who don’t normally get to see us play. We play local shows where almost 70 percent of the crowd sees us play all the time. I’m not really sure what this is going to be like. Of course, we love playing outside. I’m just planning on cranking up my amps, and as loud as I am, it won’t be as loud as if we were inside.
buzz: What’s your tentative summer timeline?
Elsinore: In June, we’ll spend a week and a half out in the Midwest, then two weeks off for vacation. July 5 through August 9 we head west, get all the way to Portland, turn south, keep on Highway 1 until San Diego, then turn back towards home, where we land just in time for a street-fest in downtown Champaign with Headlights, Krukid and Tall Tale on August 9. Then, we release the new record.
Zmick: We look forward to really focusing on making a quality EP of some sorts, but our plans are up in the air. We’ll be back in Urbana on June 14 and July 12 for shows at the Canopy Club.
Headlights: After Summer Camp, we leave for a tour with a band called Submarines. With them we’ll go up through eastern Canada and down the East Coast for about two weeks. Then a few days later we go on tour with Mates of State for a couple of weeks, and we’re really stoked about that. After that, we’re going on a little tour by ourselves up to Calgary, and that’ll be a lot of fun.
Two Girls: We’re not touring until August. We’re probably just going to start working on the new album, recording and everything. Then in August we’ll take off for a week or two for some shows out of town.
buzz: What are your camping essentials for Summer Camp?
Elsinore: Baby wipes, a tent, three t-shirts a day, fresh undies, back-up shorts, large flashlight that doubles as blunt object for protection, Dave’s nightlight, Mark’s Rush Limbaugh books-on-tape, Chris’ sleep apnea machine, and a sign to carry around that says, “No, we don’t want whatever you’re selling. Thanks.”
Zmick: We’re definitely bringing an air mattress, a barbeque and a polystyrene-free nalgene water bottle.
Headlights: Since we’re playing in Chicago the night before, we’re going to drive down at night and crash somewhere, who knows where. I hope we get to snack on some toasted marshmallows or something.

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