Soaking up the peace and quiet out in nature is bliss, but once or twice a year we crave a camping experience with a bit more acoustics. Camping at music festivals is the best way to be immersed in the experience and gives more opportunities to enjoy the world-class music, art and food on the playlist. Teardrop trailers are lightweight and easy to tow to your musical destination, and provide an air-conditioned retreat from the sun and a comfy bed to fall in to after a long day of dancing your heart out. Here’s a list of the best music festivals for teardrop camping in Northern California.
Strawberry Music Festival
Late May at the Nevada County Fairgrounds
Bluegrass and folk lovers unite at this historic festival in the Sierra Nevadas that is known for top-notch musical acts and also for its legendary camp jam culture. Acts that have graced the main stage include the Richard Thompson Electric Trio, Della Mae and the California Honeydrops. The music goes late in to the night on Friday and Saturday, but the real party is in the campground were all manner of banjos, mandolins and ukuleles light up the beautiful, park-like camping facility nestled on 100 acres of conifer forest. Dry camping is included in the price of the camping ticket, meaning there’s no extra charge to tuck away for the night in a cozy teardrop trailer and wake up ready for three full days of magical musical moments and mountain scenery! The fairgrounds offer forest and meadow camp sites that are convenient to festival programming, and sites with full and partial hookups are available but sell out quickly.
California Roots Music and Arts Festival
Late May at the Monterey County Fairgrounds
Jimi Hendrix may have set his guitar on fire on this stage in 1967, but the cosmic blend of reggae, rock and hip-hop acts lined up for this festival will be setting the stage on fire all weekend! Musicians like Ben Harper, Steel Pulse, Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, UB40 and Matisyahu are just a few of the big names that have appeared on the main stage, but this dynamic event goes beyond the music with interactive art installations and live art performances, yoga workshops to get the good vibes flowing and delicious food vendors curated carefully for an intimate and inspiring experience. The festival partners with Laguna Seca to provide camping facilities with a serene view of the Salinas Valley in beautiful Monterey Bay and a shuttle that transports campers between all the musical fun and their own slice of wilderness paradise. Laguna Seca offers full and partial hookups, group sites and lots of boondocking sites.
High Sierra Music Festival
4th of July weekend at the Plumas County Fairgrounds
This music festival in the small mountain town of Quincy is a prism of some of the most famous national names in funky jamband, jazz, roots rock, newgrass and electronica. The eclectic mixing continues off the main stage in musical “playshops” where musicians collaborate in different combinations in unscripted side shows. Colorful daily costume themes and artistic self-expression abound as the festival goers become a part of the experience. Camping at High Sierra is not just an afterthought, it’s a big part of the fun as multiple on-site camp areas get festive with themes and decorations while the musical performances on stage are playing on every radio from a local broadcast. Campers with trailers in tow can escape the heat and freshen up in private bathrooms before diving back in for more epic musical performances. On and off-site campgrounds offer a range of hookup options.
Hangtown Music Festival
Late October at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds
Falls best music festival goes down in Placerville, a historic town with a notorious reputation for vigilante justice. It’s the perfect backdrop for a Halloween themed festival ripe with costumes, pumpkins and great music. Artists like The Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams Pettygrass and the Claypool Lennon Delirium keep the bluegrass, folk, country and funk music coming while annual headliner Railroad Earth plays all three nights. Two RV options are available to reserve separately, on-site camping with full hookups and Mystery Meadow site for boondocking. Either way it’s the perfect time of year to see fall colors in full effect.