7. Country Night Lights Festival
Country Night Lights Festival is held in a big, open field in Athens, Ohio each year. The field is vast but gets filled up quickly with cute college crowd (go Buckeyes!) who aren’t afraid to spill some beer where they sleep (because that exactly what they get up to at night).
The camping area, by the way, accommodates both tents and RVs. Plus, there are local and regional food trucks and vendors dishing out delicious food throughout the festival and campgrounds. This crowd loves artists like Jake Owen, Frankie Ballard and Brothers Osborne, which is exactly who they come here for.
6. Water Shed Festival
Water Shed Festival in George, Washington is a veritable wonderland of carnival rides and foods and music that far surpasses that of any old carnival. “Shedders” can fill their tummy with burgers (or monster sausages) on French bread and fancy(ish) cocktails made in big jugs.
Seriously though, this festival and its tailgate party have enough of a glam bent on them that you can feel safe wearing some sequins and your good boots. Shedders camp in all kinds of ways, from tents to big rigs to VIP glamp areas, just as long as they are registered and properly ticketed beforehand. Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Keith Urban are some of the biggest names that have graced the main stage at Water Shed.
5. Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City Beach, Florida is like a down home jamboree with a way better lineup. Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban are just a couple of the big names that have played in the past.
The tailgate parties are kept mostly to the parking lot, but often seep away to the beach and hotels, too. There is no camping available around the venue but there are lodging package that come with tickets. The lodging hotels are a great deal if you want to tailgate at a hotel full of other festival-goers with no noise complaints because the hotels make themselves exclusively available to them for the weekend.
4. Country on the River
Country on the River in Prairie du Chien is one of Wisconsin’s favorite music and camping festival. Maybe it’s because they manage to grab acts like Kid Rock, Lee Brice and Billy Currington, or maybe because it’s an all-weather, 100% country ho-down. Grab your boots, your squad and your camping gear because things are going to get messy on the river.
Camping is one of the best ways to experience the festival and the tailgate in between, so get your spot early. And when you’re tired of the crowds, you can always fill up on food, or crafts, or something entirely different called “food crafts”.