People of the Party #6 - Camp Disco
Preparing to head into its fifth year, Camp Disco is set to return with a bang this June. The idea of going to a big festival with young children was quite daunting for the self-proclaimed ‘old raver’ Si Mclean, Camp Disco’s director. So instead, five years ago, he gathered a group of like-minded friends to create an alternative.
“I didn’t set out to run a festival” Si explains. "We were just a group of friends coming together, we all had babies and young kids, and we wanted to go out camping and just let the kids go crazy. But being old ravers we also wanted to bring some music and get a soundsystem out there."
Initially a small, private affair, Camp Disco has since organically outgrown its humble roots to become a fully-fledged festival. It returns this year on a brand new site, for its biggest-ever edition. Si points out that getting to this point owes largely to word of mouth, as previous editions have had little to no formal promotion.
"It started out on an organic farm in Ashbourne, so we were restricted with numbers, sound, even how many vehicles we could let in, and for this reason we were never really able to publicise it properly. You sort of had to know someone. Almost a little bit cliquey, as though it was an ‘exclusive’ club, but that wasn’t that way it’s just it had grown up through our friendship circle, and friends of friends."
Know How, by Young MC, a Camp Disco favourite
The Peak District setting, freshly relocated to the beautiful rolling meadows of Alfreton, provides the perfect backdrop to a family-oriented weekend. The festival will take place on 21-23 June - this year’s summer solstice - meaning the weekend is perfectly positioned to take full advantage of the warm, sunny surroundings (fingers-crossed).
According to Si, the child-friendly element of the festival is, and always will be massively important. “It’s a family festival, basically, where the kids can just go feral. Last year I fed my kids but I didn’t see them for the majority of the rest of the time. They’d pop up every now and again, covered in dirt and sticks and just having a great time. Get kids away from screens, that’s my mission.”
This year’s event is indeed jam-packed with activities for kids, with everything from a massive water slide to a giant sandpit to a circus tent with a trapeze. The theme of the event is ‘dead famous’, which, rather unsurprisingly, means basically anyone who’s both dead and famous.
Whilst making the festival kid-friendly has always been a priority, this doesn’t distract from the quality of music on offer:
“We’ve got everything, from The Allergies, who will bring the stompers on Saturday night to the stripped-down techno of Jamie Anderson. There is DJ Format too, I’ve worked with him a lot before, great guy and a really amazing DJ as well. We’re working with Black Beacon Sound who are curating a full stage this year. We’ve got live music too, some bands, a lot of stuff basically”.
You can listen to Si talking more about the lineup in the video below.
Last minute crew can still grab their ticket for this year’s festival here.