Todd Rundgren's second annual retreat, now called Musical Revival Camp, will take place July 23rd-27th at the Full Moon Resort in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, with guests including Peter Buck. After launching the event last year as "Survival Camp," Rundgren tells Rolling Stone he has recast the gathering as more of a "tent festival" than a convention.
With fewer panel discussions than last year's event, the performer and producer said the camp will be more of an opportunity for fans to hang with Rundgren, Buck, Mark Volman of the Turtles and other special guests. Each night will feature a roadhouse jam, and the days will be reserved for Q&A sessions and pastimes: "We will have our barbecue by the poolside," said Rundgren. "We'll do our hikes and we'll play our volleyball, that sort of thing."
The idea grew out of a party Rundgren threw in Hawaii for a few hundred fans when he turned 60 three years ago. After building a house on the island of Kauai, he invited fans to come camp on the lot next door. Over ten days, people from as far away as Japan, South America and the Czech Republic held a loosely organized party with Rundgren as host. The events in upstate New York "are kind of like a small effort to recapture the grandeur that was what the fans began to refer to as 'Toddstock,' our big camp-out," Rundgren explained.
Though inspired in part by Dweezil Zappa, who has hosted several rock & roll camps of his own, Rundgren said his is less about musical technique. "I'm pretty sure that my fans are not showing up to get guitar lessons," he said. An early pioneer in direct-to-fan marketing, the singer understood that fans often just want to rub elbows with their musical heroes.
"For me, I've always been acutely aware of the fact that I wouldn't still be in the music business were it not for the devotion of my fans, particularly [the] core group that has stuck through all of the changes that I have gone through," he said. "So I freely acknowledge my debt to them . . . I feel like it's my obligation to sign their big fat stack of albums if they happen to have that, to make sure that I make time for them after the shows for pictures and such, and [now] to have an event where we can all kind of get together and reaffirm our commitment."