Video Production : Elliott Beenk & Joe Bookman
Contributing Writer : Griffen Harris
Contributing Photographer : Carrie Guenther
Camp Euforia, a festival founded by Iowa City’s own Euforquestra, is a festival aimed at providing attendees with an excellent taste of world, afro-Cuban, jam and reggae music, as well as a selection of up-and-coming local talent. In 2003, Euforquestra created the festival collaborating with friend and co-founder Jerry Hotz, owner of the farmland that Camp Euforia inhabits each year for two days of musical exploration, near Lone Tree. This partnership has created an ever-expanding annual event that continues to garner more and more attention on a national scale over the past seven years. Much of the music featured at Camp Euforia 2010 explored the world and “jam” genres although a few ventured into jazz/funk fusion like The Uniphonics of Iowa City; however, others explored more experimental realms such as Juno What?! (on tour from Colorado) and Eoto among others.
The bands featured at this year’s festival managed to erase age barriers and appeal to children and grandparents to create a genuine musical experience. The diversity of Camp Euforia is impressive in many aspects, not the least of which is its dedication to the local community. This can be seen by M.C. Ginsberg’s, a local jeweler, recurring sponsorship of the festival’s main stage, as well as the Iowa City Yacht Club’s stage and overall continued dedication to the improvement of the local music scene.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER PHOTOS
Another great feature of Camp Euforia is the inclusion of a free Saturday Morning Yoga class from Victor-Ian Yarn & Yoga – similar to those seen at larger festivals across the nation. This class allows any attendee to participate in professional yoga instruction absolutely free in the comfort of the euphoric landscape. Camp Euforia’s dedication to local life is astounding, and is representative of the grass roots music and community movement embodied to the hilt by Jerry Hotz (who allows nearly 1,500 people to temporarily inhabit his land each year!). In the coming year, Camp Euforia 2011 plans to expand and progress to new heights. Eric Quiner, former keyboardist of the founding band, Euforquestra, was quoted in the Gazette stating, “Each year the festival brings in enough money to keep planning the next year…we’re not getting rich over the deal” (Gazetteonline, 2010).
My interest in the festival stems from my own musical ventures over the years, and I would love to see an even greater diversification of music genres as well as a greater focus on the local talent portion of the festival. Because of the important role that community plays in Camp Euforia’s existence, it would be exciting to see more of Iowa City’s musical talent on the Iowa City Yacht Club’s barn stage or perhaps performing opening sets for the larger touring groups. A great strength that Camp Euforia yields rests in its dedicated attendees who brave the heat to camp in tents for two days of music, beautiful sunsets, relaxation, and old and new friends. Camp Euforia has a distinct ability to promote interaction between fellow festival-goers in contrast to larger festivals such as Lollapalooza or Bonaroo – the attendance is so massive that there is never any real chance to meet new people.
This past Euforia weekend provided me with a great look into a thriving local community I was previously unaware of. With the music continuing through to the early hours of dawn, the energy in the air was positive and rejuvenating. I can only hope that Camp Euforia continues to expand while staying true to its community-born roots in the coming years because Jerry Hotz and Euforquestra have truly created something wonderful in this farmland festival.