Your Guide to UTOPIAfest 2016

By DeMarcus Cobb
Assistant Music Director

Cheers to the beginning of Fall and cool(er) weather! The 8th annual Utopiafest is here and the weather is welcoming it with open arms. The highs will be in the mid-80s with lows in the mid-50s. With that said, this is perfect camping weather. This article will give you some insight and pointers that will help make your trip to Utopia fest a wonderful (and cheap) experience.

First and foremost, I would like to touch base on some things that you need to do prior to the festival.

Research, research, research.

Photo courtesy of UTOPIAfest.
Photo courtesy of UTOPIAfest.

If you’ve read this far, then you’re already taking the first step towards a successful camping festival. Here’s three pre-travel pointers:

  1. Check the webpage for the FAQ tab, this is your guide to where/how to park, what’s allowed on camping grounds or not, how to get in and out the festival, etc. Some festivals allow you to park on camping grounds while others, like Utopia, require you to park in a designated area away from the camping grounds. So knowing this will help you prepare accordingly!
  2. Plan your trip out. See where the gas stations will be along your journey. Last thing you want is to get stuck on the road and miss your favorite act!
  3. Do not overpack. It’s a tendency you have to fight. When camping, less is better. Below, UTOPIAfest has provided a checklist to follow with the necessities.

Create a checklist

Be sure the following are in a safe spot in your luggage before you travel onto your camping grounds. You don’t want to forget these:

Tickets
Wallet/cards
Hiking shoes
Insect repellent
Sunglasses
Cash (avoid those pesky ATM fees)
Map and directions to the festival (When reception is spotty, this comes in handy)
First Aid Kit
Tent (Practice setting it up before you leave)
Tarp
Sleeping bag
Cool clothes for during the day and warmer clothes for night
Water bottles
Poncho (in case of rain)
Download Firechat (available on the App Store and Google Play)

Photo courtesy of UTOPIAfest.
Photo courtesy of UTOPIAfest.

If you’re a festival pro, then you already know your cellphone is pretty much obsolete for the weekend. You send that text telling your friends where to meet up and go to said spot only to check your phone again and see that your text never sent. Well, there’s an app for that called “Firechat”. Now you can keep your group updated about your whereabouts if you tend to stray from the pack (like me).

Make a shopping List

Alcohol – If you’re 21 or over, good news for you! BYOB, but don’t forget to pack water to hydrate yourself.
Toilet Paper
Camping Stove (propane) – Save some money for merch instead of buying overpriced (but usually good) food inside the festival grounds throughout the day. But for UTOPIAfest, you can leave that stove at home! REI hooks it up at this festival with the amazing REI kitchen that contains all your cooking essentials.

Baby Wipes – No shower? No problem. At least you’ll be able to sleep somewhat clean! Showers at festivals can be pricey depending on your budget. Fortunately Utopiafest has showers for $5, and that’s pretty darn cheap.

I could give you more items to add but the lovely people of Inspired Camping have already compiled a list that I rely on before my camping trips or festivals. I highly recommend taking a look before venturing off to the UTOPIAfest campgrounds.

Holly Henrichsen

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