Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — 10 Bands to Take the Kiddos To @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I love getting to share live music experiences with my kids.  There are definitely some bands at the 2015 Summer Camp Music Festival that you will want to take your kiddos to.  Here are some of the top bands to check out with the kids:

Family Groove Company

family groove company

Picture was taken from the Family Groove Company website.

Family Groove Company plays music that is a blend of jazz/funk and so much fun for the kids to dance to.  Their groove is infectious and you can’t help but dance when they are playing.  You can catch them at 6:30 pm as part of the pre-party on Thursday March 21 at the Starshine Stage or at the Starshine Stage at noon on Saturday March 23.  I am sure that this will be one of the few shows that I personally catch on Thursday night as I have to head back to take my daughter on her field trip Friday.  This will be their 12th straight performance at Summer Camp.  They currently are based out of Chicago although they met and formed in California.  Plus Janis Wallin is a mom so you rest assured that she is really going to enjoy seeing your children grooving along.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe


I couldn’t help but post this awesome sefly that I took with the man himself.  This has seriously been one of my highlights of my career since it was such an amazing experience.

Karl Denson is an amazing man and when you get to sit down and talk with him, as I got to at Phases of the Moon last year, you realize that he is a down to earth family man as well.  For someone who has such an impressive music career and has played with some of the best in the business (like The Rolling Stones) it is refreshing to hear him talk to you like you are old friends.  I will admit that at first I was a little starstruck but he quickly made me feel right at ease.  His love for children combined with my children’s love for his makes him a must see at every festival where he is at.   So I say that Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe is a must for every parent attending Summer Camp this year.  Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe plays the Starshine Stage at 11:00 pm.  While I will admit that this is late for kids, mine are going to take a very late evening time nap and we are going to have some snacks for them to enjoy the show right before bed.

Keller Williams and Grateful Grass

Keller Williams

Picture was taken from the official Keller Williams website.

Keller Williams is a name that my kids know very well.  Thanks to his Kids album I no longer dread having to listen to music that my kids beg for.  Many times there are kids albums that are just annoying but thankfully Keller does the kids album the right way.  It features fun lighthearted songs that are perfect for kids but seriously has great music so that even the parents will love it too.  My children also listen to other albums of Keller’s since I have about 10 of his albums on my iPhone.  In fact I have more music of Keller Williams than anything else.  Plus you can tell when he is recording with his kids and spending as much time as possible during this down time with his family, that he really is a great dad which makes me want to support the music even more.  (If you are a parent and you have not checked out the Kids album I highly suggest you follow this link and pick up a copy.  It is one album that you will NEVER regret purchasing…I promise!)  Keller Williams and Grateful Grass play Friday March 22 at 5:00 pm on the Moonshine Stage.  This is a great time for a show to enjoy with your family.  If you have someone to watch your kids, Keller Williams plays a solo set at 2:00 am at the intimate Campfire Stage (this is one of my favorite places to see bands because the stage is so intimate and personal, you almost feel like it is a private show just for you!).  I am sure that my hubby and I will be fighting about who gets to attend that show!

Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers

Bruce Hornsby

Picture was taken from the Bruce Hornsby website.

I have to admit that I think of Bruce Hornsby as a creative genius.  I LOVE watching him play and find it amazing that he is so talented.  He is one performer attending Summer Camp 2015 that I am ecstatic to see.  In fact I even tried to talk my oldest son’s dad into letting me pick him up that day so that he can enjoy this experience with us all.  It is going to be amazing to see Bruce Hornsby gracing the Summer Camp stages.  He is performing with moe. at 1:15 pm on the Moonshine Stage and with the Noisemakers at 3:30 pm on the same stage on Sunday May 24, 2015.  It is going to be an amazing time that you do not want to miss.

Steve Miller Band

Steve Miller Band

Picture was taken from the Steve Miller Band website.

Taking your kids to see the Steve Miller Band is like taking them to see a legend.  This is one legend that I listen to that I have not yet seen live.  My kids do appreciate his music too which makes it easier for us to plan a family day of listening to great music.  The Steve Miller Band plays at 5:30 pm on the Moonshine Stage.

Yonder Mountain String Band

yonder mountain string band

Picture taken from the Yonder Mountain String Band website.

Yonder Mountain String Band has always been a fun one for us to take our kids to.  We are also HUGE fans of Allie Kral so I love that she is now touring with the band.  I am so excited to see them playing together and am hopeful that maybe I will run into Allie in the crowds and get to chat with her a bit (I have been a HUGE fan of hers for over 10 years!).  So you can be certain that I am going to be at the Sunshine Stage at 2:45 on Sunday May 24th.

Old Shoe

Old Shoe

Photo from the after party shows for Phish last summer at the Hard Rock in Chicago, my picture.

Old Shoe is a regional act based out of Chicago.  They are so much fun to see and they really love children.  I could tell this personally last year when I took my youngest to see them play in Peoria.  In fact Adeline loves their music and was dancing so much that several people approached me saying how cute she was.  I am excited to share another Old Shoe experience with my kids, this just all of them instead of one.  Old Shoe plays at 2 pm at the Campfire Stage on Saturday May 23rd.

Chicago Farmer

Chicago Farmer

Photo taken from the Chicago Farmer website.

I have to admit that I might be slightly partial here.  I love Chicago Farmer and I LOVE getting to see him live.  His 1000th show is happening in Bloomington IL this weekend and we are debating going.  (It’s Mother’s Day and the whole family is coming to our house the next day is the debate…lol…otherwise there would be no debate!)  My kid really love his music and love seeing him play so they are going to enjoy seeing him this year at Summer Camp.  He is playing on the Campfire Stage at 3:30 pm.  Make sure to check out his merch table too for some of his wife’s handmade jewelry that is crafted from old guitar and bass strings from regional artists.

Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic

Picture taken from the Widespread Panic website.

I have to admit that my kids are probably bigger fans of Widespread Panic than my husband and I.  They LOVE the band and LOVE their music.  In fact if my kids are all fighting and screaming in the car I can start playing “Ribs and Whiskey” (my personal favorite Panic song) and they all stop and start singing along.  It is like a magical little piece of music that has probably saved our lives at times when I am tired and driving home and really tired of hearing them all fight!  You can check out Widespread Panic at both 7 pm and 9 pm on the Sunshine Stage.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead

joe russo

Photo taken from

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is a band that really offers a fun and lively show.  Their energy is something that my kids really enjoy.  Plus they like their music which helps to keep them engaged the entire show.  Personally if my kids do not love what you play, it is unlikely that it is going to be a great experience for me to be in your audience.  Thankfully they have good taste and are Joe Russo fans like their mama.  Joe Russo’s Almost Dead plays Saturday May 23 at 5:30 pm on the Moonshine Stage.

So these are my top ten shows that I am going to be catching with my kids during Summer Camp.  If you have kids maybe you will see us hanging out and stop by to say hi.  The kid really do love making new friends to hang out with.