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Top 10 summer camping music festivals

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More from Outdoor Living Newsletter June 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 10 most camping friendly festivals of all.

1. Telluride Blues and Brews Festival

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

Telluride, Colorado · September 17th - 20th, 2010

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.


BB King · Jimmie Vaughan · Allen Toussaint · Galactic


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 7 other campgrounds and RV parks near Telluride, Colorado.

2. Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival

Picture of a sign for the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Festival
Bill Monroe Bluegrass Festival sign

Nashville, Indiana · June 12th - 19th, 2010

The Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is the oldest continuous running bluegrass festival in the world. There are over 50 performing artists, as well as music and instrument workshops for adults and kids alike. The stage is set within Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground and a ticket to the festival includes camping.


Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys · Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver · Bobby Hicks

Camping and RVing

Camping and RVing sites are included in the price of the ticket and are very convenient. All sites are within a short walk of the stage. This event is extremely popular, so it is possible that you may not get a site with hookups.

There are also 12 other campgrounds and RV parks near Nashville, Indiana.

3. Nateva Festival

The Flaming Lips crowd surfing in a ball at Nateva Festival
The Flaming Lips crowd surfing in a ball

Oxford, Maine · July 2nd - July 4th, 2010

Unlike many other festival promoters the people at Nateva have coupled a stellar musical lineup with an equally impressive venue. The venue, Oxford County Fairgrounds, has more than 100 acres of land, dozens of buildings, electricity, lights, RV Hookups, water, camping areas and easy parking. Another highlight: the site was specifically designed for easy drainage in case of rain.


moe · The Flaming Lips · George Clinton

Camping and RVing

Fee-free camping is available off-site, with shuttles running back and forth between the venue. For an extra $20 you can camp on-site, with 24 hour access to campgrounds, all festival stages, entertainment, and late night festivities.

There will be FREE WIFI available to all campers and charging stations available to charge computers, phones and Blackberries. There will also be food and beverage vendors. If you want to camp next to a friend, you need to arrive together so that you can be parked together at the same time. There will be plenty of clean port-a-toilets and shower trucks available in the camping areas.

Family Camping

Nateva will provide a Family Camping Area for people with children. If you choose to stay in the Family Campground Area you must have a child 16 years or younger with you at the time you enter the Fairgrounds.


You can purchase an on-site RV With Hookup Parking Pass for $150 or an on on-site RV No Hookup Parking Pass for $85. Generators are NOT allowed in the RV No Hookup areas.

There are also 36 other campgrounds and RV parks near Oxford, Maine.

4. Walnut Valley Festival

A Walnut Valley Festival sign
Wallnut Valley Festival

Winfield, Kansas · September 15th - 19th, 2010

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 Mandolin Championship, rather than on big names. It is what makes 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 Winfield, Kansas.

5. Bonnaroo

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

Manchester, Tennessee · June 10th - 13th, 2010

Bonnaroo has become one of the largest festivals of the year. Top artists dot the lineup, such as Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, and Norah Jones. Other fun includes a comedy tent, cinema tent, and a silent disco, as well as numerous activity tents sponsored by corporations.


Dave Matthews Band · Kings of Leon · Stevie Wonder


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 23 campgrounds and RV parks near Manchester, Tennessee.

6. High Sierra Music Festival

Offical Logo of High Sierra Music Festival
High Sierra Music Festival

Qunicy, California · July 1st - 4th, 2010

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.


Widespread Panic · The Black Crowes · Bela Fleck · The Avett Brothers


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

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

7. All Good Music Festival and Campout

Logo of All Good Music Festival
All Good Music Festival and Campout

Masontown, West Virginia · July 8th - 11th, 2010

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.


Widespread Panic · Yonder Mountain String Band · Furthur · George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

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.

There are also 48 campgrounds and RV parks near Masontown, West Virginia.

8. Oregon Jamboree

Birdseye view of the Oregon Jamboree
Oregon Jamboree

Sweet Home, Oregon · July 30th - August 1st, 2010

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. This year's schedule includes big name acts such as Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, and Marinda Lambert.


Keith Urban · Blake Shelton · Marinda Lambert

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 38 campgrounds and RV parks near Sweet Home, Oregon.

9. Gathering of the Vibes

Festival logo for Gathering of the Vibes
Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival

Bridgeport, Connecticut · July 29th - August 1st, 2010

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.


Furthur featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir · Jimmy Cliff · Damian Marley


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


We've just learned that Gathering of the Vibes has sold out of RV Passes. If you still want to catch the show, you can stay at Totoket Valley RV Park.

There are also 22 campgrounds and RV parks near Bridgeport, Connecticut.

10. Country Fest

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

Cadott, Wisconsin · June 24th - 27th, 2010

Country Fest is a celebration of country music. The four day festival features some of the top names in country music, including Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, and Reba Mcintyre and camping. There is also a beer tent for all of you who might get thirsty.


Tim McGraw · Toby Keith · Reba Mcintyre

Camping and RVing

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

There are also 29 campgrounds and RV parks near Cadott, Wisconsin.

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