It seems as if summer has been a daydream with the schizophrenic weather throughout the area lately, but as the snow finally melts from our peaks and blue skies figure more into our days, it’s time to start thinking of summer road trips, long weekends and nights under the stars. To that end, Utah’s Bonanza Campout Music Festival returns just in time to kick off the season.
Held June 22-24, the event is one of the largest music and arts gatherings in the state. It forges all the elements of an epic festival, but does so in a boutique setting.
This year’s headliners are Halsey, Wiz Khalifa and Zhu. Amenities include nightly after-parties, camping and cabins set near the Provo River not far from Park City, food trucks and bars with craft beer. While many festivals go for size, leaving you watching performers on a jumbotron, Bonanza Campout aims to appeal to a true summer campout experience, capping out at only a few thousand people, ensuring that the crowd all fits near the two stages.
The music reads like a hip playlist, touching on a variety of styles – indie rock, hip-hop, electronic production, power pop, electronica are all represented — with a lineup that also features Phantogram, Local Natives, The Aces, BØRNS, Oh Wonder, Moon Taxi, Snakehips, Blackbear and others, with 30 performers in all taking the stage over the weekend.
Lodging options include camping in a group or premium camping areas, along with options for car and RV camping and cabins. All camping is a short walk from the festival grounds and also includes admission to the nightly after-parties. A variety of rustic to resort lodging also is available nearby.
Music flows from afternoon into the night each day, leaving the mornings for hanging out creekside or just napping off the previous night. The festival offers daily and weekend-long ticket options, including VIP upgrades.
Bonanza Campout takes place 45 minutes from Salt Lake City in Heber City. Delta currently offers non-stop flights from Reno to Salt Lake City, and Southwest tends to have better prices among airlines flying between the two locations. Amtrak also gives you the chance to just enjoy the ride between the two spots. But if you can swing it, we would definitely suggest making Bonanza Campout the end point of a road trip along Nevada’s Highway 50, which would give you the chance to pencil in some ghost town exploration, hot springs and Great Basin National Park into the itinerary.
– Shaun Astor