The popular pioneering indie rock acts Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven host their eleventh annual “CAMPOUT” three-day music festival at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace in Pioneertown, CA on Thursday, August 27 through Saturday, August 29. The excitement and collective spirit of enthusiasm is notable during discussions with Cracker’s cofounder Johnny Hickman and Camper Van Beethoven’s lead guitarist Greg Lisher.
When asked what he is most looking forward to about the three day “CAMPOUT” event, Hickman provides a powerful response, stating, “It’s always a joy to play for our fans anywhere, any time on tour, but the CAMPOUT is very special in that it attracts people from all over the U.S. and Europe for three days of music and camaraderie. It’s where the extended family come together every year. Words can’t begin to describe the feeling of that. It just has to be experienced.”
Lisher also responds to this question with excitement, answering similarly, “Playing music and seeing and hanging out with all our fans in some beautiful surroundings. It’s quite a lot of fun really. People come from all over the U.S. and there are some from overseas as well.”
When asked what musical opportunities the festival provides that audiences can look forward to hearing, Hickman responds joyfully, “Well, we’ll always play some of our radio hits but we also change things up every year and perform songs from the many Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven albums. The roster is also filled with individual members side projects, solo material and includes other bands who are special to us and have become part of the extended musical family. It’s different every year and that’s a big part of the fun.”
Lisher also responds with an emphasis on fun for everyone involved, saying, “Well, there are the main attractions Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven as well as solo performances by many of the musicians involved in those bands too. I think it’s fun for the fans to see a more detailed breakout (musically speaking) of the players who usually play more of a sideman role on a regular basis. Plus other bands that are outside the musical family that are invited to play too. It’s just a lot of fun.”
In total, the two bands have released a combined four albums in the last two years as their own personal homages to specific regions of California. These albums are Cracker’s 2014 double album Berkeley to Bakersfield and Camper Van Beethoven’s last two studio efforts, La Costa Perdida from 2013 and El Camino Real from 2014.