The Clearwater Festival, also called The Great Hudson River Revival, is a massive music and environmental event that takes place on the shores of the Hudson River. It has been going strong for over three decades. The Clearwater Festival is now the largest and oldest festival of its kind in the country.
The event typically takes place over a weekend and hosts over 15,000 people. It features a diverse mix of artists performing traditional, contemporary and American Roots music. There will also be dance performances, a juried craft show, working waterfront, Green Living Expo, environmental education sites as well as family-oriented entertainment. Festival attendees can also participate in a massive song circle which rounds out the weekend's schedule.
Proceeds from the festival go toward Hudson River Sloop Clearwater—a non-profit organization that sheds light on various environmental issues. Some of the artists who have performed at the Clearwater Festival in the past include Janis Ian, Michelle Shocked, Jorma Kaukonen, The Skatalites, Toshi Reagon, Joan Osborne, Donna the Buffalo, The Low Anthem, Buckwheat Zydeco, Indigo Girls, Peter Yarrow, Toubab Krewe, and the Foremen.
There are several sustainability measures in place, such as the bio-diesel-powered stages, volunteer meal preparation, and recycling of food waste, which make The Clearwater Festival one of the greenest events on the planet.
You can choose to buy a pass for one day of the festival or purchase tickets for both days. There are also weekend camping passes on offer for the Clearwater Festival. These range in price from $65 (single-day ticket) to $275 (weekend camping pass).
In order to help reduce the carbon footprint of the festival and lessen traffic, the organizers have tied up with MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) to offer a special discounted package. This includes a festival day or weekend pass along with round trip train fare at a special price. Members of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. also get access to discounted fares for festival passes. Take a look at the festival website for more information on tickets.
The Clearwater Festival takes place at Croton Point Park, which is located halfway between NYC and Poughkeepsie. Thanks to its central location, it is easy to get there by car or RV. It will take you about an hour to reach the venue from New York City or Poughkeepsie. Since this location sits on a piece of land that juts out into the waters of the Hudson River, remember to check that your route accounts for going around or over sections of water. The drive is spectacular, but may be longer than 'as the crow flies' in some cases.
Limited paid parking is available on site in Croton Point Park, and there are a few offsite paid parking options. Guests may not park pop-up trailers or RVs in the Audience Camping area (tents only) or parking lot. You'll need to purchase a separate RV pass and park in the RV Campground. Accessible parking is available on site on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The best way to get to the venue is by train. Croton Point Park is about one mile away from the nearest train station. Free shuttle buses will operate all weekend between the site and the train station. You could also ride your bike to the festival or use a rideshare service.
Clearwater Festival offers two onsite camping options: Audience Camping and RV camping. Only tents are allowed at the audience camping area, so you'll need to purchase an RV camping pass to stay overnight in your RV. This will give you access to an onsite location where you can park your RV or pop-up trailer/camper. Water and electric hookups are included with most RV camping options.
It's a good idea to camp out at the RV Park associated with the festival due to its proximity and facilities. However, you do have a few options available if you'd prefer to park your RV elsewhere or if you're traveling with a pet. Many of the other campsites are pet-friendly and come with facilities like pool access, big-rig access, and waterfront sites.
Bicycles, scooters, and personal motorized vehicles such as ATV's, golf carts, motor scooters, and powered skateboards will not be allowed in the venue. If you ride your bike to the site, you'll need to park outside. Every step has been taken to make the grounds as accessible as possible. Wheelchairs can be borrowed free of charge at the site.
Most people will be dressed in comfortable summer attire. It's a good idea to carry a jacket with a hood in case it gets cold. You may also need some rain gear and mud boots in case summer storms come to visit the Clearwater Festival. Wear comfortable covered shoes and take an extra pair of flip flops.
Make sure to bring bug spray, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and earplugs. You can also take a small, foldable chair or a light blanket for seating. There are no ATMs on the festival grounds, so take as much cash as you think you'll need. In case of an emergency, make sure you're carrying personal identification and medical documentation.
Remember to stay hydrated, wear plenty of sunscreen, and protect yourself with a hat. Attendees are encouraged to reduce the number of materials going into the waste stream. Special "Zero Waste" stations will be present at the venue where compostables and recyclables and are collected separately. No weapons of any kind, liquor, or illegal substances will be allowed.
Open fires will not be permitted in the onsite camping areas. However, camp stoves will be allowed, and you will also be able to prepare meals on the stove associated with your RV. The rules may differ at other campgrounds in the area, so it's a good idea to check the dos and don'ts in advance. Alcohol is not permitted at Croton Point Park.
You'll be able to find some truly exceptional pizzerias serving up delicious slices near Croton Point Park. Be sure to try some of the other indulgent Italian food when you're in the area. If world cuisine is more up your alley, you'll have some excellent Indian, Japanese, and Mexican eateries to choose from in the area.
There will be a centrally located food court at the venue where vendors will be serving up a variety of snacks, meals, and beverages. These will be prepared fresh on site and served on all days of the festival. Attendees will be able to try many different cuisines, and there will be plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to choose from at the Clearwater Festival.
Security personnel will be stationed at the entrances and also be making rounds. They will be able to provide emergency assistance to anyone in need. Volunteers will be present throughout the venue, disseminating information and providing support to patrons. They will also be in charge of traffic and parking management.
The Clearwater Festival is a rain or shine event. Croton-On-Hudson weather is typically warm and sunny in June. If any cancellations occur due to adverse weather conditions, attendees will be informed via the festival's website or social media accounts. It's a good idea to carry rain gear in your RV.
Trained medics will be available on site to provide medical assistance. There will also be volunteers on standby, who will be on call for first aid emergencies. Medications or other items that need refrigeration can be stored in a small refrigerator available at the first aid tent. An Access Hospitality tent will be on site where patrons with disabilities can get information and resources.