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Top summer camping music festivals

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter April Outdoor Living Newsletter

If you're looking to escape the house for a few days, take in beautiful scenery, catch unobstructed views of the stars and enjoy the sounds of sweet live music, a multiple-day music festival might be right up your alley.

This summer there are a number of such festivals being put on throughout the country. We've gone ahead and picked out the top most camping friendly festivals of all listed in order of event date.

1.  Kerrville Folk Festival - Kerrville, TX - May 24 - June 10, 2012

Kerrville Folk Festival
Kerrville Folk Festival

Just like everything else in Texas, the Kerrville Folk Festival is BIG. The festival, which is held for 18 consecutive days on a ranch in the heart of Texas Hill Country, draws over 30,000 guests and more than 100 singer songwriters and their bands. The focus of the festivals is to promote emerging artists while giving the audience exposure to both new and recognized, seasoned talent. Workshops in songwriting, blues guitar, and harmonica are hallmarks of the festival, as are jam sessions round the campfire.


Milk Drive * Steve Seskin * John Fullbright * Warren Hood & the Goods

Camping and RVing

All camping and RV sites are on-site. There are 82 hookup sites, some with water/electricity/sewer, and some with water and electricity only, as well as plenty of space for tent camping.

There are also 29 other campgrounds and RV parks near Kerrville Folk Festival.

2.  Sasquatch Music Festival - George, WA - May 25-28, 2012

Crowd enjoying the Sasquatch Music Festival
Festival crowd overlooking Columbia River

The Sasquatch Music Festival is one of the most beautiful venues in the country. It is held annually at the Gorge Amphitheatre; an outdoor venue near the Columbia River. It is a nine-time winner of the Pollstar Magazine's award for best Outdoor Music Venue and is nominated once again in 2012. It is presented by the House of Blues and tends to have a prominence on indie rock as well as alternative rock and hip hop. The festival features five separate stages: Sasquatch!, Main Stage, Bigfoot Stage, Banana Shack, Yeti.


Jack White * Beck * Bon Iver

Camping and RVing

Standard camping site come included with your Sasquatch ticket but upgrades are also available. A premium camping ticket costs $170 per vehicle and accommodates all types of camping (tent, RV, etc.). This includes: secure fenced of area with restricted access to premier guests only, superior views across the Gorge, private restrooms, free shower facilities & shuttle service to the Amphitheatre.

You can also reserve $200 upgrades per RV. These sites provide: Oversized spaces (30'x50'), close to the amphitheater, not in the main campground, short walk to the main gates & free showers. They do not have RV hook ups available. Pump service will be available for an additional fee.

There are another 11 campgrounds and RV parks near Sasquatch Music Festival.

3.  Bonnaroo - Manchester, TN - June 7-10, 2012

Crowds gather at the entrance to Bonnaroo
Music lovers gather at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Bonnaroo has become one of the largest festivals of the year. Top artists dot the lineup, such as Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Other fun includes a comedy tent, cinema tent, and a silent disco, as well as numerous activity tents sponsored by corporations.


Radiohead * Red Hot Chili Peppers * Phish


Camping is on site and your ticket price includes access to the campgrounds. The campgrounds are very near the heart of all the activities and feature a wide array of facilities, including showers, bathrooms, food vendors, a general store, and more. There are also family camping and handicap accessible camping areas.


You can purchase an RV Pass and park on-site.

There are also 28 campgrounds and RV parks near Bonnaroo.

4.  Country Fest - Cadott, WI - June 21-24, 2012

Music lovers enjoying Country Fest
Spectators enjoying evening show at Country Fest

Country Fest is a celebration of country music. The four day festival features some of the top names in country music.


Dierks Bentley * Sugarland * Brad Paisley * Keith Urban

Camping and RVing

Camping and RVing sites are all on-site. Handicap camping is available.

There are also 17 campgrounds and RV parks near Country Fest.

5.  High Sierra Music Festival - Quincy, California - July 5-8, 2012

Live band performing under stage lights
High Sierra Music Festival

This year the High Sierra Music Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The four-day festival features an eclectic mix of some of the most famous national and international names in jazz, newgrass, bluegrass and other improvisational music forms such as jamband music. Other represented genres include funk, afrobeat, electronica, and roots rock.

Music aside, the festival has plenty of activities for patrons to participate, such as a kid zone, outdoor playshops, parades, fire performances and more.


Ben Harper * STS9 * Railroad Earth


Camping is included in the price of the multiple-day festival pass and is designated on a first come, first served basis. When on-site camping is at capacity, off-site camping is assigned, with shuttles running regularly between off site campgrounds and the festival.


On-site and off-site RV parking is available at the festival. On-site RV parking is only available with the purchase of the Premium FestivAll Pack 3. Off-site RV parking is "dry camping" only but it is an easy stroll to the showers and festival entry gates.

There are also 11 campgrounds and RV parks near Quincy, California.

6.  All Good Music Festival and Campout - Legend Valley, Thornville, Ohio - July 19-22, 2012

Sunset over a crowd at the All Good Music Festival
Crowd enjoying the All Good Music Festival

In recent years the All Good Music Festival has expanded its musical repertoire. Formerly a jam and folk festival, the festival has become more eclectic and exciting with the addition of hip hop, bluegrass, funk and rock are now being represented.

The festival is located in an idyllic setting, with the main stage sitting at the bottom of a natural amphitheater, with the beautiful mountains of West Virginia serving as the backdrop.


The Allman Brothers Band * Phil Lesh & Friends * The Flaming Lips

Camping and RVing

RV parking and regular camping at the All Good Music Festival is a treat. All sites are on-site and sit upon Marvin's Mountaintop, which has 655 acres of privately owned land offering serene and secluded rolling hills and a panoramic view that overlooks the Allegheny Mountains.

Find campgrounds and RV parks near All Good Music Festival and Campout.

7.  Gathering of the Vibes - Bridgeport, Connecticut - July 19-22, 2012

Aerial view of Gathering of the Vibes
Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival

Gathering of the Vibes brings together a collection of bluegrass, reggae, and jam band artists - including living members of the Grateful Dead - for a four day camping and musical festival on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut.


Primus * Phil Lesh & Friends * Bob Weir & Bruce Hornsby


Camping is in Seaside Park, which is on the water, and also happens to be where the stages are!


Camping is in Seaside Park, which is on the water, and also happens to be where the stages are! RV passes are currently sold out; however, in the case of unfulfilled reservations, Gathering of the Vibes maintains an RV waiting list.

There are also 2 campgrounds and RV parks near Gathering of the Vibes.

8.  Oregon Jamboree - Sweet Home, OR, August 3-5, 2012

Oregon Jamboree Crowd
Oregon Jamboree

At the Oregon Jamboree top notch country musicians play to energetic crowds in a park like setting in the foothills of the scenic Cascade Mountains.


Rascal Flatts * Dierks Bentley * Wynonna Judd

Camping and RVing

Camping and RVing sites are available in several areas surrounding the festival site. Water and toilets are provided. Showers are available at select campgrounds and shuttles run between many of the campgrounds and the main festival site.

There are also 16 campgrounds and RV parks near Oregon Jamboree.

9.  Walnut Valley Festival - Winfield, KS - September 12-16, 2012

A Walnut Valley Festival sign
Walnut Valley Festival is all about contests

Walnut Valley Festival is notorious for attracting top notch talent. In 1999 the International Bluegrass Music Association named the Walnut Valley Festival as its very first "Bluegrass Event of the Year" award winner. Like many other folk festivals, Walnut Valley draws a healthy dose of amateur musicians; approximately half of Walnut Valley campers bring a musical instrument to the festival. The result is some of the best "picking" in the country, with jam circles that range from Texas swing, to gypsy jazz, straight bluegrass, to old time, and everything in between.

The focus of Walnut Valley Festival is on the contests, such as the National Mandolin Championship, rather than on big names. For a small entry price anyone can enter. You need to play an instrument acoustically into a microphone for a maximum of 5 minutes and have 4 different plays. The contests are what make the Festival so unique.

Camping and RVing

Camping is on-site for tent camping and RVs, with 800 plug ins. Showers are available, as is firewood and an RV dump station.

There are also 16 campgrounds and RV parks near Walnt Valley Festival.

10.  Telluride Blues and Brews Festival - Telluride, Colorado - September 14-16, 2012

Band plays to a crowd in Telluride
Telluride provides the perfect concert backdrop

The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival takes place in Telluride Town Park, a renowned outdoor music venue with breath-taking mountain peaks for a backdrop. When B.B. King performed there in 2004, he sat on this same stage, looked out at the mountains before him, and told the crowd, "Out of the 90 different countries I've been to, I've never seen anything more beautiful than what you have here."

At night, after the music ends in the park, the festival scene moves into the various music venues located throughout the town of Telluride. Once these "juke joints" get jamming a walk down main street feels like a walk down Beale Street in Memphis.


To be announced late Spring, early Summer.


Festival camping is located in the Telluride Town Park Campground, adjacent to the festival grounds. Campsites are first-come, first-serve. The Campground has beautiful views and is right off the main street.


RV camping is allowed at the Campground but you need to buy an RV pass in order to do so. If you don't buy an RV pass you can drop your camping gear off at the campground and park your RV in a designated parking lot off-site.

If you cannot get into Telluride Town Park Campground there are 10 other campgrounds and RV parks near Telluride Blues and Brews Festival.

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