avatar Andrew Burgess June 7, 2022

Can we take our campervan to a festival?

Hell yeah! Music festivals are more fun with a campervan. Here’s what you need to know before you go.

If you’ve ever stayed in a tent at a festival, seen fields of tents packed closely together (usually in extremely muddy conditions), or paid through the nose for a festival glamping experience, then enjoying the extra comforts of a campervan could be just what you need.

Thinking of taking your campervan to a festival?

Taking your own home-from-home on wheels to a festival will mean you have a solid roof over your head, a comfy bed, heating if gets chilly or wet, and a fridge for cold drinks if it’s hot.

No matter where you are, making your own cup of tea in the morning, or a hearty bowl of pasta after a day of partying, is priceless. And it’s somewhere that you can lock away any valuables – much more secure than a tent.

Festivals come in all shapes and sizes, from running and literature to food, motorsport and comedy, but the biggest ones are, of course, music. Like surfing, festivals have been linked to campervans for many decades. So, taking your campervan to a festival makes perfect sense.

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Can you take a campervan to any festival?

Generally speaking, any festival that allows camping will usually have a dedicated area for campervans, motorhomes and caravans. If a festival is based in a town, then it will probably list local camping options, but you may have to do your own research. Be sure to check and book well in advance.

Don’t be surprised if you have to buy a special ticket for campervan camping areas, or some type of different permit. It might cost more to take a campervan to a festival than staying in your own tent, but it’s worth it for the added home-from-home comforts.

For reasons of safety and noise, you may only be able to drive on or off the campervan camping area at certain set times.

Tips for taking a campervan to a festival: Be prepared

Go expecting to be off-grid for the weekend as not every festival campsite will be able to offer a 240v mains electric hook-up. Your campervan’s leisure battery should provide you with enough power for your fridge and lighting for a weekend, but keep an eye on its level of charge. Remember that the hotter it is, the more power the fridge is likely to use, so to try to keep the cold air in, open it as little as possible.

If it’s a huge festival and camping area, make sure you can find your way back to your campervan and spot it among the mass of other campers that will probably be there. Those tall masts with flags are one way to spot your home-from-home. And if you’re returning after dusk, use your phone torce or a good old-fashioned flashlight.

Take some essential food supplies iso you don’t always have to queue or be limited to what the food stalls offer. Cooking back at your campervan could be a moment of calm from a busy day, or a sociable occasion if you’re with friends.

If you’re a light sleeper, then remember your ear plugs as the camping area may not be far from the music being performed – or played by other campers.

What should you pack in the campervan for a festival?

For obvious reasons, having your own portable toilet could be a huge advantage, but check when you book if there will be anywhere to empty it. Also check what other facilities, such as fresh water and showers, are available so you know if you need to take extra water or personal hygiene wipes with you. Take plenty of rubbish bags too, as they’re useful for laundry and wet clothes.

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If you’re going to a festival in the UK, then you always have to be prepared for rain – and that means mud. Hopefully, your campervan will always be packed with grip mats and maybe even a tow rope for wet and muddy conditions. If you do get stuck, there will hopefully be plenty of people around to help, or the organisers might even arrange a rescue tractor!

An awning will give you some shade if it’s hot and sunny. If it’s raining, it’s somewhere to stay dry while you take your boots and wet gear off. To keep the mud outside the campervan, take rugs and towels to cover the seats or floor. You’ll be so glad to have a comfy bed in a dry campervan – unlike the people in tents.

If you’re going to do a lot of off-grid camping in your campervan, then it will be worth getting a solar panel fitted to the roof of your campervan; otherwise, you may prefer a portable solar set-up.

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How do you charge the leisure battery at a festival?

If there’s no option of a mains electric hook-up, then you’re going to have to survive off-grid for the duration of the festival unless you have a solar panel. If you’re going to be camping off-grid regularly, then invest in getting a solar panel fitted to the roof of your campervan. If not, buy a portable solar panel set-up.

Which are the best festivals to go to with a campervan?

That’s a good question! There are so many festivals to choose from – big and small, with prices to match.

For a campervan-themed festival, and if you’d like to consider travelling into mainland Europe, then check out: this calendar, which lists lots of events nearly every weekend.

A couple of UK favourites worth highlighting are Camper Jam at Weston Park in early July, and Busfest in early September each year. The 2022 event is billing itself as ‘The Post Pandemic Vandemic’.

Most of the big music festivals like Glastonbury, Latitude or Camp Bestival sell out quickly. If you didn’t get a ticket or can’t manage the high ticket price, there are cheaper alternatives that are smaller or feature tribute acts, such as Glastonbudget.

Let’s go!

Festivals are great fun, especially if you organise to camp with a group of friends. Staying in your own campervan will make sure you’re in your happy place at a happy place. Make sure you do lots of research to find the best festival for you, your budget and your campervan. And have a blast!
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