Camp Punksylvania comes to Circle Drive-In with The Casualties, Guttermouth, and more Sept. 9-11
Over the weekend, Camp Punksylvania, a music festival delivering “three days and nights of nonstop punk rock and camping” with “an emphasis on local/regional music as well as mental health, human rights, and equality,” announced its main stage lineup for Friday, Sept. 9 through Sunday, Sept. 11 at the Circle Drive-In Theatre in Dickson City.
Guttermouth, The Casualties, and Get Dead are given top billing, followed by Mephiskapheles, The Bar Stool Preachers, Chaser, Some Kind of Nightmare, Froggy, Our Darkest Days, Jukebox Romantics, Fat Chance, Racist Kramer, Backyard Superheroes, Working Class Stiffs, Ugli, Doc Rotten, Hipshot, Olde Tigers, Dissidente, The Whiskey Bats, Bern and the Bastards, Middle Aged Queers, Huntingtons, The Mostly Dead, Cardboard Homestead, The What Nows, One Sided, Sorry Mom, and more to come.
Making its Northeastern Pennsylvania debut this year, the event will also feature afterparties, bonfires, food, late-night movies, games, vendors, booze, “and a shit-ton more.”
Tickets, which range from $45 for a single day pass to $300 for a VIP weekend pass with camping on the grounds of the Circle Drive-In (1911 Scranton/Carbondale Hwy., Dickson City), are on sale now at early bird prices at camppunksylvania.com. Use code EARLYBIRD to save $25 on weekend passes.
NEPA Scene reached out to the organizers, Riot Squad Media, to learn more about Camp Punksylvania and they provided the following statement:
After the news of no more Camp Anarchy in Ohio, we wanted to make sure we had a way to stay connected with the people we met at the festival in previous years. We decided to have a backyard get-together in Central Pennsylvania with a couple of bands around a bonfire. Eventually, others caught wind of this mini reunion, so we decided to make it something more accessible for people to enjoy. COVID hit at the peak of our planning and put a halt to just about everything. For us, this was absolutely a blessing in disguise at the time. Quite frankly, we had no idea what we were doing. We took this time to rethink and turn Camp into something more serious than a backyard party.
After some venue changes and other various obstacles, the very first Camp Punksylvania finally took place in September of 2021 at Four Quarters in Artemas, Pennsylvania. With 23 bands on the lineup spread over three days [including Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Queers, Blanks 77, and Public Serpents], Camp Punksylvania saw just over 300 weekend campers, as well as about 100 single-day ticket holders each day. Being an all-ages event, Camp Punksylvania hosted attendees from all over the East Coast, parts of the Midwest and West Coast, Canada, and more, ranging from 12 years old to 75 years old. One of the main goals of Camp Punksylvania was to bring people together, and we did just that in 2021. Guests flocked to the stage for performances, explored the grounds, made new friends, and participated in fun events such as a crazy conga line, group campfire sing-a-longs, morning coffee, and so much more.
This year, we are kicking it up a notch! We’ve got some tricks up our sleeves and the official afterparties are yet to be announced.
Additionally, they explained the decision to relocate to the Scranton area:
After a wildly successful and fun first year, we decided it would be best to find somewhere to call home. Over the years, we have attended several events (shout out to Scranton Punk Collective!) at the Circle Drive-In such as flea markets, film fests, and more. The Electric City has a bustling scene and so much to do. Instantly feeling accepted by the local community, punk scene, and owners of the Circle Drive-In, this just felt like a no-brainer to us. We are so honored to be working with such wonderful people to plant our seeds in Scranton and make this the official home of Camp Punksylvania for many years to come.
“I’m very excited to be able to host Camp Punksylvania again this year at our new venue, the Circle Drive-In. Our group has been working so hard in making this year even more amazing than last year. Although I can’t say too much yet, this is only the beginning,” said Terry Smith, co-founder and director of production operations at Riot Squad.
“One of our main goals other than providing a great time for our guests is to get them listening to things they may have never heard before. We really wanted to make sure we delivered on this year’s lineup. There is so much great music being made by wonderful people, and we are so excited to showcase some of it,” added Laura Rose, co-founder and director of operations and public relations.
“If we can get you to come out for Guttermouth and you fall in love with Froggy and Working Class Stiffs, our job is done.”
Formed in Huntington Beach, California in 1988, Guttermouth was heavily influenced by the Southern California punk rock scenes of the 1980s that spawned bands such as the Adolescents, Social Distortion, The Vandals, Fear, Descendents, Angry Samoans, Bad Religion, and Black Flag. The band took these influences and developed their own style of fast punk tempos and humorously sarcastic and offensive lyrics, coupled with equally outrageous and offensive behavior, developing a reputation for chaotic live shows.
In 2017, Guttermouth released a double LP called “The Whole Enchilada” via Rude Records in collaboration with Bird Attack Records. Coming after the release of their 2016 EPs “Got It Made” and “New Car Smell,” the album consists of reworkings of the band’s greatest hits in a live environment enriched by three unreleased tracks, plus a remastered version of the two EPs.
“This zesty recording captures the true essence of the Guttermouth live show with all the debauchery one has come to expect for these clowns… or us,” singer Mark Adkins said. “Two brand new studio tracks are also included within Guttermouth’s magnum opus.”
This record is the perfect blend of what they’re all about – an unmissable collection for diehard fans and a great way to discover one of the seminal bands in the U.S. skate punk scene. It is surely a must-have for all the lovers of speedy riffs, stuck-in-the-head choruses, and outrageously funny lyrics.
No cow is sacred. No beer is safe. No line can’t be crossed. Their don’t-give-a-damn attitude is what made people fall in love with punk music the first time around. That or hate it – it’s pretty much the same for Guttermouth. With nearly 30 years of tours, nine full-length studio albums, six EPs, and two live albums, they are ready to get back on the road and keep shocking their worldwide audience.
Established in New York City in 1990, The Casualties combine influences from the classic punk sound of GBH, The Exploited, English Dogs, Discharge, and UK Subs with modern extreme sounds and a thrash/crossover edge, becoming one of the most revered American street punk bands on the planet.
In 2018, they released the blistering “Written in Blood,” their first studio album to feature David Rodriguez (Starving Wolves, Krum Bums) on vocals alongside longtime members Jake Kolatis (guitar), Marc Eggers (drums), and Rick Lopez (bass).
It was well-received, so in 2019, the legendary band jumped back into the studio to unleash their fury on some of the highlights from their extensive catalog, dating all the way back to their 1997 debut album “For the Punx.” The result was “Until Death,” which includes all new supercharged versions of such classics as “Unknown Soldier,” “We Are All We Have,” “Punk Rock Love,” and more.
The group continues to thrive with Rodriguez as they tour across the United States and Europe in 2022.
Ask the members of Get Dead how long it took to release their latest album and they’ll probably say “forever.” Even though the San Francisco band started recording it more than two years before its 2020 debut, “Dancing with the Curse” (Fat Wreck Chords) feels perfectly timed for now.
Look no further than the song “Pepperspray,” written long before the protests in the summer of 2020. They had begun collaborating with activist/artist collective Indecline on a video before the George Floyd protests erupted. If there was any time to share the message of “Pepperspray,” this was it.
“We wanted to just be able to cut through the noise and have some kind of impact,” vocalist Sam King explained, “and to try to let people know that what they’re doing is OK and people are behind them.”
Get Dead rolls only five deep – King, guitarists Mike McGuire and Kyle Santos, bassist Tim Mehew, and drummer Scott Powell – but “Dancing with the Curse” sounds like an army. Produced by D-Composers (Fat Mike, Johnny Carey, Baz Bastien, Yotam Ben Horin) and Chris Dugan (Green Day), its 12 songs build on 2016’s “Honesty Lives Elsewhere” without rehashing it.
While the record features Get Dead’s signature NorCal punk sound, balancing bombast with up-picked bounce and dirt-smudged acoustic songs, listeners will notice some curious moments. Subtle electronic flourishes lurk in songs like “Disruption,” “Glitch,” “Confrontation,” and “Take It.” The album opens with an atmospheric intro built on King’s gravelly voice and hip-hop-inflected cadence – a happy accident.
“I was supposed to be sending Fat Mike a new demo for one of the songs,” King recalled. “I ended up sending him some of my stuff that I just screw around with at home because I used to do hip-hop stuff. I sent that to him and he really liked it. He’s like, ‘We’re putting this as the intro.’”
These sonic detours suit a band that isn’t known to stay in one place for too long since their formation in 2007. “Our first EP was hardcore, and then the next one was straight acoustic, almost country shit,” King noted. “We get bored easily if we were just to stay the same thing.”
And after writing “Honesty Lives Elsewhere” in the aftermath of a friend’s suicide, Get Dead was ready to move on.
“I don’t think anyone really realized that it was happening, as much as it was a way that we were processing what happened,” King said of writing “Honesty.” “It just so happened that we were supposed to be making an album at that point. That one was a bummer, man. This one, it’s a lot more upbeat, more along lines of how we normally are.”
Reaching that place was a process. Get Dead originally recorded with Chris Dugan, but then Fat Wreck Chords co-founder Fat Mike heard the songs. “He was like, ‘Naw, you guys can do better than this,’” King said, laughing. So the band decamped to Six Floggs Studio in Los Angeles to continue with D-Composers.
“Chris did an amazing job. It sounded great, and we were super psyched on it,” King noted. “Mike knows how to keep us on track with our stuff and just call us on our bullshit. I’m glad that he and those boys had us do what we did to it because it got way better. But it’s been a long journey, for sure.”
Yet a worthwhile one. “Dancing with the Curse” is Get Dead’s most self-assured album yet, one perfectly suited to the times – raw, energized, frustrated, but ultimately unbowed.