4 of the Best Music Festivals Worth the Road Trip

Group of people on the rails at a music festival

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Traveling in RV comfort to a music festival ranks near the top for reasons to own or rent an RV. Whether your musical tastes run to country, blues, classic rock, hip hop, or anything else, there’s a festival nearly every weekend from early spring to Labor Day in some part of the U.S.

Whether you're driving to one festival or you're going on a cross-country road trip to see various festivals, make sure you plan ahead so you know where to stop along the way and where to camp out near the event.

Bonnaroo: Manchester, Tennessee

Bonnaroo is one of the biggest events in Tennessee in June, located in the rural town of Manchester just 60 miles south of Nashville. More than 80,000 attendees descend onto the town for this bohemian festival with clear nods to Woodstock. They come not only for the eclectic line-up of artists—including every genre from indie rock to gospel and hip hop to electronic—but also the complementary activities including outdoor yoga, body painting stations, and discussion panels.

Whether you're road-tripping to Manchester in a sedan or an RV, car camping is the most popular option for attendees. The campgrounds have a familiar vibe and groups come together to watch movies under the stars or cook huge meals with their neighbors. There are designated spots for RV camping, so no matter what type of vehicle you have you can be assured that there's a space for you.

Pro Tip: Purchase your car or RV parking pass at the same time as your festival tickets, as both sell out early. There are no RV hook-ups on-site, but small generators are allowed, so check the guidelines.

Outside Lands: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is a feast for all your senses. Not only does it offer dozens of acts for your listening enjoyment—past headliners include Paul McCartney, Elton John, Radiohead, and Stevie Wonder—but this fest also features an improv comedy tent, Choco Land where chocolate delights are abundant, and a foodie’s nirvana of culinary pop-up stands. Add all of that in with the natural beauty of Golden Gate Park and the warm weather of August in San Francisco, and you're in for a real treat.

Camping in a major urban center like San Fransico isn't a viable option, but there’s plenty of RV camping within an easy drive or train ride away. Park the RV at a campground in a nearby town like Pacifica or Marin and consider using local public transit to enter the city rather than driving in, as parking at the festival is extremely limited. If you’re lucky enough to camp within biking distance, there’s a secure bike valet service on-site at the festival, or you can take advantage of Lyft or Uber to get you there from the RV park.

Firefly Music Festival: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware

Firefly Music Festival lets you feed your need to hear top bands while camping in the great outdoors. Held at Dover International Speedway, Firefly offers several levels of camping in two campgrounds within an easy walk of all the entertainment. Most campers—whether you bring a tent or an RV—stay in a lively area known as The Grove, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to socialize and make the most of your trip.

Go for the bands, local Dogfish beer served at the Brewery, afternoon pick-me-ups at the Coffee House, a sprawling outdoor market of artisan crafts, and to meet new like-minded friends around your campsite. It's held in mid-June each year and campsites sell out early, so plan in advance and make reservations early.

Pro Tip: Camping pass pricing is based on proximity to the festival entrance. Consider purchasing a Wednesday Premier Pass for early arrival and access to the best campsites.

Coachella: Empire Polo Club, Indio, California

Perhaps the quintessential camping music festival, Coachella has grown to be so big that the festival actually takes place over two consecutive weekends, with the exact same line-up over both. Each year in April, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the desert of Southern California to listen to top music artists, gape at the massive art installations, and camp out in the nearby campgrounds.

The festival itself hosts the majority of attendees in the car campgrounds, where they are given a spot to park their vehicle and to sleep. Onsite campgrounds also include spaces where you can just pitch a tent if you don't have a car, or you can splurge on a "glamping" spot that comes with a furnished tent or yurt. RVs aren't permitted in any of the onsite camping areas, but there are several nearby RV camps such as Indian Waters RV Resort or the Motorcoach County Club.

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