The White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival debuted in 1996 and has since grown to one of the largest outdoor blues festivals in the State of New Hampshire. This late-summer event offers outdoor lovers and music lovers alike the chance to listen to award-winning blues musicians, savor food from local vendors, browse for unique gift items from artisans, reach new heights on a climbing wall, and camp on-site.
True to its name, the White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival is at the gateway to New Hampshire’s most scenic alpine destination. The festival site is a 72-acre grass field nestled within a natural amphitheater in Thornton, New Hampshire in the Pemigewasset River Valley. While you’re dancing to blues music, you can look out at the White Mountain National Forest.
Take a break from the festival and hit the trail, drive the scenic Kancamagus Highway, explore the Lost River Gorge, walk the boardwalk at The Flume or look for wildlife like moose, black bears, and whitetail deer. When you’re done, you can get back to groovin’ at the festival in Thornton, spend the evening in your RV just moments away from the stage, and then get up the next day and do it all over again.
Tickets to the White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival typically go on sale in early spring, though those eager to attend can look for online holiday specials on tickets as early as late fall before the upcoming event. Weekend tickets are usually priced between $60 and $75 for general admission or around $100 for reserved center stage seating. Single-day tickets may be available at the gate during the festival.
Onsite camping is only permitted with weekend passes and is available to new guests once past campers have claimed their passes. Camping passes have been around $150 for the weekend in the past but may vary by vehicle size.
The festival grounds are located in Thornton, New Hampshire between Waterville Valley and Lincoln. The venue is accessible via I-93. RVers will want to follow directions to the Sugar Shack Campground. Be aware that this is a mountainous region, and as such, it is important to be on the lookout for wildlife, drive slow on winding, scenic roads and be prepared for afternoon storms.
Ample parking is available at the festival for day pass holders and weekend pass holders. The campground notes a size difference for RVs 21 feet or longer. Campground guests must purchase weekend passes to park overnight in the campground. Nearby camping makes this event easily accessible for those who do not wish to stay at the festival or commit to purchasing weekend passes.
Due to the remote nature of the Sugar Shack Campground along the Pemigewasset River, public transportation to or from the event is not available. Festival-goers staying at campgrounds in the surrounding area may wish to inquire about shuttle options from those neighboring locations.
Camping for the White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival is held at the Sugar Shack Campground, a grassy, shaded area just a short walk from the stage. Campground space at this festival can only accommodate a portion of the attendees. As such, previous festival-goers are offered the option of purchasing campground passes before the general public.
After returning guests have had the option to purchase campground passes, first-time festival guests will be able to register by calling as instructed on the festival website. The window for first-time campground passes usually opens in June.
Campsites for travel trailers and campers up to 20 feet run about $30. Campsites for RVs 21 feet or longer have been approximately $50 in the past. Two adults or families of four are usually included in a camping pass, but additional guests can be added for a separate fee. All guests planning to camp must stay for three nights. A free dump station will be available.
The maximum length for campers, pop-ups, travel trailers is 20 feet. RVs or campers that are 21 feet or longer are permitted but must pay RV pricing.
Many campgrounds are available in Thornton, Campton, Woodstock, Plymouth, and Rumney. Most of these campgrounds are located just off of I-93. RV campers will find a mix of walk-in options as well as campsites that can be reserved online in advance. Due to the popularity of the festival and the limited camping at the festival, arriving early at campgrounds or reserving in advance is highly recommended.
The White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival is located on a 72-acre pasture, making it easy to get around the amphitheater for those camping in RVs at the campground. Guests typically get around the festival on foot. This is a grassy, natural setting that draws a large crowd, so bicycles and other wheeled devices may be limited to some areas.
Pack enough clothes for the duration of the three-day festival. As this is an outdoor event, be sure only to bring attire that you don’t mind getting dirty. Weather in the mountains of New Hampshire during the late summer is typically warm and sunny, though afternoon thunderstorms are possible, and nighttime temperatures tend to be cooler. Bring warm layers, rain gear, a hat, and sunglasses.
Camp chairs and picnic blankets are permitted, but umbrellas and canopies are not. Bring a small cooler that you can transport from the campground to the festival grounds, and keep your RV stocked with cooking items. No glass, hard liquor, fireworks, or firearms are allowed. Have cash on hand for vendors.
Sunscreen and bug spray are both essential in New Hampshire. Have plenty of both, along with basic first aid items, including band-aids and ibuprofen plus any prescriptions you may need. Stock up on drinking water, beverages with electrolytes, and snacks. Bring toiletry items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and antibacterial hand soap.
Outdoor cooking is allowed at the festival, including campfires in designated fire rings. In the past, some enterprising campers have even brought pots and boiled lobsters. Some small mom-and-pop grocery stores, as well as convenience stores, can be found in nearby Campton, but if you are looking for a wider selection of groceries, plan on driving to Plymouth, which is 11 miles away.
You will find a small selection of local restaurants in Thornton. The festival itself is located near Benton’s Sugar Shack, a five-generation White Mountain institution known for its pancakes and New Hampshire maple syrup. There are also dining options in Campton, Plymouth, and Woodstock. Restaurants in the area tend to be locally-owned and quaint, though you will find larger chains in Plymouth.
White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival offers a number of food vendors serving everything from quick bites in between sets to full meals. Vendors vary from year to year. Keep an eye on social media leading up to the event or contact the festival organizers for more information. Not all vendors can accept credit cards, so bring cash.
White Mountain Boogie and Blues is a family-friendly festival. Event staff will take steps to prevent underage drinking, public intoxication, and unruly behavior. Security personnel will be on site. Please display your festival pass at all times on your rearview mirror, observe speed limits within the campground and ensure that you have your driver’s license with you at all times.
Weather patterns in the White Mountains can suddenly change from hot and sunny to cool and rainy, so have adequate layers and stay hydrated. The campground is located next to the Pemigewasset River, which can flood if heavy rain occurs. If this happens, the campground will be evacuated. In order to be prepared for this possibility, take a look at the campground map and note evacuation routes when you arrive.
The closest major hospital is 11 miles away in Plymouth, New Hampshire. There is a smaller medical center 11 miles away in Lincoln, New Hampshire. EMT staff will be on site, but in the event of a medical emergency, please call 911. For after-hours emergencies, you can also reach out to security staff at the main entrance to the festival grounds. Pharmacy services may be more accessible in a neighboring community or on your route to the area.