The first Solshine music and art reverie opens Thursday at Three Sisters Paradise


CHILLICOTHE (25News Now) – Some 15,000 to 20,000 people will camp out at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe later this week to listen to a weekend of live music, but this year they won’t be attending the Summer Camp Music Festival.

Summer camp is still running, Solshine Music and Arts Fantasia is taking its place, and volunteers are busy setting up the venue this week.

Summer camp has been held at the park for the past 23 years, excluding 2020, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new festival will feature about 150 artists, 20 fewer than the summer camp, and will have only five stages instead of nine. All headliners will also perform on the “Moonshine” main stage.

The band Moe recently pulled out of the festival due to what the members said was a family emergency.

Festival producer Ian Goldberg said while the event has shrunk in size, the talent has not.

“There’s a lot of great music,” Goldberg said. “Everything comes from local and regional artists who are becoming some of the top headliners, like Goose and John Summit, and Deadmau5. [They are] Artists who are touring around the world.

Upon their return, former “Scampers” can still enjoy familiar favorites such as the Illuminated Forest, which will include more local art and installations, late-night barn shows, VIP lounges and extensive tent and RV camping.

Goldberg said he believes the festival is the beginning of a return to the origins of summer camp.

“It’s really about building community, starting with the music and then just spending all the time with friends and enjoying this unique environment,” Goldberg said. “We have a wonderful park here and we decorate it with all the arts and entertainment so everyone has a great time.”

This year, he said, they are also trying to promote people to enjoy the festival and take advantage of educational classes and other events held during the festival.

“We want to see people take advantage of the opportunities we provide to learn about sustainability and some environmental issues,” Goldberg said.

The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office is also preparing for security efforts during the holidays, but Sheriff Chris Watkins said there won’t be any major changes to how police keep people safe this year.

“We usually send about 15 officers along with the Chillicothe police, [and we] Been out there working security all weekend,” Watkins said. “We’ve been through a lot of different scenarios. We know how to handle a lot of different things that are thrown at us.

Watkins said he hopes festival-goers won’t be afraid to call police or medical personnel for help if something goes wrong.

The festival runs from the evening of Thursday, May 24, to Sunday, May 26, but the band will play until 4am on Monday.

Tickets can be purchased here. You can check out the lineup here.

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