Music at Camp

Learn more about Camp Wandawega's love affair with music

Camp and music: they go together like campfires and campfire songs. From videos, to recording sessions, to band press photos, to live events, music has always been an integral part of life at Camp Wandawega.


Recording Sessions

Recording Sessions

Chris Connelly, The Episodes

The landscape at Camp – including natural hollows and kettles – makes for pretty good acoustics. With that in mind, native Scotsman, former member of Ministry and The Revolting Cocks and founding member of Fini Tribe, Chris Connelly came to Camp. He brought with him a crack band culled from Califone, Joan of Arc, Town & Country, US Maple and other Chicago jazz and improv luminaries. The Episodes, Connelly’s eighth full-length solo work, was produced by Joan of Arc’s Tim Kinsella and Town & Country’s Ben Vida. Recorded on location at Camp Wandawega, in the Summer of 2006 and finished at 4 Deuces Studios, Chicago.

Music Videos

Music Videos

Empires: Keep It Steady

Everyone knows Camp Wandawega is a great place to blow off steam. For Empires, that meant campfire jam sessions, flaming arrows and rope swings while Chris Strong’s cameras rolled. The outcome: the official video for Keep It Steady. Read the story here. Empires have performed at Lollapalooza and have played with such acts as Kaiser Chiefs, The Temper Trap, Maps & Atlases, Colour Revolt, A Silent Film, The Whigs, Blue October, Black Francis, Mona (band) and Biffy Clyro. Watch the video here.

Photo Sessions

Photo Sessions

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's

Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s is a band from Indianapolis, Indiana. Their style has been described as “cinematic chamber pop” that “both the casual music fan and music perfectionist will enjoy”. When they were signed by Epic Records (Sony), photographer/director Chris Strong brought the band to Camp Wandawega for their first batch of press photos. Chris also shot We Are Empires at camp recently, check it out.

Live Music

Live Music

Band Camp +

Over the years, we’ve held a number of adult “Band Camps” and Campfire Sessions. The early years were sponsored by Earhole Studios and The Royal Order and featured excursions to the indescribably-awesome Trailer Races at Lake Geneva. A more recent affair was an impromptu private gathering with our friends at Longman & Eagle and featured a treehouse-set by Bare Mutants. According to The Examiner: “Led by Jered Gummere of The Ponys fame, this ensemble is the prom band you’ve always wanted.”

A peek at what happened the weekend of their visit.

Additionally, we hosted an awesome weekend with Soho house that involved performances by Corinne Bailey Rae and a killer DJ set by Nick Monaco. Check out the video of that weekend here.

At this summer’s Stock Mfg. Campfire Jamboree we were treated to the musical styling’s of Chicago’s own Rookie.

Curated Playlists

What’s the perfect soundtrack for Camp Wandawega? Depends who you ask. To give you a few examples, we asked tour manager Michael Hernandez, musician Tim Kinsella, and Filter Magazine’s Manager of Business Development, Monique Gilbert. Let’s hear what they have to say…

Tim Kinsella

  1. Karen Dalton “Something on Your Mind”
  2. Goblin “Suspiria”
  3. Van Morrison “Astral Weeks”

Monique Gilbert

  1. Tom Waits “Ol 55”
  2. Nina Simone “I Shall Be Released”
  3. Karen Dalton “Something on Your Mind”

Michael Hernandez

  1. Soul Clap featuring Baby Prince & The Fam “The Clapping Song”
  2. Zakee “Freedom”
  3. Kool & The Gang “Summer Madness”