Preparing For Lockn’ 2013

I had a dream that one day a festival would arrive on the scene with every band that I would kill to see, all in one place.  That dream has now come true thanks to the Lockn’ Festival!  The lineup is killer, the grounds are huge, and the festival is fast approaching!  This time next week we will all be in a haze of happiness, so here are a few things to get you in the know and all ready for the time of your life.

First of all, some of you may be confused about the name change.  Interlocken and Lockn’ are one in the same.  The promoters decided to switch the name for various reasons.  Peter Shapiro, co-founder of the event, said in a recent article on that a few considerations went into the change including logo considerations and recent discoveries about the origin of the word.  “We also wanted to reflect that Lockn’ is such a unique festival that it deserves its own unique name”.  This small confusion aside, a festival by any other name will still smell as sweet so no worries.

A first year festival with this caliber of talent is sure to come with a few headaches, but being prepared can assist you with any problems.  For example, arriving at the festival with plenty of time to spare.  With a new event and thousands of people arriving at relatively the same time, the lines upon arrival will almost certainly be long.  Arrive with a few hours at least before any acts you can not miss, adding extra time if you have to set up camp.  Setting up camp in the dark is a bummer so you will want to knock it out asap to avoid frustration and/or sleeping on the ground.  A good many first time festivals also forget to plan for porta-potties along the entrance route so do your pit stops before getting in line, and save those beers for the campsite!

Speaking of bathroom issues, a first time festival may also have underestimated the amount of porta-potties needed to accommodate the crowd.  The festival is expecting around 40,000 people according to the latest reports, and organizers are planning to make all the necessary accommodations.  The department of Health calls for 1 porta-pottie per 100 people, but co-founder Dave Frey believes it is worth it to have more. “..Because what I’ve found is the more porta-potties there are, the more people drink, the more money you make.”  This philosophy will hopefully translate into plenty of available bathrooms, however it is also wise to bring things like travel toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and a small flashlight or headlamp to aid in your restroom woes just in case.  Lugable-loos and camping toilets have been the topic of much debate.  Some say they are disgusting, others argue that nothing can be more disgusting than porta-potties.  In this case no one knows until we get there, it may be wise to invest in one for your tent just as a precaution.

The camping pass situation has also been the topic of some confusion among ticket holders.  A detailed breakdown of the camping passes required for the fest can be found here  Pretty much, if you want to camp with your friends you all need the same type of pass and you need to arrive together.  The space allotted for each camping pass is one tent, so if you have a car load of people with multiple tents, or need extra room, additional passes may be required.  The “tent only” camping is NOT next to your vehicle, so come up with a solution before arrival to make your unloading easier.  Some examples of this would be coolers on wheels, hand carts or wagons (depending on space), or if you are in a small vehicle, simply putting everything into totes will ensure you have less trips to recover all of your stuff.  The Lockn’ website states that assistance will be available, though does not go into specifics about what that entails, so just be prepared yourself.

When packing for Lockn’, be sure to check the festival’s website to ensure you don’t bring anything prohibited.  The usual stuff of course, but also leave your tiki torches, grills, and fire pits at home.  Gas grills are all good.  Showers will be available on site but they are not free.  Bring a solar shower, extra jugs of water, and baby wipes for quick cleanups around the campsite.  Baby powder can also serve as a sort of “waterless shampoo” for a quick refresh, plus boys don’t forget this, yall know why!

The campgrounds will be set up in a way as to be as close as possible to the venue.  As of now the organizers are expecting the commute for tent camping, car camping, VIP, and RV camping to all be within a 1/2 mile of the stages.  Bringing bikes is cool, and bike racks will be available in front of the venue if you want to cruise around all weekend.  Blankets and low back chairs will be allowed in, but no mention has been made of umbrellas or small shade tents.  If you pack these you may have to test the waters before bringing them into the venue.  Cameras are OK as long as the are not professional cameras with detachable lenses, but no video cameras will be allowed in.

The most important thing to remember before heading off to Lockn’ is pack your good attitude!  Patience and camaraderie are so important at any large gathering, but especially at a new event.  This sleepy little Virginia town is opening its doors to all of us crazy freaks, so we should try and be good guests.  We’d hate to give the local authorities any reason to bust heads, or the local people any reason not to invite us back.  This being an old school jam kind of festival, I’m sure seasoned pros will be in attendance, so let’s take care of each other and make this Lockn’ the start of an awesome annual event.  See you in Virginia!!!!

For more packing advice download the Ultimate Packing List, safe travels everyone!