Does this belong on AirstreamDog? Because our Airstream Dog didn’t accompany us–the first trip we’ve done in the Airstream without Bugsy. We spent four nights camping in an enormous field of RVs, down the road from an even bigger tent city, surrounded by oppressive heat, orange dust, great music, 30,000+ happy, friendly people, and a groovy vibe. Thanks to careful preparations, we had a successful stay, and wanted to share some tips and lessons that may help you plan your Lockn’ adventure.
The most important tip I can give is to plan for the weather!
It was stupid hot for Lockn’ 2016. The keys to our happiness were SHADE and WATER. We had substandard air conditioning in the Airstream (due to all the RV ACs slamming the shared power supply) and couldn’t depend on it for a quick cool-down; the better place to relax and recharge was our yard, beneath the awning. We bought two sheets from the Lockn’ vendor area to hang from the side of the awning, which gave us all-day shade. The two small fans our brother-in-law donated to the cause kept us comfortable in our camp chairs on our little patio. We chugged water all day and when we ventured out into the sun, of course we wore sunscreen, but we also put cold water on kerchiefs for the backs of our necks. Not fashionable, but effective. If you’re dealing with extreme heat, remember to pack enough clothes to allow you to change out of sweaty items as needed, and if you’re drinking alcohol, make sure you stay hydrated.
After you have your weather plan sorted out:
Get there early to avoid lines and get a good campsite! We arrived at 6am on the dot Thursday morning, and were shuffled into a column of RVs in a holding area to wait until 7 when they’d start letting people in. The process was surprisingly organized, and we enjoyed watching the sunrise over the mountains before a smooth entry into the venue. We were directed along the roads to the section of the RV area where they wanted us, but then could pick our own spot–not sure if that was the intention, but being so early, there was nobody telling us where to park. That meant we could find a flat spot (some spots were very NOT flat!) near a water tank and the path down to the center of activity. In retrospect, we might have gone a little farther from the road, as the constant flow of traffic (mostly golf carts) kicked up crazy amounts of fine red dirt that got all over everything. But overall, we loved our location.
Bring enough food and drink! We planned to eat breakfasts, snacks, and dinners at home, and lunches out. The food options available at Lockn’ were good and varied and not totally unhealthy, so we would have been happy eating more vendor food if needed. Drinking-wise, we brought a ton of beer for consumption at home, as you can’t replenish your stash on site. The beer selection for sale at the stages was pretty basic, except for local favorites at the Starr Hill tent.
Consider bringing a bike! As you may have read, we picked up cruiser bikes on our last Airstream trip to Damascus, VA, and they were great to have at Lockn’. RV-land is over the river and through the woods from the main vendor and music areas, so the cruisers made commuting much quicker. We didn’t try them because of the heat, but Oak Ridge Estate offers over fifteen miles of trails for the use of festival-goers. Remember to pack front and rear lights and a lock if you bring your bike. You can also rent a bike at the venue, and the rental place offers guided trail rides.
Despite the crushing heat, we had a great first experience RV camping at Lockn’ thanks to good planning and packing, and careful scheduling during the day. We’re looking forward to taking the Airstream on another musical adventure!