New and old friends pose outside “Gerti” a 1971 Volkswagen bus at Summer Jam Camp Out 2021. Contributed / Jack Ganzel

For longtime couple Jack Ganzel and Jacci Dale, music festivals are serious business.

The pair spend their summers touring the Northeast in Gertie, an elm green 1971 Volkswagen bus that provides mobile photo booth and arts and crafts services at about a dozen weekend concerts.

But when Gertie rolls into Brunswick this weekend for the five-day Summer Jam Camp Out at Thomas Point Beach and Campground, Ganzel and Dale will prioritize pleasure over business.

“This venue has become so special to us that we opt not to work it and just enjoy it,” Ganzel said. “This venue has sparked our interest in just having fun.”

The event, which will feature local and national jam bands in the mold of Phish, Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd, stands out from other campground festivals for its family-friendly atmosphere and comfortable amenities, organizer Roger Cyr said.

Campers will have access to the site’s 9-hole disc golf course, kayak rentals, wi-fi and, most luxurious of all, hot showers, Cyr said. He added that some attendees, used to roughing it at other concerts, have taken to calling Summer Jam, “the country club of festivals.”


“We hear nothing but great things about the vibe of the venue,” said Cyr. “They all seem to want to come back once they come here.”

Dale, who attended both the inaugural Summer Jam and a sister concert called “The Grateful Camp Out” last year, said the event’s inviting atmosphere, clean amenities and organized leadership team makes it a great fit for kids and parents.

“Everybody takes care of everybody,” she said. “It’s a community in there.”

Thomas Point Beach & Campground first dabbled with concerts in the 1970s and became known for its annual bluegrass festival, said Michael Mulligan, whose family has owned the site for three generations. The 84-acre site hosted fewer and fewer large events as Mulligan’s mother Patricia Crooker-Mulligan grew older, but after her death in 2016, Mulligan and his wife decided to reverse course and bring in more concerts.

“We liked having the opportunity to create memories and experiences for people that they would have for the rest of their lives,” Mulligan said. “Basically, we just sort of patchworked these events together.”

Now the campground hosts events nearly every week during the summer, from fly fishing competitions to the Trek Across Maine and, of course, Summer Jam, which Cyr estimated would draw between 500 and 1,000 attendees.


Over 30 bands will perform between Thursday and Monday evening. Thursday headliner Echoes of Floyd will take the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, while The Maine Dead Project will perform Friday.

Marble Eyes, Max Creek and Pink Talking Fish will perform as headliners at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, respectively. After the outdoor shows conclude around 10:30 each night, bands will perform inside at the rec hall until 3 a.m., Cyr said.

Gates will open at noon Friday for most guests, though those who purchase a four-day pass can enter early on Thursday for an additional $25 fee. Tickets at the gate will range in cost from $75 for a single day to $200 for a four-day pass plus early entry on Thursday.

There will be a separate $30 charge per car for campers.

Like Ganzel and Dale, musician Max Chase is looking forward to camping as much as he is to working.

“They’ve really cultivated a nice, family-friendly vibe,” said the Eliot, Maine, native, who will perform with Marbles Eyes and Idlewild: A Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band. “Being right there on the water and having the beach and everything, it really is just a nice place to set up shop for the weekend.”

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