From iconic camping music festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo to events for foodies, beer, yoga, and beyond – festivals of any kind are a great way to escape the daily grind and immerse yourself in a world of music, art, and culture! Plus, there really isn’t a better way to get the most out of a festival than by camping at it. However, if you’ve never camped at a festival before, knowing what to bring and how to do it can hard to figure out.
Don’t worry though! We’ve put together a few helpful tips and a checklist of festival camping essentials to make your first festival camping experience one to remember:
What are the best camping music festivals?
- Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival: Held in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo is one of the largest music festivals in the US and offers a variety of camping options, including tent camping, RV camping, and glamping. With its diverse lineup and wide range of activities, Bonnaroo is a great festival for big groups and first-time campers!
- Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival: Coachella, held in Indio, California, is known for its celebrity sightings, unique art installations, and incredible music lineup. Camping is available on-site and provides festival-goers with a convenient and immersive experience.
- Lollapalooza: Held in Chicago’s Grant Park, Lollapalooza is a four-day music festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year. While camping is not allowed at the festival itself, camping is available in nearby areas, and festival-goers can easily access the festival grounds via public transportation.
- Burning Man: This annual festival, held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, is a unique and immersive experience for campers. Participants bring their own tents and camp in the desert, creating a community-driven and interactive experience. Keep reading to learn more about Escape’s Burning Man Policy.
- Sturgis Rally Blue Chip: This multi-weekend festival kicks off during the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota and is known for its musical acts in various genres, incredible people-watching, and close-to-the-action location. With the concerts just a short walk away, camping at the Blue Chip Campground is an exciting way to experience both the rally AND the music from the comfort of your camper van.
Read our round-up of all the best camping music festivals to check out in 2024 by month!
Festival Camping Essentials Checklist
- Sleeping bag, sleeping pad or air mattress and pump, pillow, and blanket
- Camping chair or chairs
- Food and cooking gear (stove, propane, cooking utensils, trash bags, etc.)
- Sunscreen and insect repellant
- First aid kit
5 Reasons To Rent A Camper Van For Your Next Festival
Music festivals can be exhausting, with long hours of standing and dancing. But with an Escape camper van, you’ll have a comfortable place to relax and recharge. Did you know our camper vans comfortably sit and sleep 4-5 people in the Del Mar Pop Top or with an additional rooftop sleeper? That means room for the whole crew! The “dining room” converts into an oversized queen bed and there’s a full kitchen with a sink, stove, and fridge in the back, so you aren’t limited to trail mix and PB&Js. String up some fairy lights and you’ve got yourself the ultimate setup!
With a camper van, you won’t have to worry about finding a hotel or setting up a tent. All you need is to park and you’re ready to start the party! The camper van has everything you need, including a bed, kitchen, and 11 depot locations across the US (most of which are near international airports)! Our camper vans come fully equipped so you can pick up the van and hit the road all ready to go.
Don’t have all your own camp gear? No problem! We offer bedding and kitchen kits, picnic tables, solar showers (no more waiting in long lines for the campground shower!), AUX cords, sunshade awnings, propane, and more for you to further enhance your trip. All of your festival camping essentials and accessories are ready when you pick them up.
Each of our camper vans is decked out with custom designs by talented artists in LA rather than being covered in branding. Plus, it’s easy to make friends with fellow camper van travelers and art lovers alike when your campsite looks this cool!
When you factor in the cost of a hotel, food, and transportation, camping in an Escape camper van can actually save you way more money than you’d expect. Camper vans are more economical than RVs and cheaper than hotel rooms. Plus, you can split the cost among your friends and you’ll get your vehicle and lodging all in one for a low price! Bonus: you can use the camper van’s kitchen to cook your own meals and avoid insane vendor pricing, which will save you even more.
“ABSOLUTELY AMAZING EXPERIENCE. Got the van for Coachella and let me tell you, our camp spot was the best set up thanks to the van! We had AC while others struggled in heat under their tents, nights were cozy, and we had access to clean water. We didn’t spend money on food at Coachella because we cooked in our van! So so so so so THANKFUL! Definitely renting again for my next camping trip :)” – Jhosselyn
Important Tips For Taking An Escape Camper Van To A Festival
Book your Escape camper van early, as they can fill up quickly during peak festival season, especially in California in April! Additionally, check the festival’s website for information on parking and camping options (like when to buy campsites), and make sure the campground you purchase allows “car camping” in the designated area. Escape has its own set of rules & regulations, too. For example, Burning Man attendees may only rent Mavericks and Mesa camper vans, and rooftop sleepers are not allowed at this festival.
Remember that you’ll be living in a compact space, so it’s best to pack light and only bring what you need. Pack clothes that are appropriate for the weather, comfortable footwear, toiletries, and a few items for entertainment, like a speaker, cards, or your favorite small game.
Don’t forget you can add useful extras like camp chairs, extra tables, and sun shades directly from Escape or you can opt to bring your own. Take another look at the list of festival camping essentials above to make sure you’ve grabbed everything. You should also plan to bring a lantern or flashlight, as well as extra batteries and portable chargers for your phone and other devices.
Food and Drinks:
The camper van has a convenient kitchenette, so it’s a good idea to pack non-perishable food and drinks, like fruit, crackers, and water before arriving on the festival grounds. Pro Tip: Check to see if the rental hub you are leaving out of has a community pantry – many renters will leave unused goodies for future escapees!
First Aid Kit:
Pack a basic first aid kit with items like pain relievers, sunscreen, bandages, and insect repellent. You never know when you might need it, so it’s best to be prepared!
What About Burning Man?
Can You Take an Escape Camper Van to Burning Man?
Yes, you can but going to Burning Man is at your own risk.
- CDW insurance does not apply once you enter the Playa.
- SLI Insurance, however, does apply and is encouraged.
- Due to the harsh environment, we are not able to offer Roadside Assistance on the Playa.
The grooming fee for our Mavericks vans is $750.00 and for our MESA vans is $1000.00. Do not try to hide the fact that you have been to the Playa. Fees of $1500.00 for the Mavericks and $2000.00 for the MESA will apply for failure to notify Escape ahead of time.
ONLY Mavericks and Mesa vans can go to the Playa, and rooftop sleepers cannot be brought to Burning Man.
Camping at a festival might be the best way to get the full experience, but if you aren’t prepared, you may not have as much fun. Use our tips and festival camping essentials checklist above to make the most of your time at the festival of your choice. To learn more about which festivals are the best to camp at, read our round-up of all the best camping music festivals to check out in 2024 by month!
For those who want to take their festival camping experience to the next level, rent an Escape camper van is the ultimate way to attend a music festival. With its convenience, comfort, privacy, cost-effectiveness, and added enjoyment, it’s the best choice for music festival-goers. So go ahead and book your Escape camper van today for the ultimate festival experience!
Read some previous festival-goers’ reviews of Escape:
“Told everyone we were in a band when we took it to Bonnaroo because of how sick our van looked. This thing was a dream on wheels.” – Harry
“Dear Escape Camper Vans! I just had the best experience of my life renting a van from you. I took the van around California; visited Yosemite and Big Sur… but most importantly, your van CHANGED my life at the music festival, Lightning in a Bottle. It really changed my entire festival world and I have been festing for 7 years. I think your vans are so perfect for festival go-ers because as soon as you’re the kid with the coolest van, you’re the coolest kid at the fest. Thank you so much!!!” – Julia
“The camper van we got far exceeded my expectations! It was clean, quirky and a big hit with friends at the festival we attended. It was a smooth ride. The bed was so comfortable, I could’ve slept all day. The fridge in the back kept beers extra cold and the design on the outside caught a lot of eyes. I would highly recommend this company to anyone looking for a unique, memorable ride…riding a unicorn could be the only thing cooler than this!” – K Barry