June 20, 2023

Festival RV camping is an experience like no other. It's a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of work & home life, enjoy the great outdoors, and enjoy time away with loved ones in comfort and style. But did you know that there are many benefits to festival RV camping beyond just enjoying the festival experience? 
In this blog, we'll discuss why it’s better to camp at a festival rather than attend each day, provide tips on selecting the best campsite and highlight essential gear you'll need for a successful and comfortable festival camping experience! So, whether you're a seasoned festival-goer or planning your first adventure, read on for all the information you need to have an unforgettable festival RV camping experience!

music festival canada
 Benefits of Festival Camping
Attending a festival isn't just about the onsite festival activities anymore, it's also about the unique camping experience that comes along with it. Festival camping provides an immersive experience that allows you to enjoy everything the venue has to offer without worrying about commuting back and forth or missing out on any fun activities. Camping at a festival is also more cost-effective than booking nearby hotels or accommodations. With many RV styles and sizes available to suit, you can choose your level of luxury and comfort and are afforded the room to tote along the items you require to create your personal and perfect ‘good vibes’ ideal campsite. And good vibes draw in good people!

Socializing with new people is one of the biggest draws of festival camping. You can meet like-minded individuals who share your love for similar music, food, cultural experiences or sport; whatever type of festival you are attending! This is a terrific way to help you expand your social circles and create lifelong friendships.

Why RV Camp at a Festival?
RV camping provides you with added opportunity to enjoy more activities such as musical acts, fun organized games, events, sights, sounds, tastes and festival socialization! A fully immersive experience is available as you are afforded festival ground access from gate-open to gate-close! In addition, securing overwhelmed local transportation to and from the festival can be difficult and may result in long delays, missed acts or events which is a waste of your time and money. RV camping is a cost effective solution to festival accommodations and can save you a lot of money when comparing the costs of short-term home rentals or hotel room bookings during peak seasonal times. RV camping provides additional opportunities to explore the grounds and connect with nature while disconnecting from technology which increase the chance Guests will unearth hidden festival gems! 

Fishermen at dusk
Choosing the Best Campsite
Choosing the perfect campsite for your festival camping experience is important. Proximity to amenities such as water stations and toilets might be your top priority when camping in a tent, but when you have your own bathroom and kitchen facilities in an RV you may want to choose somewhere quieter! Additionally, it's important to consider noise levels when selecting a site. While you might want to be close to the main stage, camping next door could mean sacrificing sleep and much-needed relaxation time during daylight hours. Be sure to consider everyone in your group’s needs before parking your RV!

The Importance of Festival Hygiene
Camping at a festival is undoubtedly one of the best ways to enjoy yourself beyond the event gates. However, it's crucial to maintain proper hygiene while camping to avoid becoming ill. RV camping is a great option for staying healthy, keeping fresh and clean and for getting some much needed sleep when you need it.

To ensure you're comfortable during your camping experience at a festival, it's sensible to wear breathable clothing that can easily be washed and dried. Be sure to bring your favourite cozy blankets which will improve your time outside in the evenings and will provide extra layers for bedtime.

Cooler Essentials for Festival Camping
To make the most out of your festival camping experience, it is essential to pack accordingly. When camping at a festival venue, bringing the proper gear will enhance your camping experience beyond the event’s enjoyment.
Packing your RV freezer and separate, portable cooler with plenty of ice and reusable filled and frozen water bottles is important. Additionally, investing in a high-quality cooler not only helps to ensure food will stay fresher, longer but also doubles as an outside seat or table during the festival. With these helpful tips in mind, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy all that the RV festival camping has to offer without worrying if your refreshments are remaining frosty! RVs are most convenient and offer the luxury of a fridge and freezer. Prior to arriving at the festival campground, ensure your battery is fully charged if you do not have a campsite with power. If you plan to bring a generator with you, check with the festival website on the rules and regulations on the type of generator you are allowed to bring as well as the hours you may operate it within.
While packing for your trip, consider essentials such as air mattresses for relaxing in the shade, baby wipes, ear plugs, ice packs, pain relievers, a well-supplied first aid kit, a shade tent for animals (if permitted) or young children to play and nap in, multiple flashlights, batteries, bug spray, tarps, ropes, bungee cords, inflatable water floats or islands (if there is a water source nearby) and solar lights for ambience! Arrive as early as possible to secure the most suitable campsite and ensure you are afforded the time to set up your canopy (tarp) during daylight. Setting up a campsite in the daylight will reduce frustration and the chance an injury is incurred, setting everyone on the right track for a most pleasant and memorable festival experience! 

RV = Restful Vacation for You and Me
It’s the middle of the day, the sun is directly overhead and thermometers are holding in the high 20s. Time for a cooling rinse in your RV’s shower, change into a tank top and siesta? Absolutely it is. In contrast, day visitors at festivals are tasked with enduring the day’s weather events with festival- approved contents in a size restricted backpack; it is like the reality TV show Survivor absent the million dollar prize. After the headliner wraps marking formal close of the festival ground, streams of people file to exits and struggle to secure timely, safe and reliable transport back to their beds. It can often be hours before these exhausted, dusty and drained festival goers even reach sight of their doorsteps. Festival campers enjoy the luxury and safety in walking to the campsite with their group, locking their RV door, washing the day away and crawling into bed...all to wake up rested to ready to experience more festival fun the following day!

Festive Features to Seek in a Campsite
Choosing the right campsite is crucial when it comes to RV camping at a festival. To make the most out of your experience, look for a campsite that offers trees for added privacy and shade as well as wind, rain and hail protection. If you plan to bring tarps, branches and tree trunks are helpful in securing ropes and bungee cords to in the event you do not have metal poles. 

Browse the available campsite options prior to your arrival to locate where bathrooms, water stations, camping festival access gates, electricity hookups and campground vendors will be and decide what section would best suit you and your group. Consider the noise potential for different locations such as the likelihood intoxicated foot traffic will be passing by your site at all hours and if this will negatively impact your group’s experience or improve it! Remember to take into consideration the young campers in your group and put their safety and comfort first. 

Apart from the discussed amenities, some festival campgrounds offer additional activities such as organized hikes on nearby trails and organized outdoor games which provide additional entertainment and opportunities to socialize with others beyond the festival’s main events. Make new friends at campsites by inviting or attending impromptu pregame invitations, ask a few people to join in on a Frisbee game or playfully join in neighbour’s campsite yoga sessions! Following these helpful tips will ensure you enjoy a fun and memorable RV festival camping experience!

Canadian flag looking out over water
Come Prepared, Leave Camp Happy!
When attending a festival that involves camping at a campground or venue outside of your home city or town, it is essential to be prepared for an enjoyable festival experience. Start by making sure you have packed all the necessary gear and have plenty of clean water on hand. Everyone in your group will require a re-useable water bottle and at least two litres of water each day, extra if the weather is hot and even more if there is a hot weather warning. Some festivals do not provide clean (potable) water for campers and/or festival-goers and the cost of a single bottle of water can be very costly. Do your research beforehand and arrive prepared. 
  • Listen to your body's hydration needs throughout the day and night by taking breaks when needed while at the festival, in the sun and perspiring and partaking in alcoholic beverages and socializing.
  • It is always helpful to bring some snacks along with a cooler for convenience purposes.
  • Protect yourself from the sun and unexpected weather conditions with sunscreen, hats and rain ponchos. Having ice packs on hand are great for quick cool downs! Placing an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel (for skin’s protection against cold burns) on the back of your neck will feel really good after some time in the hot sun. In addition, ice packs are handy in the event you are required to treat a strained muscle or injury.
  • Bring appropriate night clothing and bedding suitable to accommodate different temperatures so that you can get a good night’s sleep after a long day of hiking around festivals.
  • Wearing comfortable and supportive footwear and packing a few different options are essential for festival comfort. Consider purchasing 'moleskin' bandages and antiseptic ointment (for burst blisters) for your feet and heels! 
  • A camping stove is a great addition as they allow for open air cooking, resulting typically easier clean up and afford everyone more time to socialize with family and friends during meal times. Consider inviting neighbours over for a special recipe homemade hamburger patty or jalapeño cheddar cooked sausage! 
  • If you're looking to add some extra luxury to your camping setup, consider bringing along tapestries or other decorations like solar powered lights to create a personal vibe in your camp area. Be sure to post pictures of your campsite on Instagram or Facebook; you will want these memories to pop up in the future! In addition, others may be excited about your experience and want to join in on the fun on your next RV camping festival adventure!
  • Make yourself familiar with the festival’s onsite emergency services and their location. Many festivals offer ‘Recovery Tents’ for attendees to access if they feel unwell while under the influence of a substance and require a cool place to rest and rehydrate, free of judgement. Festival attendees may access these tents to request help with any medical related issue as trained personal will be accessible from these locations.  

Festival RV camping is an experience that goes beyond enjoying the event beyond the gate. It is a chance to connect with nature, meet new people, and experience life in a unique way with your friends and family. Festival patrons pour their resources and energy into attending large scale events; ensuring our finite resources are spent wisely is important. With the proper planning and preparation as outlined in this blog, you will have a successful and memorable festival camping experience! Attending festivals is about taking time to breathe, explore and embrace new experiences. Allowing oneself to hike around at your own pace to enjoy the freedom of the space; the sights, sounds, smells and tastes. These are the unforgettable stories and cherished times with loved ones we will recount for years to come. Camping, at festivals or otherwise, will always have the magic to do this.

CanaDream has compiled over 100 festivals that offer onsite camping or camping nearby! Check out CanaDream’s Far and Wide Festival Guide here!

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