Trying to plan your trip the happiest place on earth? No, I’m not talking about Disneyland - I’m talking about Paradiso Festival! Here is a small beginner’s guide to plan the ultimate adventure from your very own Paradiso expert, me! This is just the tip of the iceberg, but this guide will give you a good idea of what's to be expected.
When is Paradiso?
Paradiso Festival happens at the Gorge Amphitheatre every June in George, Washington - hosted by USC Events. This year, Paradiso will take place on June 14 & 15th. This two-day festival has the most magical vibes and the most breathtaking views in comparison to any festival I have ever gone to. The Gorge Amphitheatre is rated #1 most beautiful venue in the world, and it proudly protects its title.
Where do I stay?
Most attendees camp but there are nearby hotels with shuttle options to and from the venue. There are multiple levels of camping, each having their own perks:
- General Admission is the largest camping area with the most people.
- Premier is gated and has staff members checking wristbands at all entrances to ensure a more calm atmosphere for attendees. In Premier you are granted free shower access and a shuttle service to and from the venue.
- Gold, being right next to the venue and is most convenient.
- Terrace, which is on several terraces overlooking the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, each campsite is allotted a picnic table and free showers with continental breakfasts.
Wherever you camp (or stay) will not affect how much fun you have at The Gorge, but each has one has perks, so choose wisely. Camping is a separate ticket to your festival ticket and must be purchased online before entering The Gorge Amphitheatre. I always come prepared with a tent, pillows and blankets.
While The Gorge gets blistering hot during the day, it always gets super chilly at night so plan accordingly. Stay tuned for an exclusive iHeartRaves Paradiso style guide.
Where do I eat?
Food is ESSENTIAL for human life, and should be treated as so. While there are delicious food trucks and carts inside the festival and at the campgrounds, it’s alway wise to bring your own food as well. Protein bars, apples, bananas, avocados, peanut butter & jelly, and Gatorade are always cheap and easy things to pack on-the-go. If you're bringing refrigeration items, I suggest going to a store and buying dry ice, for it keeps your food cold and the ice lasts way longer than normal, bagged, ice. (Ice is also available for purchase in the campgrounds to keep your ice restocked) Personally, I go all out with campsite food and I buy a propane stove with refills and make breakfast burritos for my campmates (and my neighbors) for breakfast, and spaghetti for dinner because they are such easy meals to make and they go far. If you do go that route, the Gorge does not allow open flame campsites so make sure to check the rules before buying your camping gear. Popular food inside the venue ranges anywhere from chicken strips to teriyaki, you won't go hungry if you're planning ahead! For a good rule of thumb, plan on bringing a case of water for every two people in your squad. Or there are refill stations in the campsites and all over the venue for your big jugs of water as well.
What do I wear?
As mentioned before, The Gorge can get blistering hot during the day and super chilly at night so plan accordingly. I do so by wearing my rave gear into the festival and bringing a change of clothes for when it gets dark and leaving it in my locker for later. While on the topic of lockers, plan ahead for yourself and leave items in there that you would need for tomorrow. For example: if you bring in sealed deodorant to have during the festival, leave it in your locker overnight so you can have it for the following day. Shoewear if VERY important. The location of General Admission camping to the venue is quite the stretch, so please wear appropriate walk-wear so you don't hate yourself later (speaking from experience). You can also check out this guide for more inspo about What to Wear to Paradiso.
Photo Credit: USC Events & Danny Esque
- Use the buddy system - The Gorge is huge, don't get lost!
- Rent a locker - They have chargers in them, they are a great meeting point for you and your squad, and they hold your stuff so you don't have to
- Repeat, “ID, Ticket, Money”- Use this mantra before leaving your house, and your campsite- you’d hate to be the person that makes your squad turn around (I promise).
- Remember to put your car keys in a safe place - I can't tell you how many people I've seen lose their keys at a camping festival and if you do it's okay because there are locksmiths on site!
- HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE - Having fun is no excuse to not keep yourself hydrated, there are many hydration stations all over The Gorge so take care of yourself.
- Dress accordingly, especially footwear - Check weather beforehand for local areas
- Don't be afraid to ask for help! If you or a friend are feeling abnormal or need medical attention, please reach out to staff. They are there to help you, not get you in trouble! Look for the orange “Conscious Crew” shirts- they are raver volunteers whose primary job is to keep you safe and to ensure you have the best time you can possibly have.
- Be aware of your surroundings - Use landmarks to describe your location within the venue and the campsites.
- Pack the Essentials: Don't forget sunscreen, deodorant, Wet Wipes, phone charger, hydration pack, etc.
- Take Pictures - you’ll want to remember Paradiso for the rest of your life
Photo Credit: USC Events & USC Events & Danny Esque
Who is on the Paradiso 2019 Lineup?
Head to USC Event's website for more information about Paradiso Festival.
Also, be sure to RSVP for the event on Facebook so you don't miss any important announcements! And for more tips and tricks, check out the #ParadisoProTip hashtag on Facebook and Twitter.