Music festivals go hand in hand with camping. From Woodstock to Bonnaroo, Americans have been camping out of tents and cars to hear their favorite bands for decades. Don’t make any rookie mistakes at your first music festivals with our camping guides so you can enjoy the lineup.

The Basics

Pitch your tent on high ground

Avoid ditches or you’ll struggle (or worse) in the rain. If you’re able, find a spot on a slight raise, and check out our camping in the rain guide, “10 Waterproof Hacks to Camping in the Rain.”

Make it easy to identify your tent

Pitch a flag. Hang some fabric off the side of your tent. Do something to make it easy for you and others to find your home base when you’re hungry, tired, and in need of some shade and downtime.

Invest in a quality tent

Heavy rain and strong wind aren’t uncommon at music festivals like Bonnaroo. Don’t risk your only shelter and splurge a little by investing in a high quality tent.

Consider staying in a RV

You can rent out RVs at Bonnaroo for a pretty penny, but packing in some of your closest friends and you can have a comfortable weekend of camping and music without bathroom lines and rain soaking your sleeping bag.

Keeping Your Tent Clean

Keep dirt out as much as possible

Sure, you’ll get dirty and muddy and you won’t keep everything outside, but try your best. If you don’t mind the constant grime, go for it, but if you’re like me, you need some refuge from the grunge. One easy hack: have a pair of flip-flops that you wear in the tent and leave your other shoes outside.

Don’t leave out food

Two words: fire ants. Throw away food instead of keeping it in your tent. Hide food you’re saving in empty coolers or keep it off the floor by hanging a bag from a higher place. This is such a simple solution to a lot of troubles.

Keeping Yourself Clean

Keep clean, but skip the shower line

Avoid the showers but keep your dignity with the help of hygiene products, from wipes to pocket showers. Don’t skip showers completely, but save time by scrubbing down without a shower.

Bathrooms

These can get gnarly. Skip the bathrooms near the campsites and check out any near the main stages, especially early in the morning. Don’t forget to bring toilet paper with you and even invest in some wet wipes for the seats.

What to Pack

  1. Fresh, clean water
  2. Toilet Paper
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Flashlight
  5. Tarp, or something else for shade from the Tennessee sun

Bottom line: stay cool and hydrated. Have some sort of shade you can escape under, and don’t forget toilet paper!