Music enthusiasts from all over the nation attended the fifth annual Silvercloud Campout, a family and dog friendly music festival next to the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar, in Haugan on Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8.
Fifth-generation Mineral County native Nate Suckow started the Campout in 2015 with his brother after originally intending to rent out his family’s property at the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar as a venue. He later decided to start his own music festival, and he and his brother Drew began organizing the event about eight years ago. Suckow’s great-grandparents opened the Silver Dollar Bar generations ago.
The Suckow brothers attended Superior High School and Nate fled to Bozeman for college where he became enthralled with the music scene. “It expanded my musical horizons and I wanted to throw something back home,” he said.
Festival director Logan Foret, who markets for BFK Presents out of Missoula, began organizing the Campout at its origins. He originally worked toward a festival intended to replace Love Your Mother Earth Festival which ended in 2012 after an attendee was struck by a train.
The replacement festival was supposed to be at the Bearmouth exit off Interstate 90, but after the property sold, the plan dissolved. That’s when Suckow and Foret teamed up to start the Silvercloud Campout in Haugan.
THE FESTIVAL is located on the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar, which Suckow’s great grandparents opened 1952 and remains a family-owned property. This allowed the show organizers to keep in state money in Montana. “This isn’t anyone bringing in teams from California,” Foret said. He says everyone on the event are based in Montana and he says the he doesn’t want the Campout to ever get huge.
This year, Tauk, an all instrumental progressive fusion band, headlined the music festival on Friday night and bluegrass singer-songwriter Billy Strings took the stage on Saturday. Outside of the headliners, most of the acts are local Montana bands like the Kitchen Dwellers, based out of Bozeman and The Dodgy Mountain Men, based out of Missoula. Many of these artists have played at the festival since it began in 2015.
“One amazing thing about this property is it’s so pristine,” Foret said. “If you wanted to go take a walk in the woods, you can do that on the property. Most festivals are held in cornfields and this is the only one I know of that’s out in trees and mountains.”
Foret and Suckow want to maintain the local Montana feel to the Campout, and they hope the community continues to support it. “We do this out of love and passion for music,” Foret said, “We just ask the community comes out to support.”