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The Ultimate Guide to Festival Camping


Get our top tips for saving money on a campervan trip:

Summer Music Festival Camping Like a Pro


April 4, 2024 Summer Music Festival Camping Like a Pro

The Ultimate Guide to Summer Music Festival Camping

Incredible outdoor performances, eclectic art displays, and good vibes all around- what’s not to love about music festivals camping? If you want to make the most of your festival experience, camping is a must!

By renting an Escape Camper Van, you can experience the immersive festival camping experience without having to sacrifice creature comforts. You can spend the day dancing your heart out and returning to a home-cooked meal and a cozy mattress! Plus, a camper van rental means no worrying about what camping gear to bring or pitching your tent late at night. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to festival camping with a camper van to ensure your festival season goes off without a hitch.

With locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, New York, and Orlando, Escape Camper Vans is nearby regardless of what festival you are planning on attending.

If you are struggling to figure out what you need to bring for a music festival camping trip, check out our festival essentials packing list for a comprehensive list.

Getting Ready to Camp at a Music Festival

Plan Ahead

The key to a stress-free festival season is booking everything well in advance. This includes festival admission tickets, camping spots, and an Escape Camper Van rental. Most festival websites will have detailed information about the date and time that their tickets go on sale, so make a point to plan ahead and be ready- especially for hugely popular festivals like Coachella.


If you plan to cook in your camper van (which we highly recommend), stocking up on all the groceries you’ll need before entering the festival grounds is a good idea. Focus on quick, easy-to-make meals, fruit, and convenient snacks like trail mix and granola bars. Of course, hydration is also essential, especially if you’re camping in a hot climate. Bring plenty of water and a reusable water bottle that you can easily refill throughout the day.

Arrive Early

Festival camping is not the time to arrive fashionably late. Aim to get there early so you can secure a better spot, whether that means an area with extra shade or an adequate distance from the restrooms. Also, you’ll want to set up your campsite before diving into all the festivities, so the sooner you arrive, the better! Some festivals even let campers come a day early to set up, so check and see if that’s an option for you.

Essential Camper Van Supplies

To make your campsite more comfortable, grab an extra bedding kit, camp chairs, and a table from our extra add-ons. Also, grab a door canopy to protect yourself from the sun. We recommend a solar shower if you want to freshen up easily during the event, as many festivals offer minimal shower facilities.

Why you Should Rent a Camper Van for your Next Festival Camping Trip


Because our camper vans are self-contained, you’re guaranteed to have everything you need at all times. Between our queen-sized beds, handy kitchenettes, and a range of extra accessories that you can add to your camper van rental, you don’t have to worry about much else. Plus, with 11 locations across the country, chances are there’s an Escape Camper Van hub relatively close to your festival!


Our cozy camper vans provide a comfortable place to rest and relax between endless hours spent dancing and running around the festival grounds. Our mattresses are much more comfortable than a tent and sleeping bag, and a van makes for a homier (and roomier) base in general. With a convenient 2-burner camp stove and fridge in your van, you can even enjoy a “home-cooked meal” right from your campsite. Add a kitchen kit, camp chairs, and a picnic table from our available add-ons, and you’re good to go!

Save Money

As much as we love a good music festival, the truth is that they’re far from cheap- especially when you add up the costs for admission tickets, hotels, car rentals, and food. With a camper van, you’ll spend less by combining your accommodations and vehicle rental in one. Plus, our kitchenettes make it possible for you to save a ton of money on overpriced festival food. Just stock up on groceries before arriving, opting for ingredients that can be used for quick, easy-to-make meals in your van!

Great Conversation Starter

Every Escape Camper Van is custom painted by a talented artist, which not only makes it extra fun to show off but also a great way to meet fellow festival-goers. Your neighboring campers will find it hard to resist commenting on the van’s unique artwork, making it a great ice-breaker!

A group of four friends at a summer music festival.

Summer Music Festival Camping Packing Tips


Remember to pack your basic hygiene essentials, like a toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap or hand sanitizer. A thin, quick-drying towel is another convenient must-have that will take up minimal space in your van. Bring flip-flops if you plan to use the communal showers.

Since festivals are known for being anything but quiet, we also recommend bringing earplugs so you can get a solid night’s sleep more easily.

Sun Protection

In addition to your door canopy, make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat (luckily, these can easily double as a festival fashion statement). Being cautious of the sun is especially important at festivals with little shade, like Coachella.

First Aid Kit

A small first aid kit can be a big help for minor issues during the festival. Pack some bandaids, pain relievers, aloe vera, and bug spray to prepare you for any unexpected issues.


Along with extravagant festival outfits, it’s important not to neglect a few practical wardrobe pieces. A lightweight rain jacket or poncho is a festival must-have, as nobody wants to hop in their camper van soaking wet. Cozy pajamas and sweats to keep warm during chillier evenings or mornings are also great to have on hand. Lastly, comfortable shoes that can handle possible muddy conditions are a must!


While festivals can be a 24/7 experience, everyone needs a little downtime. Bring some portable games, a deck of cards to play at your campsite, and some books or magazines.


Since you won’t be able to charge your phone when your camper van is turned off, you should pack portable chargers and extra batteries for any electronics. Wireless speakers are also fun to have when hanging out or having dinner at your campsite.

Best Camping Music Festivals

Hundreds of amazing festivals occur throughout the year, many of which do a wonderful job of accommodating campers! From headbangers to chill folk music, these are some of the best music festivals to take your camper van:

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Located in Indio, California, Coachella takes place over two weekends every April and is one of the trendiest music festivals in the US. The Coachella lineup often features some of the biggest names in music. Along with an impressive lineup of over 100 big-name musicians, the festival features an expansive area for camper vans and tents.


Chicago’s biggest music festival takes place every summer for over four days and is one of the longest-running music festivals in the country! While camping on site isn’t permitted, several camper van-friendly campgrounds and convenient public transportation to and from the festival are nearby.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Situated on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo is a massively popular festival held annually in June. The lively music and arts festival offers a range of convenient camping options, including areas for RVs, tents, and camper vans.

Bass Canyon Festival

Found in Washington’s incredibly scenic Gorge Amphitheater, the Bass Canyon Festival features many camping options for tents, RVs, and camper vans. Better yet, campers can arrive a day before the festival to set up and secure a spot before the festivities begin!

Electric Forest

EDM-loving campers shouldn’t miss Rothbury, Michigan’s annual Electric Forest Festival. In addition to an impressive lineup and extravagant art installations, the festival offers a wide array of camping options in a gorgeous forest of Maplewood trees.

As long as you plan and pack accordingly, we’re confident your festival camping experience will be unforgettable! Just remember to stay hydrated, get a bit of rest while you’re there, and book your camper van well in advance!

The Ultimate Guide to Festival Camping – Escape Camper Vans

Make the most of this festival season with Escape Camper Vans’ ultimate guide to festival camping

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