Fire (Prohibited) on the Mountain

Very few festivals allow open fires anymore, and for good reason. 

I love a good campfire. The smell, staring into the flames, charring marshmallows beyond recognition, the spontaneous sing-alongs that happen when someone pulls out a guitar… Fire when camping is essential, right?


I’m very sorry to have to tell you this- but few festivals allow open fires anymore, and for good reason. Close quarters, thousands of (less than sober) attendees, and very flammable tents are a dangerous combo.


We’ve seen plenty of fire mistakes at festivals over the years that illustrate the need for campfire bans.  Once, during a particularly rainy weekend, an industrious young man used the rear lift gate of his mini-van to shelter his fire as he started it.  His helpful friend, trying to encourage the damp wood to catch, squirted lighter fluid directly into the tiny flames, sending a fireball up to the van’s hatch. Not all festival entertainment happens on a stage.

Here’s just a few of the fests that do NOT allow fires:

    • ARISE Music Festival

    • Bonnaroo

    • Bottle Rock

    • Camp Bisco

    • Coachella

    • Electric Forest

    • Euphoria Fest

    • Firefly (in grills only)

    • Highberry

    • Lockn’ Festival

    • Magnaball

    • Mullberry Mountain (former Wakarusa venue)

    • Peach Music Festival

    • Sasquatch!

    • Sonic Bloom

    • Summer Camp

    • Telluride Bluegrass Festival

It’s a bummer, I know.

But Festi-Camper- How will I know if  I should bring hot dogs and marshmallows?

Most festivals list fire information on their websites, typically under “Rules” or “FAQ”. Check these before you go! I’ve seen many a sad newbie eating cold wieners.  WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING??

(My favorite FAQ is on Phish’s Magnaball page. I’ve read more than my fair share of stern, cookie-cutter festival FAQ pages; this was the first to make me snort.)

You should still bring marshmallows. They’re yummy.


Still, just because your festival allows fires, doesn’t mean that it’s the best plan for you. You’ll either have to buy wood at the festival ($$$), or bring your own.  Transporting firewood is problematic in itself, as:

  1. It takes up valuable room in your vehicle, and
  2. It’s illegal in some states due to Emerald Ash Borer spread.  Campfires are good, but not $1000 fine good.

If you’re still trying to decide if a campfire is right for you, consult this handy infographic: To fire or not to fire?

Happy Festi-Camping!

Please be Kind to your fellow campers -KT

None of the above links are affiliates, nor do I get paid if you click them.  So, you know, do what you want. For more info, see our DISCLOSURE  page.

Fires no longer part of Festival life?

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