Car Camping at a Music Festival: What to Know

Olivia Patterson

The Art of Car Camping at Music Festivals

Ever wonder how to nail car camping at music festivals? Do questions buzz around your mind like bees at a picnic? You’re not alone!

I’ve been asking the same questions myself. What should we be cognizant of? What magic tools do we need to elevate comfort? How do we keep our privacy intact?

And most importantly, are there unspoken campground rules we need to follow? It’s a lot to absorb, right? Let’s crack these mysteries open together, shall we?

What should I be aware of when car camping at a music festival?

Arriving and setting up

When car camping at a music festival, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Arrive early to secure a good camping spot. Popular festivals can get crowded, so arriving early is important to get a spot close to the festival grounds.
  • Follow the festival’s guidelines for car camping. Each festival may have specific rules and regulations that must be followed, such as the number of people allowed per car or the size of the camping area.
  • Pack all the necessary camping gear. Make sure to bring a tent, sleeping bags, camping chairs, cooking equipment, and any other supplies you might need for your camping experience.

Staying safe and comfortable

It’s also important to take the following precautions during your car camping experience:

  • Keep your valuables secure. Don’t leave expensive items unattended in your car or tent. If possible, lock them in your car.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. Music festivals can be hectic and crowded, so it’s important to stay alert and watch out for any potential safety hazards.
  • Maintain good hygiene. Festival camping can be a bit rugged, but maintaining basic hygiene practices like washing your hands and brushing your teeth can go a long way in keeping you healthy and comfortable throughout the festival.

Camping etiquette

Lastly, it’s important to be considerate of your fellow campers:

  • Keep noise levels reasonable. While music festivals can be noisy, be mindful of your volume, especially during late hours.
  • Clean up after yourself. Keep your campsite tidy and dispose of any trash properly. Leaving your campsite clean helps maintain the overall cleanliness of the festival grounds.
  • Respect your neighbors. Be mindful of the space and privacy of your neighboring campers. Avoid trespassing on their camping area and be courteous in all your interactions.

Essential Comforting Car Camping Items for Music Festivals

Reliable Shelter Essentials

A shelter over your head is paramount for comfort and needed most after the festival’s vibrancy ends for the day.


A spacious, easy-to-set-up tent is a must-have. Consider a self-pop-up tent or an inflatable one for the sake of ease.

Sleeping Gear

  • Padding: Air mattress or sleeping pad is advisable for a restful sleep against the hard ground.
  • Bedding: Seasonally appropriate sleeping bags or blankets will do the trick.
  • Pillows for added head comfort, and in case you’re a side sleeper, extra padding.

Hydration & Nutrition

Paying respect to the adage ‘A healthy life is a happy life.’

Water Storage

Water containers or a hydration bladder backpack ensures you stay hydrated through those dance sequels. If the site allows, consider bringing a water purifier instead of hauling excess bottled water.

Snacks & Coolers

Healthy snacks to feed your hunger pangs and perhaps a cooler to keep them fresh adds life to the wilderness. And if permissible, keep some instant meals–just in case.

Grooming Kit

A well-groomed person carries an exceptional vibe around.

Comfort Supplies

Toothbrush, toothpaste, travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand sanitizers or biodegradable wipes, and of course, your personal toiletries. Also, bring a towel for those quick wipe.”

Electrical & Lighting Aid

Charge & Connect

A power bank or car charger ensures the lifeline of your smart devices.

Light The Way

A headlamp or flashlight is crucial at night, when you’re navigating between your tent and the distant restroom.

Category Items
Shelter Tent, Air Mattress/Sleeping Pad, Sleeping bag/Blankets, Pillows
Hydration & Nutrition Water Storage/Purifier, Snacks, Cooler
Grooming Dental Care Essentials, Body Cleaning Supplies, Personal Toiletries, Towel
Electrical & Lighting Aid Power Bank/Car Charger, Headlamp/Flashlight

Inadvertently, camping at a music festival can have its share of unexpected occurrences. But with the above-listed essentials, your fun continues. No one said camping at such a grand event has to be uncomfortable. It’s only as cozy as you make it! Rock on!

Source: REI Festival Camping Checklist

How to maintain privacy while car camping at a music festival?

Attending a music festival can be a thrilling experience, but it’s also important to ensure your privacy and security, particularly when car camping. Below are some tips to help you maintain your privacy while car camping at a music festival:

  • Choose a discreet camping spot: When you arrive at the festival, try to find a camping spot that offers some degree of privacy. Look for areas further away from main footpaths or hidden behind trees.
  • Use appropriate window coverings: Covering your windows with curtains or tinting can help prevent outsiders from looking inside your car. Privacy shades or reflective window films are good options.
  • Keep valuables out of sight: Place your valuable belongings, such as electronics or wallets, out of sight when you’re not around. Consider bringing a lockbox or keeping your valuables in a safe location.
  • Be mindful of noise: Excessive noise can attract unwanted attention. Keep the volume of your music and other activities at a considerate level to avoid disrupting others and drawing attention to your campsite.
  • Don’t advertise expensive equipment: To avoid becoming a potential target for theft, try not to display expensive camping gear or equipment that may attract unwanted attention.
  • Know your camping neighbors: Get to know your camping neighbors and establish a friendly rapport. A strong sense of community can provide an extra level of security.
  • Lock your doors: Whenever you leave your campsite or your car, make sure to lock all doors and windows securely.
  • Be cautious with personal information: Avoid sharing personal information, such as your exact location or schedule, with strangers you meet at the festival.
  • Trust your instincts: If something feels off or suspicious, trust your instincts and consider moving to a different campsite or seeking help from festival staff.

By following these privacy tips, you can enjoy your music festival experience while keeping your personal space secure.

photo of tent in forest
Photo by Todd Trapani on

Essential Rules for Car Camping at a Music Festival

1. Respect the Campground

First and foremost, it’s crucial to respect the campground and the fellow campers around you. Be mindful of noise levels during quiet hours, as everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. Clean up after yourself and dispose of waste properly, using the designated trash bins. Let’s be responsible and create a welcoming environment for all.

2. Plan Ahead

To ensure a smooth camping experience, proper planning is key. Familiarize yourself with the festival’s rules and regulations regarding car camping. Make a checklist of essentials, such as camping gear, cooking supplies, first aid kit, and extra clothing. Don’t forget to bring any necessary permits or tickets, as well as enough food and water to sustain you throughout the festival.

3. Set Up Camp Safely

When setting up your campsite, safety should be your top priority. Choose a flat and stable area away from any potential hazards, such as trees or uneven ground. Secure your tent properly to withstand wind and other weather conditions. Be mindful of any potential fire risks and follow the festival’s guidelines for open flames, such as campfires or portable grills.

4. Connect with Your Neighbors

One of the most exciting aspects of car camping at a music festival is the opportunity to connect with fellow festival-goers. Make an effort to introduce yourself to your camping neighbors, as you never know who you might meet or what memorable experiences you might share. Building a sense of community can enhance everyone’s festival experience.

5. Stay Hydrated and Take Care of Yourself

Remember to prioritize your well-being throughout the festival. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially during hot summer days. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and a hat. Get enough rest and sleep to maintain your energy levels. It’s important to take care of yourself so you can fully enjoy the music and festivities.


In conclusion, car camping at a music festival can be an incredible adventure filled with music, fun, and new friendships. By following these essential rules, you’ll ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for yourself and those around you. 

“Music festivals are an opportunity to immerse yourself in a sea of sounds and connect with like-minded individuals.”

Respect campgrounds and campmates

Don’t forget to show regard for the camping site and fellow explorers, this ensures a harmonious atmosphere for all.

Importance of preparing and securing your camp safely

Preparation is key to sail through the festival, and maintaining a safe campground is essential to your experience.

Connecting with neighbors and self-care

The heart of the festival lies in connecting with those around you and cherishing the concert, but equally significant is taking care of your own well-being during the event.

Embracing the festival spirit responsibly

Immerse in the rhythm and harmony surrounding you, retain a responsible spirit, creating monumental memories is part and parcel of this festival fun. Ready to meet you at the concert!