You’d think that living at a festival would be everyone’s dream- it is for most, and that dream is more tangible today than its ever been. With its new digs at the San Manuel Ampitheater, Insomniac Events has made the effort to create its own camping options, bringing some experience from their Electric Forrest festival in Rothbury Michigan back to their home state.
The Neighbors: Fellow Headliners vs. whoever booked the room next to, under, and around you.
We all know that rad feeling of seeing the colors, clothing, and general demeanor of a person who’s going to the same festival as you. We’re all probably also aware of the blank or just plain concerned stares from people who are not going to that festival. The question is: who will be your neighbor at the room you just got your key card for?
The scary answer is: you have no idea. Staking a claim at Insomniac’s campsite means looking at cars full of your fellow man roll in with the mentality to get the most out of their weekend, and they’re people who you can talk with endlessly about common interests. Even on the lucky circumstance that there’s a floor full of them at a hotel, the floors below and above could be bound to call some blue suited folks to shut down the party…even if it’s just a song’s intro through a bluetooth speaker.
The Pregame Tunes: Basic Aux Cord Privileges vs. a slot at Open Decks
The pump up and cool down ritual usually involves a small speaker from you or someone in your squad, with the aux cord passed to the person with the best taste. We all have that friend who not only knows his stuff, but can mix it seamlessly(even on a simple phone app). This individual and their friends would be much more enticed to have a pair of CDJs and a nice fat PA system available for one or two of them to go demonstrate their skills.
The Entertainment: Evening hotel TV vs. 3 nights of Disco
If you’re not lucky enough to have anything to play music on when you want after all the festivities, the only option at a hotel is to go straight to bed or watch Nick @ Nite. We’re more than aware that this is a preferred option amongst some exhausted souls, but if the energy does linger on after a good show, the best place to go is a little afterparty action. The Silent Disco was packed to the brim with volunteers handing out headphones at the speed of light.
The Setting: nature paths vs. hallways
Alright, fine, access to a hotel shower is nice. As is a real toilet. Hotels win this one…kind of. While the camping experience has an efficient bathroom and shower system in place, it can’t compare to a hotel just yet. What Insomniac does accomplish, though, is above average for this large population. When looking at the environment you get to call home, for a weekend, the cost of not having premium hygiene is low.
The Commute: Designated Driver or Uber vs. a leisurely stroll to the front gate
When you finally get to that long desired weekend off, the last thing you probably want to think about or deal with is a world outside the one that you’re exploring to. If convenient outlets, air conditioning, and a private shower with free soap are all worth being less immersed in the vacation you’ve chosen to take, we can’t be upset at the end of the day. We’ll stand by this, though: your memories of a music festival with your peers are better off being far different from those of a typical family trip.
Pasquale Rotella recently promised more camping experiences in the near future. The nearest one, Nocturnal Wonderland, is coming up in September and on sale now. Don’t miss out on that last essential piece of the full experience.