Every summer my friends and I save our money to plan a trip to a concert series somewhere. In high school, we convinced our parents to let us take a trip to see the Vans Warped Tour. In college we would do Dave Matthews or Watershed at The Gorge. Last year we checked out the ACL music festival in Austin, Texas. (We haven’t decided if the infamous Coachella is one we want to travel to see, but it’s definitely in the options canon).
Festivals are unlike any vacation you will ever take. There’s a special bond that forms between strangers vibing over the same music. Your schedule for the day is to eat, drink, and listen. There’s no way to be unhappy. Unless you are sleep deprived.
The evolution of my camping resources has morphed for the better since my first festival at sixteen. Unprepared, the six of us took a camping tent one of our parents had from his college years without checking to see what kind of shape it was in. The raggedy tent had millions of pieces, no instructions, and turns out was only made for four campers. Cramped together in such a small space for two days, unshowered and grumpy from late nights, we were sick of each other by the second night. We stayed friends, but it was a close call.
The next time I went to the Gorge, I took my own tent but forgot the rain fly. I suffered through a miserable night of anxiety as I watched the rain drops slowly start dripping through the top. When I finally fell asleep, I awoke early in the morning with soggy clothes and sleeping bag and considered throwing everything into my Camry to head home early.
In Austin, we sprung for hotels because we decided to fly. It was such an expensive trip, even though we booked the cheapest more undesirable room. (We paid some serious cash for bed bug roulette).
After Austin, I discovered the Notel Mobile Sleeper. The flat sleeping surface is light, so it’s easy to set up, (even after a second set is over and I’ve had a few drinks). It straps through the handles above my windows and rests on the top of the seats. On a nice night, I put my head toward the windshield with my feet pointed toward the back seats, so I can open my sunroof and see the stars. I take an inflatable pad for added comfort and a down comforter for the ultimate car set up. Other concert-goers are always green with envy when I call it a night and crawl into my cozy nest. I don’t gloat, but watching someone curl up on their back seat while I’m stretched out on my back, does make me feel a little superior if I’m being honest.
If you’re a concert fanatic like me, don’t let a poor sleeping set up ruin your experience. Look into Notel. It’s the best investment you’ll make, I promise.