Good planning for overnight camping festivals more often than not includes a trip to the convenience store.

Getting away from it all in the great outdoors has never been more popular. That makes sense. For the last couple of summers, everyone’s felt cooped up. Camping represents the exact opposite of that feeling; it’s all open spaces and widespread skies.

At the same time, people have been feeling more isolated. From that perspective, the peace and quiet of a traditional campsite—be it in Maine, Texas, Wyoming, or some other picturesque U.S. location—doesn’t hold much appeal. It’s almost as if someone should combine the grandeur of a natural environment with the liveliness of a party with music.

Oh, wait! They did! And they did it more than once! Commonly known as “camping festivals,” they’re multi-day concerts in camping- and RV-friendly locations. Each has its own personality, but as festivals they usually incorporate—in addition to musical performances on multiple stages—food, drink, and work by artists, craftsmen, and other vendors. This plays out in settings designed to be conducive to the general vibe of the event. Here are a few examples:

  • Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival— Even the most casual follower of media has probably heard the name “Coachella” a few times. Held in what is essentially a desert that’s inland from L.A., the festival is one of the first of its type and dates back to the extremely late 20th century. Here’s the festival-produced video on their 20-plus year history.
  • Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival — Just 65 miles from music capital Nashville, Tennessee, this camping festival takes place on a 700 acre farm. Rolling Stone once called it one of the “50 moments that changed rock and roll. The official Bonnaroo website has more details.
  • Float Fest — Want to lazily float in the Guadalupe River in your inner tube, sipping your beverage of choice before heading over to your campsite to grill up some pre-concert ribs? Then this is the event for you. Located in Gonzales, Texas, it takes place in a private, relatively lush environment. Here’s more about it.

While these events provide campers with a wide variety of services, proper preparation for the stay is critical. Not only can some of the environments be harsh, you can’t be sure you’re going to find everything you need on the festival grounds (and when you do there’s no guarantee it will be reasonably priced). Here are some last minute items that can help ensure your outdoor concert experience is leagues better than Woodstock:

  • Jumper cables
  • Water jugs
  • Portable phone charger
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter
  • First Aid kit
  • Trash bags
  • Chairs
  • Umbrellas, foldable canopies, etc. for shade
  • Plenty of snacks

If that last item isn’t a dead giveaway, then we should mention that most of what’s on this list can be found in a convenience store, a last outpost of known civilization before one crosses over into the colorful, but unpredictable, world of festival camping.

However, convenience stores seeking profitability from special events can be challenged to do so. Demand for items is not uniform, creating the potential for costly inventory shortages and overstocks.

This is far less of a problem with technology that allows you to review sales trends over time and automate ordering based on past seasonal trends. It’s the kind of capability we’ve put into the Inventory Management module of our Computerized Daily Book back office. If you’re a c-store operator that feels you aren’t capitalizing on the economic potential of special events in your area, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-972-7727!