Summer Meltdown music festival is a multi-day event with a large number of acts, vendors, and RVing opportunities. The first event was on San Juan Island and hosted no more than 200 friends on just a spit of land. More recently the festival is held on 40 acres at Darrington Bluegrass Music Park offering hiking around White Horse Mountain, helicopter rides, kayaking, along with a plethora of alcohol and food choices.
Meltdown is exceptional regardless of the age of its fans. With multiple ways to stay on and off-site along with plenty to do and explore, Summer Meltdown will be an unforgettable experience! A slew of bands makes the lineup every year, with one of them a local one that has been picked by community vote, guaranteeing that every year there is something new to be brought forward.
When music isn’t in focus, you can enjoy activities ranging from bike riding, tubing, and everything nature has to offer. Temperatures stay relatively mild during the summer months, so be prepared to absorb some fresh mountain air at this outdoor venue.
A great deal of variety is offered with the campgrounds, with some close to the amphitheater, premium spots on the bluff, and RV options that include electricity, water, and sewage services. Within walking distance, there are vendors and art events. In the Kids Zone, your little ones will be able to explore the magic of the forest through crafts, face-painting, workshops, dress up and more.
RVs are welcome with the purchase of any of the associated camping passes. Summer Meltdown is known for drawing a variety of vehicle types, so have fun and be creative with your adventure. Ticket options also include a Discounted Weekend pass for some youth ages, with children 8 and under often free.
A General Admission Weekend Pass gives access to all the shows and access to the Douglas Fir forest campground for tent camping. The Mesa Add On is an upgrade that allows access to a campground overlooking the venue along with other bonuses such as drink tickets, shower tokens, and preferred parking. With multiple and single-day purchases available, passes range from $100 to over $600.
Located at the Darrington Bluegrass Music Park, Summer Meltdown is a few miles west of Darrington, WA and just off of Arlington-Darrington Road (State Route 530 NE). About an hour and a half northeast of Seattle, you will find this open-air venue ready for you and your camper to enter and set up your spot.
RV campers can drive to their campsites as directed by event staff upon entry. Every vehicle will need a General Parking Pass, and anything over 18 feet will need an RV Camping Pass as chosen from the various options. Because the parking lot is located several hundred feet from the tent campgrounds, it is recommended to have a cart to transport equipment and gear. Those that wish to camp in their vehicle must purchase a separate Camping Vehicle Pass.
The Darrington Bluegrass Music Park is a bit remote, so transportation may need to be in a private vehicle since it is often out of the range of most public transportation services. However, public bus routes will sometimes run from Darrington to the festival grounds via Route 230. Meltdown fans often communicate via social media to create rideshare groups to the event site.
Campsites are conveniently located on site with single tent options included in the admission price, and more premium options available as an upgrade. Upgraded tent campgrounds are on a bluff that allows a view of the venue. RV campsites and hookups are available providing water and electricity, with sewage dumping available at a fee. Dry camping options are also available depending on your ticket type. Campsites that do offer hookups sell out quickly, so keep this in mind when planning your trip. Some RV sites sneak in views of the mountains surrounding the venue.
Summer Meltdown is a big camping festival and works to provide space for guests as requested by the audience. However, if you prefer to land your rig away from the crowds, you will find several options within a thirty-minute drive in almost any direction. Tent and RV camping options are easily found but may or may not have hookups. Located just west of Bluegrass Music Park is the Squire Creek Park which contains sites both for tent and RV camping, though no hookups are available. Getting to Summer Meltdown just requires going back on State Route 530 and heading east.
The camp and festival grounds, along with all associated amenities, vendor sites, and so forth are all located within walking distance of each other at this growing event. No motorized vehicles inside the campsite, such as scooters, golf carts, and ATVs, are permitted. Darrington Bluegrass Music Park is ADA-friendly but is also an outdoor facility with varied terrain. Remember to check what your pass offers if you will need to park at your campsite.
While the weather is usually fairly mild in August, temperature extremes ranging in the 90s and down in the 40s aren’t unheard of in this mountainous region. Naturally, bathing suits, tank tops, and hats are all recommended, with at least one warmer change of clothes such as a hoodie just in case. Precipitation is usually low during this time of the year, but some sort of rain gear is advocated.
Since you probably plan on camping at the festival, basics like a blanket for outdoor sitting, sleeping bags, and eco-friendly toiletries are recommended. To fully appreciate Summer Meltdown things like flashlights, towels, extra pairs of shoes, and sunglasses should be considered. Costumes are encouraged. While cards are accepted, it is recommended to bring at least a little bit of cash with you. Glowsticks, drones, generators, candles, and illegal substances are among the items that will not be permitted into the venue or campgrounds.
Since it will be mid-August, bug spray and sunscreen should be part of everyone’s pack. While there will be a dedicated security and EMS tent, it is recommended to bring at least a basic first aid kit along with any necessary medicine or prescriptions. For the safety of animals and guests, pets are not allowed on site including inside vehicles at any time during the festival.
Food and cooking implements are allowed on site with a few prohibitions, such as charcoal and wood grills, glass containers, and gasoline. While campfires are not allowed, small propane stoves can be used. Alcohol can be brought with limitations based on the number of people in your party.
Multiple dining options are available in the Town of Darrington ranging from the casual burger to more cultured establishments. A staple of the area is the Rhodes River Ranch, which offers a great view of the horse arena and musical entertainment on the weekends. It may be simplest to plan a restaurant adventure on the way to or from the venue for vehicle convenience.
You will find a myriad of vendors on site ranging from food, clothes, art, decor, and much more. Summer Meltdown works to bring vendors with sustainable and renewable products; this is your chance to support environmentally minded small companies first hand. Credit cards are accepted, but cash is recommended with an ATM provided on the grounds. It is recommended to have smaller bills so vendors can make change easier.
Just like any outdoor festival, make sure to stay hydrated, and don’t over-consume alcohol. Make sure you have all of your belongings properly stowed away. Security is available on site, but they can’t be omnipresent. While it is true that you are there to have fun, make sure to respect your fellow music festival fans.
Average temperatures for the area in August range from the high 70s to the low 50s, but weather extremes are possible, with well over 90 and below freezing within the margin. Thankfully, this same month is generally one of the driest for the year. Since Summer Meltdown keeps going regardless of the weather, contingencies should be planned for accordingly such as sunscreen, rain gear, and warm clothes.
There is an EMS tent located on site next to the security tent. Potable water and ice are also available for purchase on site. There is no official hospital located in Darrington, but there is one about two hours west in the City of Arlington. Because of this, it is highly recommended to have some a first aid kit and make wise choices during your music adventure at Summer Meltdown.