Music festival season is ramping up NOW. Unique festivals all across the country are announcing their lineups and preparing to offer attendees a mix of great music, culture, art and immersive on-site camping experiences. There are at least 100 reasons to camp at a music festival but we don’t need to list them all here, it only takes a few to see that it’s an essential part of the music festival experience and worth every penny. Camping at a music festival means that there’s no need to worry about transportation to and from the grounds, and the party never stops. Multi-day festivals create a culture and vibe that you’ll be talking about for the rest of your life, don’t kill the the buzz by leaving each night to go to a stale and quite hotel room. Stout Tent provides camping and glamping tents for multiple music festivals every year and we’re giving you a little insider info! We’re breaking down the can’t-miss camping music festivals, plus need-to-know hacks from camping pros.
America’s Best Camping Music Festivals in 2020
California | April 10-12 + April 17-19
Now a household name, this popular California music festival, Coachella 2020 is pulling out all the stops this year! Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, and Rage Against the Machine are headlining Coachella this year and other performers include Lana Del Rey, Megan Thee Stallion, Charli XCX, FKA Twigs, Calvin Harris – and that’s just a small fraction of the lineup! Surrounded by mountains and palm trees, you’ll never want to leave, and you don’t have to. The music festival offers a southern California camping experience. Attendees can choose from a variety of camping experiences, DIY car camping or fully furnished Glamping Tents and Yurts. You choose.
Arizona | April 16-19
Right in our own back yard, Stout Tent and Country Thunder Arizona share their home in Florence, AZ (Stout Tent’s headquarters!) Die hard fans are in for the time of their life this year. “This is the line-up that we were after,” says Country Thunder Music Festivals CEO Troy Vollhoffer. “Arizona is one of the strongest markets in the world for Eric Church, Luke Combs is the biggest artist in music right now and Kane Brown is probably the hottest young act in country. You read that right, some of the biggest names in country are coming to the desert this Spring. You can not miss this chance to party with your favorite artists for 4 days! Premier camping and tent packages are available. Glamping and Canvas tents are available as well, or rent your own Stout Tent for the occasion. The huge campground area is a festival itself with added security and amenities to make it an unforgettable experience.
California | May 20 – 25
Lightning in a Bottle is more than a music festival. It features over 150 talks with world visionaries, hands on workshops, health and healing practitioners, cultural offerings like dance and food, wellness workshops, performance art, meditation and so much more. All of that is in addition to their music. The lineup dropped earlier this month and it is massive! Headliners are Kaytranada, Sylvan Esso, Griz, Purity Ring, Four Tet, Big Wild, Nina Kraviz, Jon Hopkins and a DJ set from James Blake, along with a long list of other electronic all-stars spread across three stages.. Camping options include car camping, RV camping (with or without power) and boutique camping in glamping tents.
Oklahoma | May 22-24
The world’s largest rock festival of its type, Rocklahoma features high-energy acts, the sound of thrashing guitars, pyrotechnics and roaring vocals. Embrace your inner rocker and head to the Catch the Fever Music & Festival Grounds to mingle with the likes of bikers, 80s metal enthusiasts and classic rock fans.The day by day lineup has been announced, don’t keep yourself in suspense, see it for yourself here! The Rocklahoma festival grounds feature over 6,000 assigned and numbered seats and a general admission lawn that can accommodate over 50,000 visitors. The grounds also offer over 4,000 campsites, on-site parking, bathroom facilities and overnight security. Stock the RV, shine up your motorcycle, or simply throw a tent in the backseat and head to Rocklahoma for a music festival that is guaranteed to blow your socks off.
Tennessee | June 11-14
Once in a lifetime, every single time. Held on a 650-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo features over 150 bands and activities such as yoga, interactive art installations, watercolor painting and even a 5K footrace. June might still be months away, but the newly released festival lineup is worth getting excited about. One of the most diverse in the biz: Headliners include ’90s rock icons Tool, beloved indie psychedelic project Tame Impala and the genre-defying 2019 breakout Lizzo. EDM fans will get their fill with Flume, Bassnectar, Seven Lions and Rezz, who are among the more notable electronic music acts on the bill. You cannot afford to miss one minute of this 4 day music festival! Camping options include a variety of tent camping options, RV camping, group camping, and Glamping. Learn more.
Delaware | June 18-21
In only a few short years, the Firefly Music Festival has become a solid addition to the East Coast summer calendar. Set in the forested landscape of The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Delaware, Firefly boasts seven stages and over a 100 performers each year. The 2020 lineup has yet to be announced but we’re all anxiously waiting to hear after last year’s show. On-site festival camping options include tent plus car sites, pre-set camping and glamping packages with everything from simple pre-assembled tents to air-conditioned super glamping tents with beds and luxury linens, and traditional RV camping. Learn more.
Michigan | June 25-28
Dance fans are going to lose their minds! Madison House and Insomniac’s woodland wonderland dropped its 2020 lineup, and the 10th anniversary Electric Forest is raising the bar. The four-day camping festival returns to Rothbury, MI., in June, and it’s bringing three headlining performances from festival favorite The String Cheese Incident, as well as annual performer Bassnectar . Australian Grammy nominee Flume will bring his critically-acclaimed live show, while Major Lazer and Diplo will each have headlining sets. Electric Forest is a sort of Alice In Wonderland in the forest kind of vibe. It’s what its name suggests: a music festival in a forest that comes alive with lights, and is a combination of art, music and being socially conscious. A large variety of accommodations to choose from, take a look…. but may we suggest the camping.
Pennsylvania | July 2-5
The Peach Music Festival returns for its ninth annual installment at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania! Started by The Allman Brothers Band and Live Nation Entertainment this festival keeps their fans coming back year after year with their free access to the Montage Mountain Ski Resort, which is transformed into a large water park in the summer months, giving them the opportunity to utilize the park’s many water rides and attractions while listening to the musicians performing. Yes, it really is as awesome as it sounds. And of course, you’ll want to camp the whole weekend!
9. Camp Bisco
Pennsylvania | July 9-11
Camp Bisco 2020 is a combination of electronic music and jam bands that happens at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It’s both a concert venue and a water park (someone’s pure genius idea). Jam out to your favorite music while riding the wave pool, wild water slides or lazy river. Adrenaline seekers should make sure to check out the zipline course which oversees the festival grounds and more! Check out a lineup of bass music, dubstep, jungle, house, techno, jam bands and more. The Disco Biscuits have announced a performance at the festival. This is no surprise as TDB put the festival on, but now it’s official. The venue is equipped with delicious and artsy food and craft vendors, hot shower stations and endless camping areas for the ultimate outdoor experience.
Ohio | September 25-27
DJ Excision created something unlike the music scene has ever seen! In 2017 Lost Lands, an electronic dance music festival, became an instant hit with all 25,000 tickets selling out in advance of the festival. The festival is dinosaur themed and features camping, two main stages and several small sound camps throughout the campgrounds that keep the music going late into the night. You’re encouraged to “escape the confines of the world outside and and find yourself in an immersive environment environment surrounded by dinosaurs, beats and bass.” The lineup was recently released and is sure to impress, check it out here!
Take it from the Camping Pros – 10 Camping Hacks for Music Festival Goers
1. BYO shower. A quick shower after a long day of dancing under the sun will do wonders. Some festivals provide coin-operated showers, but if yours doesn’t, consider bringing a solar shower.
2. Prepare to watch comfortably. Hours on your feet might sound ok now, but you’re going to want to make sure you have a comfortable way to watch the show when your legs give out. Pack something to sit on, either a blanket for the grass or a camping chair that is compact and easy to carry.
3. Trust me, on the sunscreen. There’s no easier way to ruin your time at a music festival than with a sunburn. Prepare to be without shade all day long, pack a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen—and actually use it, multiple times. If you plan on spending a lot of time at your campsite and it’s not in the shade, a canopy tent is a good addition that will help keep you cool in the summer heat.
4. Feed your face. Know ahead of time what your options are. Most festivals have food trucks where meals can be purchased. If you want to save money, pack a camp stove and some freeze dried backpacker meals that will provide the energy to keep you dancing all night long. If you don’t want to bother with a stove, peanut butter and jelly, trail mix, cheese and other easy-to-pack snacks will keep you satiated.
5. Human bodies need water, drink some. Bring your own reusable water bottle and, just to be safe, your own drinking water. Most festivals provide drinking water for attendees, but you’ll be happy you have your own stash back at camp for cooking and staying hydrated at night.
6. Get a good night sleep. The campgrounds are designed to keep the party going all night long, and we definitely encourage the community, but sleep is good too. The noise at a music festival can continue late into the night, so pack ear plugs to drown out the clatter. Our best advice, splurge for the tents with real mattresses.
7. Bring a portable charger. Even the most battery-conscious will find that their phone runs out of juice at some point over the weekend, particularly if you’re taking photos or updating social media all the time. While many festivals are offering charging stations now, there’s no guarantee there will be space for you, and you’ll probably have to stand there while it charges. Opt for a portable phone charger and don’t miss any of the show.
8. Keep it compact. Remember that you may be required to carry your camping gear for long distances to reach your campsite. If you pack more than you can carry, be prepared to make multiple trips.
9. Plan for the weather. A hard rain can quickly turn a music festival into one giant mud pit. If rain is in the forecast, pack extra changes of clothes, your rain boots and rain coat, maybe a pack of baby wipes for quick mud cleanup, and prepare yourself for a wet and wild weekend.
10. Know what NOT to bring. Check out the website in advance for details on what you are and are not allowed to bring into the music festival. If anything you pack gets confiscated, there’s no guarantee you’ll get it back at the end of the festival. Be smart and follow the rules. Also, rethink brining valuables and have a plan to safely store things like cash and phones.