Band credits Summer Camp to national success

By Alyssa Donovan

May 25, 2013 Updated May 27, 2013 at 12:55 PM CDT

CHILLICOTHE, Ill.-- Household musical names like Willie Nelson and Huey Lewis have graced the stage at the Summer Camp music festival. But the festival is also known for discovering unknown artists.

Festival promoters seek out undiscovered bands to grace the same stage as the headliners.

Promoter Mike Armintrout said, "It's those big names that are helping sell the tickets but it's those young hungry bands playing the festival who are out really excited to be part of the bill and be able to say they are playing with those other artists."

One of the most successful bands to come out of Summer Camp is headliner Umphrey's Mcgee out of Chicago.

Band members say the undiscovered talent at the festival helps influence their music.

Bass player Ryan Stasik said, "We're able to see everything from funk to jazz to metal to hip hop so you really get the range to see it all and we like to fancy ourselves as playing a lot of genres in our music so all of those influences really add to."

Armintrout says when Umphrey's Mcgee first played the festival in 2003, the band was just becoming known in the Midwest. "Now they're a national headliner and they're a very key element to the festival so I definitely think that their involvement with the festival and us putting them on a level to be that kind of marquee act of the festival we hope that has something to do with their growth and their popularity."

Keyboard player Joel Cummins said, "It has really become our home festival being just a few hours away from Chicago but we can count on every Memorial Day being able to come down here with a lot of people that are just ready to have a great time."

Armintrout says Summer Camp gives unknown bands a chance to be heard and make a name for themselves.