first time campers with questions

We are not new to the festival, but have never camped there. We’ve got onsite camping with a vehicle for the festival, but looking at some other posts, it seems as if actually getting in and getting your spot is one big hullabaloo. We would love the lowdown on how it all works (when should you arrive, how long will you wait, how is it determined which site your get, is it better to tent or have a small camper, is it super hot if you don’t get a shaded spot, and anything else a seasoned on-siter has to offer). We’ve got 2 toddlers, which makes knowing what to expect crucial! Thanks all - Norah

I would also say that it would be great to hook up with another family with youngsters to camp next to, for playmates and maybe trade some nap sitting time, etc. Of course, we grownups like making new friends, too! - Norah

well, if you take a camper you will need a vehicle pass and unless it is pouring rain you will be fine in a tent.

if you have little ones you might want to aim for a the tent only place which is close to backstage… or in the other campground go away from the highway… but earplugs are nice anywhere!

We camp by the gate and the walkway in … and I will tell you that it is very noisy there! we are gluttons for punishment, though and have no rationale for why we always choose that same spot. So people know where to find us, I guess.

Come by and say hi! I am “the one with the white hair!”


Yes, you will need a vehicle pass, unless you tent and drive the vehicle away to a parking space (there is a shuttle to help you do that if you are inclined). It is going to be very, VERY hot if you are not in the shade, and this year probably even if you ARE in the shade, and shaded spots fill up right away. So, bring some squirting-water fans and sunblock.

You get to choose your own site, but the early birds get the best ones, and some will already be filled by the song schooler students. So arriving early is always a good policy. There is also the ritual of trying to get a good audience tarp spot in front of the stage- a midnight wait-in-line and get-a-random-number, which determines where you stand in line the next day. Not everyone participates in this, but numbered people line up first.

Good luck and welcome to festival!

Hi Norah. I am as well going with my toddler son. Thursday can be kind of a bear getting in but I do agree with the person that said do the tent and go on the west side of the stadium. It is a much shorter distance I am have always seen kids over there. I have never however taken my son but I am very excited to take him this year.

Norah, You should try to arrive as early as you can on Thursday. There will undoubtedly be a long line of cars in Lyons waiting to be led in at 6:00 pm. I have gotten there as early as 10:30 and have ended up 3 blocks from the head of the line. This way you will have a better choice of spots to camp on but there really are no bad spots, but if you want shade, earlier is definitely better.

Good luck.

Come early and join in the bachi ball or washer game I’m sure my buddies and I will be playing while waiting in the car line.