“Music Festivals & Camping are 2 things that are definitely not mutually exclusive but could and should be” and “Why would you ever go to Disneyland when you could just go to a Music Festival?” These are the thoughts that would cross my mind every 5 seconds at my first camping festival ever, back in 2015 when David Guetta ruled the world.
But it’s 2023 now & that is definitely not the case but don’t worry David, the Love is DEFINITELY not gone. A lot has changed in the EDM community, but one thing remains the same: our love for the ever-evolving music scene and everything that comes with it—including some of the most incredible camping music festivals as far as the eye can see. Each year it seems the production levels, artists, outfits, camping amenities and overall experience gets better and better; it’s an experience that will change your life like no 2-day parking lot rave you have to drive home from ever will.
First, we're covering the basics. Here are some commonly asked questions we get about camping festivals:
Where is the best place to camp at a music festival?
There are some spots that will make things easier, but no spots are bad at a camping festival! Look for camping spots that are close enough to resources like food or water, or the entrance to the festival itself so you can minimize how much extra walking you need to do. It's also a good idea to look for shade, which brings us to our next question:
How do you stay cool at a camping music festival?
Look for camping spots that are under trees or shade, because that will keep you cool as much as possible. You can also look for shade structures that will obstruct the morning or afternoon sun, making it easier to sleep in or stay cool in the afternoon. Get some extra ice for your water bottles, and bring cold towels to stick in ice water throughout the day that you can put on the back of your neck to stay cool.
Should you lock your tent at a festival?
If you feel more comfortable doing so, you can! Or, you can lock your personal belongings in your car and keep only your sleeping bag and pillows in your tent. Just be careful not to lose your keys!
From the East Coast to the West Coast & everything in between, here are the Top 10 Camping Music Festivals to attend this year and next!
Electric Daisy Carnival - Camp EDC
Location: Las Vegas
Dates: May 19-21, 2023
As we all know, EDC *usually* takes place the last weekend in May. This year, due to the pandemic, Insomniac & many other event giants made the tough call to postpone some of the biggest music festivals to October - which isn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened! EDC, and especially Camp EDC, is definitely an investment. Having a little extra time to save up, truly plan your outfits, food, & accommodations is probably a good thing considering my friends and I decided we’d full send EDC for the first time in 2019 about 2 months before going (*NOT* recommended!). What I am 100% recommending, however, is to DO CAMP EDC. Although I never did the whole “stay on the strip” thing, I can say with full confidence that camping was THE BEST WAY TO DO EDC. Not only do you have various sleeping options & the tents are already pre-built with AC units so you don’t die in the Vegas heat, but you also have easy & unlimited access to and from the festival!
Other perks of camping include but are not limited to: some of the most amazing coffee & lemonade stands you can walk up to every morning before heading over to goat yoga, fun vendors, rollerskating in the rink, pools & waterslides and of course, enjoying the DJ’s that come perform intimate sets on the campgrounds - it truly is all around magic!
Location: Rothbury, MI
Dates: June 22 - 25, 2022
In my humble opinion, Electric Forest is another right of passage in the music festival scene, right next to EDC. Before EDC ever had camping, Forest was the place to hitch up your tent, take off your shoes & get lost in a mystical forest away from the hustle and bustle of Vegas or any of the other Insomniac events. From Said The Sky’s Ocular Organ Set playing the piano with his fans, to the enchanting sounds of Rüfüs Du Sol coursing through the trees, this 4 day music festival is a mystical oasis for hippies, forest fairies & dreamers alike.
Make sure to check out the festival map to plan a meeting spot with your group, get acquainted with the campgrounds & check out where you’ll be camping. Unless you and your group of 20 or more decide to do group camping, you’ll want to get there early, since according to the website: “Campgrounds are assigned based on the flow of traffic and the parking crew’s work flow. HQ cannot guarantee campground placement for anyone arriving at any time, including those who are arriving on Wednesday.”
Typically a 4 day festival held every summer, this year the festival was postponed until 2022, leaving you plenty of time to plan & prepare! Make sure to check out the official Electric Forest website as well as other sources (YouTube is always my go-to when it comes to festival prep because you get some really honest first hand accounts!) to make sure you cover all of your bases!
Location: Modesto, CA
Dates: Postponed for 2023
Summer isn’t over until Dirtybird SAYS it’s over. Claude VonStroke & the Dirtybird squad have been spicing up this spooky month since its inception in 2015, adding an entirely new vibe to the already eclectic west coast festival lineup. As an East Coaster, I only ever dreamed of attending events like Escape and Beyond, but as a house head, Dirtybird Campout has officially become my new Disneyland. Although there are plenty of other genres and artists to be discovered, including an entire stage dedicated to Bass Music/DNB, it really is the summer camp theme for me.
Bringing all walks of life together to (re)live their wildest summer camp dreams while jamming out to some of Dirtybird’s finest beats, Dirtybird Campout boasts one of the most unique experiences you’ll ever get at any music festival, and here’s why:
Not only do you get to enjoy the sounds of Walker & Royce, Nala, Redlight, VNSSA & the rest of this amazing lineup, but you can dress up like a girl or boy scout & learn to shoot bows and arrows right after a riveting game of kickball with your crew! That’s if you haven’t shuffled your legs off the night before!
There are many ways to enjoy Dirtybird Campout, including becoming a Counselor in Training (CIT)! Check out their official website to make the best out of your outing!
Photo: Lost Lands
Location: Legend Valley, OH
Dates: Sept. 22-24, 2023
Get your neck braces ready cause Lost Lands WILL have you breaking your neck for 3 whole days in the middle of nowhere Ohio and you WILL like it. And what’s not to like about being surrounded by your best friends, bass music & big ass dinosaurs?
Situated in the lush greenery that makes up Legend Valley, you’ll find yourself transported to the Jurassic era as the sun sets over a bass infused campground, a figment of Excision’s imagination brought to life for happy & hardcore headbangers alike. You’ll find no shortage of X’s being thrown up & necks being snapped drop after filthy drop with acts like Kompany, Dion Timmer & Subtronics shaking the main stage.
Check out the official lineup, the perfect Lost Lands Packing List, info on charging lockers & anything else you might need to know to have an amazing weekend in Legend Valley here!
Photo: Bass Canyon
Location: The Gorge, WA
Dates: Aug. 18-20, 2023
Grab your headbang gang & head over to one of the most beautiful natural outdoor venues next to Red Rocks Amphitheater. Overlooking the Columbia River and now boasting 2 stages, Bass Canyon is filled with back drops & bass drops that will have you wondering what life was before you stepped foot in this dreamy canyon.
Although the festival itself begins on the 20th, campers are able to get to the site a day early to set up camp & enjoy Thursday’s pre-party (non-camping ticket holders are able to attend with the purchase of a Thursday pre-party ticket)!
Bass Canyon is typically rain or shine so make sure to pack accordingly! Their official website provides a pretty thorough packing list but if you’re needing a little extra outfit inspiration paired with useful tips, check out our blog on What To take to a Music Festival!
Location: Salmo, BC Canada
Dates: July 21 - 24, 2023
I had no choice but to throw in this Canadian heavy hitter to the mix. Shambhala is a name that is thrown around so often and for good reason! From an incredible production to a lineup that’ll have you updating your passport REAL quick, the only qualm for US festival goers in my opinion really is the distance.
From Anti Up, Seven Lions & Rezz to What So Not, Malaa & Channel Tres - the Shambhala stages will have you teleporting to all kinds of different dimensions. When you do come back to earth between sets, make sure to hang a kind note on the Wish Tree, check out the artists at the Basscamp Art Gallery or simply grab your flotation devices and head to the Salmo River! Just make sure you adhere to the 8 Pillars & respect the river!
Since you will most likely have to travel to the festival, make sure to check out the official Shambhala Website for info regarding transportation, shuttles, packing recommendations & everything else you need to know to enjoy your weekend!
Location: Manchester, TN
Dates: June 14-18, 2023
Bonnaroo is a great first time music festival to attend or to bring your friends who don’t just listen to EDM. A creole slang word for “good time,” you’ll find no shortage of endorphin releasing activities like colorful parades, “yoga-roo” & running a little 5k for the Roo Run! That is when you’re not too busy making waves at Splash-A-Roo or catching them during a Tame Impala set!
Past lineups have also boasted the likes of Childish Gambino, Incubus, Tyler the Creator & SVDDEN DEATH, as well as smaller acts that have risen to headline festivals all over the world and are ALWAYS worth checking out!
Peruse their site to find The Bonaroovian Code, survival tips from experienced Bonaroovians & more!
Photo: Okeechobee Music Festival
Location: Sunshine Grove, FL
Dates: Mar. 2-5, 2023
A springtime fest is everything anyone needs after a long, cold winter - so grab your SPF & bucket hats and head over to good ol’ Sunshine Grove, Florida! You’ll find yourself immersed in a tropical treasure trove of palm trees and people swaying to the sounds of artists like Big Gigantic, Earthgang, Bob Moses, & possibly catch Griz tearing up the saxophone mid set!
Okeechobee is an otherworldly experience that transports you out of Florida and into a multi-verse of immersive art, yoga, comedy shows, and music with homies new and old! Make sure to check out the set times & map so you can effectively stage hop to all 7 stages or take it slow & head over to the healing sanctuary for some shamanic workshops & thai massages!
Thinking about becoming an Okeechobeeing? Check out our Okeechobee recap from 2020!
Imagine Music Festival
Photo: Imagine Music Festival
Location: Chattahoochee Hills, GA
Dates: Sept. 14 - 17, 2023
Newly located in the lush green landscapes just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, Imagine Music Fest is a deep dive into the most beautiful parts of your subconscious mind. Bringing together some of your favorite DJs with an immersive experience that encourages festival goers to truly discover and express themselves like never before.
From “transformational workshops” where you can take on aerial yoga & other flow arts to learning how to mix & master your own music in the Producer’s Corner—Imagine Fest will have you becoming your literal best self.
Campers are able to arrive early (for an additional cost) to enjoy early access to the campgrounds, a late night silent disco, yoga & wellness classes & so much more. It’s nothing but magical vibes in Chattahoochee so make sure to dress accordingly & have the time of your life!
Weekender at The Gorge
Location: The Gorge, WA
Dates: Jul 21-23, 2022
Making its debut in 2019, The Weekender at The Gorge quickly skyrocketed to become one of, if not THE best trance festival in the US. Brought to you by the legendary Trance trio, Above & Beyond, this 3 day camping festival is now a magical place that Anjuna family can call home.
Early birds catch morning Yoga sets with Pavo as the sounds of Flow State (A&B’s album “for yoga, meditation & mindfulness”) lulls you into a true state of bliss, preparing you for a night of MUCH NEEDED Group Therapy. So grab your flow toys, your best friends & head over to the Gorge for all the vibes you’ll ever need!Head over to iHeartRaves.com for all your outfit needs, music festival tips, giveaways & more! Happy Camping!