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What Is A Festival Tent?

Having the right festival tent makes all the difference
Having the right festival tent makes all the difference

Are you heading to a music festival? That’s great.

But wait…

Do you have your festival tent sorted out?

Do you know what the best tents are?

If not, don’t sweat it – we got you.

Types of Festival Tents

Now that you’re curious, let’s get started.

When choosing a tent for a music festival, you’ll want one that is suitable for camping and meets your needs (duh).

Here are the main types to have in mind:

Dome Tents

Dome tents are one of the most popular types in festivals
Dome tents are one of the most popular types in festivals

These are normally lightweight, easy to set up, and can accommodate a small group of friends (2-4) with room to store gear.

The sloped, dome-shaped structure handles wind and rain well, making it great even if your festival isn’t all sun and warm weather.

Plus, they come in all sorts of colors and designs, so you can easily spot your home base in the middle of a sea of tents.

Cabin Tents

Cabin tents tend to be larger than dome tents
Cabin tents tend to be larger than dome tents

Most cabin tents can easily accommodate 4-8 people, offer room dividers to section off space, and are tall enough that you can fully stand up inside.

They are extremely practical, giving you room to move around and feel less cramped.

If you’re bringing your children or simply want more space, cabin tents are a great choice.

Pop-Up Tents

These are easy to transport between campsite and stages
These are easy to transport between campsite and stages

Pop-up tents use flexible pole systems that make the set-up process super simple: just toss your tent, and it will unfold in seconds. Sounds perfect right?

Just be aware that they often lack rainflies and use thinner materials.

The heavy-duty models of these tents are rated for 3-season use, while the convenient ones can’t hold high winds or heavy weather.

But what does this mean exactly?

They’re a great choice if you’re festival camping in the Summer; a not so great choice if there’s a risk of facing terrible weather.

Inflatable Tents

There's nothing more classic than an inflatable tent
There’s nothing more classic than an inflatable tent

Now, if you’re feeling a bit classy and want to stand out from the crowd, you should be looking at an inflatable tent.

Inflatable tents are super quick to set up and look epic.

Just pump in some air, and voila – your tent is ready to party.

It Ultimately Depends on What You Want

The best festival tent for you will depend on what you’re planning, so we can’t choose it for you.

However, we can point you in the right direction.

In our view, when choosing the best festival tent, you should stick to proven and practical designs like domes and cabins and focus on a quick setup, proper ventilation, and good weatherproofing.

Need more? We’ve got you covered.

What To Look For In A Festival Tent

Festival camping: some people love it, others hate it
Festival camping: some people love it, others hate it

With so many commercial festival tents available, how do you choose the best one for your needs and budget?

Here’s our buying advice:

Weight

Don’t get too excited: a festival tent needs to be lightweight and portable enough to carry around a festival site. Otherwise, you’re gonna suffer.

As a general rule, look for tents under 10 lbs for two people or under 20 lbs for 4 or more people.

Weather Resistant

Since you will most likely be exposed to rain, wind, and sun, you should make sure you bring a high-quality tent made with waterproof materials that can handle whatever the skies throw your way.

Otherwise, have fun spending a festival in a wet tent.

Size

When picking out a festival tent, make sure it’s big enough to fit you and your crew comfortably.

You don’t want to feel like sardines in a can, right?

Then look for tents that offer enough sleeping space for everyone, plus a little extra room for your gear.

Storage Room

Festival tents need interior space where you can store your bag and a place to sleep.

Easy to Setup

Look for pop-up or instant tents you can pitch in just a minute or two.

Ventilation

Tents can turn into saunas real quick in hot, sunny weather.

Unless you want to boil inside, look for mesh panels & vents to ensure that air flows.

Doors

Doors that seal shut, like zippered ones, are better than open flaps
Doors that seal shut, like zippered ones, are better than open flaps

Floors

Some tents have sewn-in floors that keep you out of the dirt and mud. Others just work with a tarp.

Warranty

The best tents will come with a warranty against defects. Fair enough for at least a year.

Budget-Friendly

It’s always nice to save a few bucks where you can since the festival itself can get pretty pricey.

We know that.

But shop around only for budget-friendly options that don’t sacrifice quality. It’s a common mistake, especially for younger campers, to try to swing it with a low-quality tent.

If you’re thinking about doing it, good luck. You’re in for a ride.

How To Set Your Festival Tents Up

Always follow the manufacturer instructions when you're setting up your tent
Always follow the manufacturer instructions when you’re setting up your tent

The rule #1 is always: follow the guidelines from the manufacturer.

If you follow those, you can never go wrong.

But if you’re looking for some ideas, here are simple steps you can follow:

  1. Clear rocks, sticks, and junk from the spot

    1. Smooth out lumps if needed

  2. Lay out the tent and unfold it completely

  3. Adjust the guy lines so the fabric is tight but not overstretched, and the zippers lined up and sealed

  4. If you’re expecting wind or rain, use extra stakes and tie-downs

  5. Go back and tweak the stake tension if needed after settling

  6. Use a waterproof spray for extra assurance when sealing up seams

Setting up your festival tents is sometimes easier than ordering pizza online.

Don’t overcomplicate it.

Staying Safe

Festivals are normally crowded. But would it be called a festival if it was empty?
Festivals are normally crowded. But would it be called a festival if it was empty?

It’s true that camping with a lot of strangers at outdoor festivals can be risky. We’re aware of that.

But it’s also true that it doesn’t have to. Simple measures like the ones below can reduce the safety risks by a lot:

  • Don’t leave valuables unattended in tents where they can get snatched

  • Zip the mesh closed at night and use the rainfly for privacy

  • Attach ID tags with your name, phone, and camp spot

  • Respect the weight limits of your tent: don’t cram tents full of people, or they will collapse

  • Watch for tripping hazards like stakes around the outside

BONUS: More Camping Festival Tips

Having fun in a camping festival shouldn't be hard
Having fun in a camping festival shouldn’t be hard

Beyond measures involving your tent, keep these other pointers in mind about festival camping:

  • Bring warm, dry clothes in your carry bag to layer up when the temperature drops at night

  • Remember to pack batteries or solar chargers to keep devices juiced

  • Hit up the med tents if you feel sick. Dehydration and heat stroke are common in summer

  • Stay hydrated! Bring plenty of water or refillable bottles to stay energized

  • Invest in one of the best, highest-quality tents you can afford. The right tent will provide shelter and space to sleep and store essentials

Properly equipping your campsite will allow you to spend your time having fun without worrying about having enough shelter and supplies.

That’s definitely worth it.

Final Thoughts

Your festival tents set the mood for your campsite, so make sure you choose the best!

Remember, even the best tent won’t shield you from all the festival fun – expect some dirt, noise, and crazy weather. But with a solid tent, you’ll have a comfy, dry spot to crash after rocking out and making memories with your crew.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Take Big Tents to Festivals?

Yes, you can take large tents to music festivals, but they may not be the best choice as they are heavier and harder to set up quickly.

What Happens to Tents Left at Festivals?

They are typically collected by cleanup crews and disposed of. Leaving tents creates large amounts of trash, so always take your tent with you when you leave the campgrounds.

Should You Share a Tent at a Festival?

This idea can be fun and social if it’s with close friends you’re comfortable with. But the lack of privacy may become tiresome over multiple days and nights. It’s up to you to find a balance.