Camp Bisco Draws Some Controversy

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- It's that time of year again: Camp Bisco. The three-day camping music festival on Montage Mountain is in full swing.

This is the third year Camp Bisco has been held on the mountain.

"It's like vacation for adults, kind of. It's like vacation for kids that are trying to adult or adults that are trying to be kids,” said Brent from Virginia.

The festival draws crowds of music lovers and controversy, too.

Early Wednesday morning, a man was hit a car in Moosic and killed, police say Timothy Vair of New York State was a vendor at Camp Bisco.

Authorities say there have already been more than half a dozen drug-related arrests connected to Camp Bisco.

Harry Baribault of Vermont was handcuffed and charged.

State police say he was on his way to Camp Bisco with three tanks of laughing gas, 150 doses of LSD and the drug known as "molly" in his vehicle.

The festival used to be held in New York State but was canceled in 2014 because of permit issues and public outcry over safety and drug issues.

"Any festival has their problems, you know there's always kids that are getting a little out of hand, but you know that comes with the territory,” said Melissa Rotella of Virginia.

The event means lots more business in the area from hotels to gas stations, shops and eateries.

Business owners call it a good boost to the local economy.

But some workers told Newswatch 16 say the crowds can also cause trouble, leaving behind messes.

In 2015, after the Camp Bisco event, there was cleanup controversy on the mountain when heaps of trash, grills, and tents were left behind and Montage Mountain Water Park had to be cleaned, too.

"Not a real big fan of Camp Bisco because my daughter and I go to the water park often in the summer and they shut down for the four days that it's here and then it's in disarray when we go back up to it, so not real happy with the kind of people that come in for it and I'd rather that they didn't have it here,” said Lori Stabryla of Scranton.

Scranton's police chief says he has officers on the mountain round the clock until Camp Bisco is over.

He says there many more problems at Camp Bisco than other events at the mountain, but he says because it goes over a period of three days, there's much more opportunity for more to go wrong.

"It certainly appeals to those kinds of people but I've been pleasantly surprised to see all sorts of people, even families, and kids come and have a nice time,” said Ryan Williamson of Virginia.


  • Kristina N

    “Early Wednesday morning, a man was hit a car in Moosic and killed, police say Timothy Vair of New York State was a vendor at Camp Bisco.”
    Really? One would think that a news outlet would pay more attention to their grammar, especially in the part of an article that mentions someone was killed.

  • Joseph Kash

    This is a poorly written article. It states a bad opinion about the festival subliminally placed by the author in the details focusing on drugs and being too messy. It also states positive quotes about the festival from actual people saying it is a family event and boosts the local economy. This article has no point or meaning at the end, and leaves you asking yourself “What was the actual point of this article?”

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      Well, there’s a difference between hippies and hipsters. Hippies are hippies and hipsters are douche bags.

  • Lol

    A drug known as “Molly”. That had me laughing so hard. You mean MDMA? Oh no a festival is coming with thousands of people. Of course there is going to be a mess like any other concert. Can’t go to water park because of an event going on… OH NOOOOO what should I do with my life.

  • Anna

    Something fun that brings money into town and Lackawanna county residents want it canceled. Big surprise there.

  • Archie Beal

    Everyone in attendance should be thoroughly searched by law enforcement upon arrival. Once inside the festival random searches of attendees person, personal property and tents should be conducted. There is no expectations of privacy. This is where the 4th ammendment should not apply. This will teach these useless dopers to show up at public venue with their drugs. Make it very uncomfortable for them and maybe they will think twice and stay away.

    • Nick

      Ahhh, love the pick and choose Constitution crowd. Let me guess, we best not touch the 2nd though. Metallica said it best, “Freedom, with their exceptions.”

      • Apparently

        Apparently Nick, you’ve not read any of ole Archies rants and drivel laden diatribes on the 2A. He’s an equal opportunity fascist. Actually I would like to meet him to see what a complete, absolute ass looks like. I’ve seen a few over the years that came close, but Arch sounds like the real deal. I’m sure the kids in his neighborhood can’t wait until Halloween.

    • Scrantonisgarbage

      Arch, hides in his house at night, would not dare say a word to the numerous armed street gangs who prowl the streets of Scranton, for Archie is a coward , whines about harmless white Disco Biscuits fans, who enjoy some music and tripping, but Archie won’t dare confront the local scum in Scranton. Archie deserves to have his ass kicked to a bloody mess. Eat lead sissy

  • Brian Stevens

    The country concerts are MUCH WORSE …the Camp Bisco people are not fighting and puking all over!

  • Amy

    It’s a DRUG FESTIVAL. The music comes second at Camp Bisco. If there weren’t drugs at this festival, no one would go. DRUGS are the main attraction at Montage this weekend.

    • Nick

      And you know this how? Just asking cause I have friends in attendance who definitely will not be doing drugs, alcohol and legal pharmaceuticals included, which you derps never seem to have an issue with.

  • Ben

    Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of heroin, cocaine, pills, ecstacy will be transacted this weekend at Camp Bisco by 90% of those in attendance. Do the math. Montage is a “family place”?

    • John Kenney

      Actually the festival scene frowns on opiates. We don’t want them either. Take it up with your local pharmacist or your Gov’t. It is them that has the Army guarding all of those poppy fields in the middle east.. not a bunch of hippies.

  • Jack Kenney

    Anyone that lives in that area knows it is financially depressed in general. Between this and Peach, the mountain
    and all the surrounding area are making more money than they see in the rest of the whole year. Trump isn’t bringing back clean coal so get over that idea. Those coal pits are going to remain exactly what they already are.. big open wounds on the planet that were made creating someone else’s wealth decades ago.
    People go to a mountain top and party, they stay off the roads because they’re either camping or taking a shuttle to a hotel. Who cares? It’s 2017, You have a problem with drugs? Don’t do them and go protest at your local pharmacy. They’re the ones fueling the real drug problem in America.

  • Oh yay!

    Nothing but a drunken drug fest. There may be cops there but people are still getting busted for drugs. They should just stop these things. Just plain awful!

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