To provide an outlet for people to learn Cajun and other music from their favorite musicians, including hosts The Revelers and friends, along with artists performing at the Black Pot Festival; to provide a learning experience in Cajun cuisine taught by local cooks in a hands-on environment; to provide a loose, festive atmosphere that encourages extracurricular jamming and sharing of experiences among campers from all places an backgrounds; to provide campers with instruction in traditional social dance such as Cajun and Square-Dancing; and above all to create a fun, unforgettable and interactive experience for lovers of Cajun and other roots music (including folks who don’t play music at all!) leading up to the Black Pot Festival the weekend following camp.
Q: I thought it was a festival?
A: That’s not really a question but OK! It is a little confusing. Blackpot Festival and Blackpot Camp are separate events but cousins. Both were founded by members of the Red Stick Ramblers (now Revelers) but in separate locations. If you arrive in Lousiana early we recommend the Whirlybird Blackpot Camp Kickoff Party (also a separate ticketed event), which has optional on site camping. The camp begins Sunday afternoon at 4pm so explore Eunice and Opaloosas in the mean time (Step 1), then we all caravan down to the festival (Step 2), then many of us go back to the camp site for an after party (Step 3). Hopefully this infographic clears it up!
Q: What is Blackpot Camp?
A: Blackpot Camp is a 5-night 4-day workshop that celebrates great music, food, and community. We offer a broad range of musical classes, focusing on Cajun, old-time, and swing. Instruments include fiddle, guitar, accordion, mandolin, banjo, bass, winds, as well as varied singing, and dance classes. Our cooking classes focus primarily on traditional dishes from South Louisiana. Not only are the instructors at Camp incredibly talented, they’re also some of the most approachable, friendly people you’ll meet! At Blackpot Camp, you can look forward to a week of great music, and food, and the chance to hang with some of your musical heroes!
Q: Where is Blackpot Camp?
A: Blackpot Camp is held at Lakeview Park, in Eunice Louisiana.
Q: What are the facilities like?
A: Lakeview has plenty of tent and RV spaces. There are extra bathrooms located in the Barn (our main dancing/meeting area), and 2 restrooms with showers that are open 24/7. (As always with any event, you might have to wait if you want to shower at “peak” times. Early risers and afternoon shower takers have the advantage here). We supplement with additional port-o-johns.
Lakeview also has a laundry room. All machines are coin operated, and you can purchases quarters from the Lakeview office. There are 3 washers and 3 dryers, please be respectful to other campers and remember to keep an eye on/change out your laundry.
Q: Is Blackpot Camp kid-friendly?
A: We love kids and all classes are open to all ages. That being said, we cannot be responsible for anyone under the age of 18 so all minors must be accompanied by a guardian. The facilities are not child-proofed by any stretch so if you want to bring your child, you should be prepared to supervise them at all times.
Q: What kind of accommodations are available?
A: While the majority of participants tent camp at Lakeview, people have also been known to rent RVs, car camp, or stay with friends in the Eunice area, while attending camp. There are also some very nice inns/motels to stay at nearby.
For those concerned about the noise. We’ll have a separate area reserved for “Quiet Campers”, that will be further away from the late night jams. If you would like to be in this section of camp, please let Lakeview know when you reserve your tent site with them.
Q: What do I need to bring with me?
A: Blackpot camp will provide: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee, and snacks. We do provide vegetarian and gluten free options at every meal. But it’s a good idea for everyone to have some snacks around because the days and nights can get long!
We will have a store where you can purchase basic sundries, eg: Bug Spray, ear plugs, Blackpot Camp Merchandise, Faculty and Participant CDs and art, Beer, Liquor and daiquiris during the day.
The Lakeview office also has a store where they sell Ice, basic camping needs, and all of their fantastic Lakeview merchandise.
If you are tent camping, you will need your tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, pillow, etc. You should also bring a towel, clothing for both Hot and Cold weather (the temperature drops quite a bit at night). And, whatever instruments (or dancing shoes) you would like to use for the duration of camp. We do rent basic tents for $20 + a $20 deposit and will have a few cheap air mattresses for sale in the camp store.
Also, the Blackpot Festival always falls around Halloween and people wear costumes on Saturday of the fest. So, you may want to throw a costume in your suitcase, too!
Q: Do I need to play an instrument?
A: Nope! While we aim to offer music classes for all skill levels, there are plenty of singing, dancing and cooking classes as well. So, if you don’t play an instrument, don’t be shy! You’ll find there’s a lot to keep you busy while you’re at camp.
Q: Will I need to rent a car?
A: That’s entirely up to you. One good option may be renting a one-way rental car to Eunice (there is an Enterprise branch), as once you arrive you won’t need the car for the whole week. We do our best to coordinate ride sharing from Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. That being said we can’t be responsible for getting every single person to camp at their convenience – so your odds are much better if you fly in Sunday afternoon rather than, say, 10pm on Tuesday.
Q: What about the bugs?
A: This time of year it really depends on the weather. Mosquitos can get bad, or some years they’re hardly noticable. If you are the type of person that mosquitos just love to eat, come prepared! Some people find it very helpful to bring long sleeves/jeans/tights/thick socks/etc. to wear (especially for late afternoon/night). We will do our best to have good bug spray, and anti-itching first aid available, for those individuals who find they need it.
Q: What’s the deal with Scholarships?
A: At BPC we are committed to offering scholarships to our eligible participants. However, the total amount we are able to offer is dependent on available Sponsorships and Donations. Please head over to our Scholarship page for more information. If you are interested in donating to our Scholarship fund, we have donation links on our Sponsorship page.
Q: What’s the deal with Volunteering?
A: Volunteering is a great way to get to know other campers, and help create and give back to the awesome experience that is BPC. Please check out our Volunteer page for more information on the shifts and discounts available.