Schenectady County

Snoop Dogg puts Camp Bisco on map

Snoop Dogg peered through a pair of dark glasses and thrust a hand in the air. “If you’re havin’ a g
The crowd fills the grounds of the Indian Lookout Club in Mariaville on Thursday for Camp Bisco.
The crowd fills the grounds of the Indian Lookout Club in Mariaville on Thursday for Camp Bisco.

Snoop Dogg peered through a pair of dark glasses and thrust a hand in the air.

“If you’re havin’ a good time, wave your hands like this,” he shouted, as a deafening roar came from a crowd of several thousand gathered at the Indian Lookout Point Country Club.

Stage lights illuminated the marijuana-laced smoke filling the air as the rapper took the stage Thursday during the first night of Camp Bisco, a three-day music festival making its second appearance at the 177-acre campground off Batter Street.

Snoop Dogg was the highest profile act booked for the event, which is headlined by the fusion jam band, the Disco Biscuits.

Fans rushed to the main stage in anticipation of the performer’s appearance and erupted into boisterous cheers when he finally appeared. But despite Snoop’s one-night performance — a stop-off between shows at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn and the Comcast Center in Massachusetts — many fans attending the festival appeared more interested in the Biscuits.

Organizers estimated that about 7,500 people would attend this weekend. Though unofficial, the attendance appeared to eclipse the 5,600 people who came to the festival last year.

Biscuits bassist Marc Brownstein was thrilled to make a return to the country club. It’s the only time the event has returned to the same concert ground throughout its seven-year history.

And to celebrate their return, the Biscuits plan to take the stage at least five more times over the course of the weekend. Brownstein will add a sixth performance with the British band, Younger Brother.

“Tired is not in our vocabulary,” he said following the Biscuit’s opening performance Thursday.

Brownstein was humbled to share a stage with Snoop Dogg this year, and offered praise to the performer. He said the festival has developed a knack for attracting like-minded musicians of varying popularity — something that the event’s loyal fan base has come to appreciate.

“This is about getting the fans that care about us together and giving them one treat after another,” he said.

One of those treats was the band Fiction Plane, an English rock band featuring Joe Sumner, the son of Police frontman Sting. The band opened up three days of performances as fans slowly trickled into the country club.

John Cole, a Biscuit fan from Philadelphia, said the rapper’s performance was an extra during a weekend where he enjoys the low-key atmosphere and a procession of performers. He said the smaller size of the event makes it a destination during the summer.

“I just love the vibe,” he said, while waiting to enter the country club. “It’s not too intense and it’s not too mellow.”

Likewise, Rachel Bacon of Massachusetts said she attends the event because of its intimate feel. She said Camp Bisco is one of the few festivals she can attend where both her friends and her musical preferences are broadly represented.

“This is like the biggest throwdown for the people I love,” she said.

Georgia Smith of Massachusetts was attending the festival for her first time. Though she considers herself an avid Biscuits fan, she said Snoop Dogg convinced her to attend the festival this year. “For sure,” she said.

Camp Bisco also featured Brownstein’s voter registration group, HeadCount. In 2004, he helped found the nonpartisan organization, which aims to register about 100,000 people during concerts and festivals this year.

Festival Coordinator Larissa Albright had already registered about 200 people Thursday, and persuaded another 300 to sign a pledge to vote. She said having the registration booth at the Biscuits’ music festival helps their young fans connect with the voting process.

“Once a young person registers to vote, they continue to vote throughout their lives,” she said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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