Sonic Bloom has been voted the number one camping festival in the country, and it’s easy to see why! Located just outside the charming town of Rye, CO, Sonic Bloom brings together the hottest experimental electronic music acts with a selection of ones-to-watch. The visuals are just as outstanding as the audio. Stage design is put front-and-center, with flowering, psychedelic backdrops guaranteed to keep you hypnotized. That’s before we even get to the open-air art gallery!
RV camping at Sonic Bloom is a little no-frills, but with a location like this, who can complain? The festival takes place on the Hummingbird Ranch in glorious Spanish Peak Country, alongside a gently burbling creek. Expect to be well refreshed by the clean, June mountain air and dazzled by the breathtaking views! Unfortunately, the area’s scrub-oak forest doesn’t quite shade the campground, so you might choose to bring a canopy or sun cover.
Music isn’t all that’s on offer at Sonic Bloom. As the name might suggest, the festival organizers take a great interest in all things ecological, and you can learn more about sustainable planting at the festival’s Permaculture Action Day. If that piques your interest, the Sonic Bloom Academy offers courses permaculture, as well as art and music for a fee of $330 for the week before the festival. You’ll also find yoga classes, and younger festival-goers can be entertained at the Rainbow Lightning Kid Zone. You’ll want to take in all four days of this fabulous festival, so pack up your RV and reserve your spot!
Tickets for Sonic Bloom generally go on sale in early-to-mid fall the year before the event. The earlier you can pick up your tickets, the better. Prices can start around $140 for an early bird, tent-camping ticket to nearly $500 for a VIP Pass.
RV campers will need to buy a Car Camping or RV/Oversize Vehicle pass depending on the size of your vehicle. Car Camping passes have a vehicle length limit of under 20 feet and are included with a VIP ticket. Otherwise, they’ll set you back about $100. If you have a larger vehicle, you can get an RV/Oversize pass for $199. This is in addition to the cost of your festival ticket.
The Hummingbird Ranch is located around two-and-a-half hours away from Denver. The only real way to access the festival is by driving, and whichever way you’re coming from, the trip up is going to offer spectacular Rocky Mountain views, which is a very nice way of saying that there’s a lot of very sharp bends. Roads can also be quite narrow, particularly when you get off the interstate, so drive carefully!
You can collect your parking pass at the box office just outside the festival grounds. If you’ve bought a Car Camping or RV/Oversized Vehicle Pass, this will be included, and you can park at the campsite. Otherwise, festival stewards will direct you to the parking lot just outside the ranch. ADA accessible parking, as well as accessible camping, is available by the main gate.
Public transportation is a little thin on the ground in this neck of the woods, but Sonic Bloom generally organizes shuttle buses from the nearby city of Walsenburg on the afternoon before and the morning after the festival. As part of their drive towards a more eco-friendly event, they also encourage festival-goers to carpool or band together and charter buses.
Want even more reasons to bring an RV to Sonic Bloom? The car camping and RV areas are far more convenient if you’re bringing a lot of gear. If you opt for general (tent) camping, you’ll need to walk about half-a-mile from the parking lot to the campground. There’s no need to do that if you have all your stuff in your vehicle!
Unfortunately, there aren’t any RV hookups at Sonic Bloom, so be sure to fill up your water tank before you go. There are vault toilets on-site, as well as showers. However, the showers come with a fee and are only open for a couple of hours in the morning, so be prepared to queue!
The nearest non-festival campgrounds to Sonic Bloom are all located in and around the town of Rye, around 10 miles away from Hummingbird Ranch. Since the area is popular with tourists year-round, you’ll find options ranging from private RV parks with full hookups to US Forest Service Campgrounds favored by hikers and outdoorsy types.
Sonic Bloom is a relatively small festival; around 10,000 people attend each year. There are three stages, but they’re all pretty close together, so it’s possible to get around on foot without straining yourself too much. The festival does put a lot of effort into accessibility, but wheelchair users and other attendees with mobility needs should keep in mind that the walkways around Hummingbird Ranch can be a bit uneven.
Hummingbird Ranch is technically in a desert, so be prepared for all sorts of heat! Make sure to bring a broad-brimmed hat, as well as some sunglasses and something to cover your shoulders. Though you won’t need to do too much walking, sturdy shoes are always a good idea, as well as moisture wicking socks to prevent blisters. It can also get pretty cold when the sun goes down, so bring something warm for the nighttime!
It can get pretty windy at the campground, so if you’re bringing a canopy (recommended), make sure you have something to hold it down securely. Lawn chairs are also permitted at the festival. If you have a propane stove, now is the time to bring it out. Open flames aren’t permitted at Sonic Bloom, and even camp stoves might be forbidden in very dry weather.
Although there’s free water available around the festival grounds, it still helps to bring some of your own. A flashlight is also a good idea. You don’t want to stumble around in a dark campground! However, there is a first aid tent, if you injure yourself or need assistance. This is snake country; Sonic Bloom recommends that you bring a rubber hammer to bop ‘em.
The area is pretty dry, so open flames are prohibited. You might be able to get away with a camp stove if the weather is okay. There’s a general store on the festival grounds, but it can be quite expensive. You may be better off picking up your provisions in Rye or the larger town of Walsenburg. The festival permits a small amount of alcohol per person, but no glass containers are allowed.
Rye does not have a significant number of restaurant options, so choices may be limited in the area. It’s also worth keeping in mind that there’s no re-entry to Sonic Bloom, so it may be best to enjoy your outside food adventures during a pit-stop on the way there or back.
Sonic Bloom provides a vast array of food options that are inclusive of almost everyone. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding something vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. There’s one bar in the festival grounds (mostly beer and wine), as well as a café to serve all of your caffeine dreams.
The festival is looked after by a mix of private security guards and police officers, and there’s a car search at the gate, so make sure you’ve left plenty of time just in case the line is long! Drug use is forbidden at Hummingbird Ranch.
Be prepared for the heat! Sunscreen is essential, and sunglasses are highly recommended–not only because of the glare but because the wind can throw up a lot of dust. Though rain is rare, it’s best to bring a light waterproof jacket just in case. Drink plenty of water, and expect it to get chilly at night.
Sonic Bloom scores pretty well on first aid; they’ve partnered with festival care organization GrooveMed, and the first aid tent is staffed by doctors, paramedics, and even a psychologist. There are also emergency medical centers, as well as pharmacies, in the nearby communities of Rye and Walensenberg.