If you feel like staying in stunning surroundings while you experience some of the best electronic dance music that the world has to offer, a weekend RV camping pass to Paradiso Festival might be just the ticket! Located just outside of George, Washington, right on the banks of the Columbia River, the hot beats and laid-back vibes at Paradiso draw nearly 30,000 festival-goers every year. Expect two days of music across three stages from a list of international names and up-and-coming artists, as well as fabulous stage visuals and independent artwork dotted around the festival grounds.
Paradiso Festival bills itself as ‘Where Music Meets Nature,’ and there’s no denying that the festival takes place in a seriously sweet spot. The Gorge Amphitheater doesn’t just provide breathtaking views of the Columbia Gorge; it also makes for an almost entirely natural acoustic dream. Campers can also benefit from this spectacular scenery– almost all sites at the Gorge Campground have waterside views. The terrain can be a bit rocky, but most sites are level, though shade can be in short supply.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, Paradiso offers a host of fun alternative activities. If you’re staying in the campground, you can expect silent discos, bead classes, totem building, a beauty bar, yoga, and much more. Outside on the grounds, you can check out carnival rides and performance art. Make your summer truly special–pack up your RV and go!
Tickets to Paradiso Festival generally go on sale early in the year. General admission to the two days of the festival should set you back around $180. A VIP ticket (which allows for access to special lounges, speedy entry, a special lanyard and other perks) costs around $330, and an Experience VIP pass gets you all that and more for around $500.
Camping passes need to be purchased separately but at the same time as festival tickets. Standard camping is around $110, roomier sites with free shower access in the Premier Camping site go for around $220, and sites convenient to the festival in the Gold Campground cost about $320.
If you’d like to really push the boat out, you can pay around stay in the Terrace Campground, which even has a concierge service, or in the five-star Oasis campground. Glamping goes for a cool $950.
Camping passes are sold per vehicle, not per camper, but there’s a limit of six people per site. You can exchange your email ticket for a wristband at the box office. Payment plans are available.
The Gorge Amphitheater is about a two-and-a-half hour drive away from Seattle and around five hours from Vancouver. Though it’s a relatively straight ride down I-90 from any of these cities, the road passes by some of the most gorgeous scenic byways in the country, so get off the highway if you have time! Just expect some sharp bends if you take the road less traveled.
There is a parking lot outside of the festival grounds, and it’s free for you to leave your car there. However, you won’t be able to park there overnight. Camping tickets include parking for one vehicle next to your site. As long as your RV fits the site space, you can expect to enjoy camping at Paradiso with your crew.
Paradiso Festival isn’t the only summer music event held in the Gorge Amphitheater, and there’s a seasonal shuttle bus route to the Gorge from the nearby town of Wenatchee, which can be reached by train from Seattle or Spokane. The shuttle generally runs only on the first and last day of the festival, so if you head in on one on Friday, you won’t be able to get back until Sunday night.
Camping is a big part of the Paradiso experience. But whether you stick with the standard option or splash out for Gold or Terrace camping, you’re going to need to do without RV hookups. Running water is available in all campgrounds, as are showers, but if you’re only paying for standard camping, you’ll have to fork over around $3 to get clean. Standard camping gets you access to vault toilets, but all other campgrounds have flush toilets. Sites at the standard campground can accommodate RVs up to 40.’ If your rig is a little bigger, you’ll need to pay for an extra spot. Otherwise, you’ll have to go for Gold tier camping or similar.
There are more than a handful of campgrounds and RV parks less than half an hour away from the festival grounds. Some are more no-frills than others, but most of them have at least electric hookups. The closest full-service RV parks can be found in Quincy, WA, a 25-minute drive from the festival.
For the most part, the organizers of Paradiso expect festival-goers to get around on foot. Bikes are allowed, but not on the path between the campgrounds and the festival grounds. If you’ve bought a Gold tier camping ticket or above, you’ll have access to a free shuttle bus to and from the festival, but if not, you’ll need to walk about three-quarters of a mile.
We’re talking about midsummer here; expect some heat. Moisture-wicking socks and a broad-brimmed hat are a must. Washington is the Pacific Northwest, so rain is quite possible. Bring a light but waterproof jacket and some waterproof shoes if you do wish to plan for rain. It can get pretty cold at night, so be sure to bring warm clothes to wrap up in for the evening.
The campgrounds at Paradiso are rather large; you’ll need a headlamp to make sure you don’t lose your way in the dark. The campground activities make for a wonderful sense of community, but it can also be rather difficult to get some shut-eye while your fellow festival-goers are enjoying the events, so bring some earplugs. Shower shoes and hand sanitizer are also a good idea.
Sunscreen is absolutely essential; bring plenty and apply it often. While there are water stations around the festival grounds, it always pays to have your own, as well as a first aid kit in case you get injured a long way away from the nearest medical tent. DEET-free bug spray might be necessary– you’ll be partying near a large body of water in June. Lockers are available at the festival grounds.
Open flames and fire pits are prohibited at Paradiso. You can bring a propane stove with you, but you’ll need to inform the staff before you arrive so that they can make a note of it and give you a fire extinguisher. There’s a small general store on site, but the food there can be pretty expensive, so you may want to pick up supplies in Quincy or Wenatchee. You can bring a small amount of alcohol to your campsite, but not into the festival grounds.
Wenatchee and Quincy both offer a variety of restaurant options, but nothing too fancy. You may encounter several Italian, Mexican, and American soul food options. However, keep in mind that unless you have a VIP pass or above, you won’t be able to leave and re-enter the festival.
Food trucks and other meal oriented vendors aren’t quite as big a part of the Paradiso experience as they are with some other festivals, but you’re still sure to find somewhere to grab a bite. If nothing takes your fancy, keep in mind that you’re free to bring in one clear, gallon bag full of sealed snacks.
Be prepared for very, very long lines. Every car and person at Paradiso Festival is searched before entry. Backpacks will also be searched when entering the concert areas, and there’s a maximum size limit. You will want to take a sealed bottle of water of no more than 20oz to the events with you since no other beverages are allowed. The festival grounds are patrolled by private security, and there is generally a police presence as well.
To say that weather varies at Paradiso would be putting it mildly. Parts of the Gorge are pretty exposed, so wind is a definite concern. Lightning storms are possible but not likely, and staff members are trained in emergency evacuation procedures for maximum safety. Days are warm, but evenings can be chilly.
Paradiso Festival takes first aid very seriously. Not only is there a main medical center staffed by EMTs and paramedics, but there are also separate smaller tents dotted around the festival grounds. Paradiso has also partnered with USC Events' Conscious Crew, a harm reduction-focused first aid organization. Emergency and general medical care are available in Quincy, where you’ll also find a pharmacy.