Festival Campground

The first time you hear someone yell “Happy Folk Fest!” followed by a roar of cheers that rolls across the campground, you’ll feel right at home.

The Festival Campground is a community of 6,000 that pops up in the middle of a prairie field for five days in July. It’s a wonderfully expressive environment created by all who participate. Campers make art and music, decorate their campsites (and themselves!) and share food, stories and experiences. It’s a beautifully organic community where lifelong friends and lasting memories are made.

Operating Times

The West Gate of Birds Hill Provincial Park opens at 7:00 AM on Wednesday, July 4.

Please arrive at 7:00 AM at the earliest when we are ready to welcome you. For your safety, line-ups on Hwy 59 are not allowed. 

The Box Offices will open at 8:00 AM Wednesday morning and our friendly volunteer crews will be ready to greet and wristband you. Many campers arrive for the campground opening, so expect a wait. 

The East Gate, located off of Hwy 206, will be closed until the campground rush is finished. It will open at 10:00 AM on Wednesday.

Birds Hill Park gates are closed between 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM daily.

Both the Quiet and Festival campground close at noon on Monday. Everyone needs to be packed out by then, leaving their campsites exactly how they found them - clean and green!

Wednesday Morning Entrance Procedure

Drive through the West Gate on South Drive, and then turn right on to Festival Drive. You’ll be greeted by a traffic volunteer who will tell you to turn right into the Festival Parking area – not the Festival Campground Parking area. You will be queuing up in the Festival Parking area and getting your wristbands at the Main Gate Box Office. 

Line up in the Vehicle Staging Area (see map below). Don’t worry, the volunteers will help line you up so you get to the Main Gate Box Office in the order you arrived and get you in faster! 

The first few hundred vehicles in will be guided into Ticket Lanes (see blue arrows on the map), while the remainder will stay in the Vehicle Staging Area. As the Ticket Lines shorten, more vehicles will be added to keep things movin’ along.

  • When you’re in the Ticket Lines, please stay in your cars. 
  • Don’t idle your car in the Vehicle Staging Zone until a traffic volunteer tells you it’s your turn to get in a Ticket Line – it’s not good for the environment. 

When you arrive at the front of the Ticket Line, put your vehicle in park and a volunteer will take your ticket and bring you your wristband. Once you have your wristband, pull forward and follow the signs down the trail. The trail will split into two lanes:

  • One if you need to buy a Provincial Park Pass, 
  • And a bypass lane if you already have one.

The booth where you purchase Provincial Park Passes only take cash. We strongly recommend you get your Provincial Park Pass before arriving at the festival so you can get to the campground quicker. You can buy yours at most places that sell fishing licenses for $40. 

You will end up back on Festival Drive where a traffic volunteer will direct you to the best place to park in the Campground Parking area. From there, you can grab your gear and get camping! 

It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the furthest campsite (RV) to the festival and 10 minutes to walk from the closest campsite (Zone 1A) to the festival.

RV Campers

Drive through the West Gate on South Drive, and then turn right on to Festival Drive. You’ll be greeted by a traffic volunteer who will tell you to turn left into the Festival Campground Parking area. 

You will then drive down the Festival Campground entrance path and go to the regular Festival Campground Box Office to trade your RV Ticket for a dashboard pass and their Folk Fest Ticket for a wristband. 

Drop-offs and Cyclists 

If you are being dropped off at the festival, let the volunteer who is directing you into the parking lot know. They will direct you to a drop-off area. The friend who’s dropping you off can then follow the signs to exit the parking area and be on their way.

If you ride your bike to the festival, but are not part of the official Bike Ride to Site, enter the parking lot by the path from the Festival Drive crosswalk. Head south to the Main Gate Box Office (labelled Main Gate on the map) to exchange your ticket for a wristband.

Whether you were dropped off or cycled in, once you have your wristband head north, across the Festival Drive crosswalk and into the Festival Campground by the South End Gate.

Later in the Day

Once we have processed everyone in line for the Wednesday morning rush, campers arriving in the afternoon will go back to exchange their tickets for wristbands at the Festival Campground Box Office. 

Tenters Unite

One of the best parts of camping is watching an empty prairie field turn into a town of tents and tarps! Most of the campground is designated for tents with a smaller dedicated area for RVs. That means no vehicles or trailers are allowed in the tenting grounds.

The campground is divided into zones:

  • Zone 1A is generally quieter and where we recommend families with children set up camp.
  • Zone 1B and Zone 2 are louder at night with larger animation structures. Zone 3 is where many of our volunteers camp and is therefore a bit quieter at night.
  • Zone 5 is the accessible camping area and for designated patrons only.
  • Zone 4 and Zone 6 are for RVs.

There are treed areas throughout, which naturally are the most popular spots. Please watch out for the baby trees we planted that will become future shady spots to tent. Avoid camping in the middle of pathways; they need to be clear for service and emergency vehicles. In the Festival Campground, be prepared to fall asleep and wake up to drum circles wherever you camp!

RVs Roll Into Camp

Exchange your ticket for a vehicle pass when you arrive. Your RV pass must be visible in the window nearest to the RV’s entry door during the entire festival. RV spots cannot be reserved or held – they are assigned to vehicles in the order they arrive.

Be A Good Neighbour

Everyone is expected to help create a safe and respectful culture at Folk Fest and in our campgrounds. Please remember that you are responsible for yourself at all times, and if you haven’t already done so, read through the How to Folk – Participant Responsibilities brochure you received with your ticket. The info is also on our website and our mobile app.

Camp near your friends and take your valuables with you when leave your site. If you’re not camped near your friends, make new ones by getting to know your neighbours!

Campground Services

There are outhouses, portable toilets, water taps, picnic tables, bike racks, shelters and fire pits are available for communal use.

Safety volunteers (in blue vests) operate around the clock - literally 24 hours a day - patrolling the campground to ensure everyone is having a safe and positive time. 

Visit Campground Central

The place to go for safety and well-being services
The trailer, next to the wooden structure in Zone 1B, staffed 24-hours a day by safety volunteers, is your “go to” place for information and services. If you’re not sure whom to ask about something, they’re here to help.

Health and well-being services are located at Campground Central. If you notice anyone having a personal conflict, in a crisis, making unhealthy choices or behaving disrespectfully, point out that there are services here that are available to help them figure out how to get their festival experience back on track. 

First Aid & Wellness: 24 hours a day

First Aid’s role is to provide basic first aid and medical assistance, in addition to coordinating with emergency personnel in the event of serious situations. If you need help and can’t make it to the trailer, or if you see someone who looks like they need medical attention, you can approach a safety volunteer in a blue vest who will contact the appropriate people. 

First Aid volunteers are fully equipped to handle all your festival bumps, bruises, cuts and burns. However, they do not have any medications, lotions, bug spray, etc. Those items are available at the Campground Store.

Safety & Security

Safety and security volunteers are identified by blue vests. You can find them at the campground entrance and Campground Central in Zone 1B. They operate 24 hours a day this is also where you will find First Aid.

Safety volunteers are here to help campers stay safe while having a good time. They ensure that campers have wristbands and that everyone is following the How to Folk guidelines that help foster the healthy and welcoming nature of the campground. We are borrowing this wonderful piece of Birds Hill Provincial Park. Respecting each other and the place we are staying makes it a great time for all!

Please be respectful and show your wristband as you walk by the checkpoints. They will also be doing random wristband checks throughout the campground – be prepared to wave yours high and proud! 

The Red Tent Project

The Red Tent provides a safer space for 2 Spirit, Trans, Non-Binary people and Women. Anyone can stop by for a break, to access support, or to get info and resources like safer sex supplies, menstrual supplies, zines and more! We offer fun activities including a community art project!

The Red Tent Hours
Wednesday: 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Thurs/Fri/Sat: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and 12:00 AM – 2:00 AM
Sunday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Cell Phone Charging

There is a cell phone charging station at Campground Central. It is unsupervised, so please stay nearby while waiting for your phone to juice up! Charging is limited to USB-compatible chargers. We are unable to accommodate the charging of larger things – this service is just for your phone.   

Lost & Found

Visit the Safety Trailer at Campground Central if you’ve lost something in the campground. Someone may have turned it in! 

Services in the Community

There are outhouses, water taps, picnic tables, bike racks and fire pits available for communal use. Campground shelters, built with reclaimed materials, are great places to gather, meet your neighbours and find refuge from rain or the hot afternoon sun. Communal fire pits are located by these shelters so you can pick a tune on your guitars together ‘round the fire! 

Campground Food Vendors

A few great, healthy choice food vendors will be set up in the Festival Campground for campers to buy snacks. Like our food vendors on the Folk Fest site, these vendors support our LOFT initiative by selling local, organic and fair trade food for your health and enjoyment. 

Campground Store

Located on the paved road by the campground entrance, the store sells snacks, camping gear, earplugs and other supplies. Firewood and ice can be purchased at the campground store or look for the delivery trucks making daily runs through the campground 8:30 AM until 9:30 PM.

Hot Showers

Campers are welcome to use the Birds Hill Provincial Park Campground coin-showers (open 24 hours, $1 for three minutes, takes loonies and toonies) and coin-laundry (open during store hours, $1.75/wash, $2/dry, takes quarters and loonies). Take our free shuttle to the shower! 

Pollock’s Hardware Fix-it Shop

Just what every community needs, an old-fashioned fix-it shop! The great folks at Pollock’s Hardware Co-op have set up a service centre to help patrons who have something in need of fixing. Rope, tent repair materials (including mosquito netting), tape and everything for your bike repair needs. They even have tools that you can borrow. Talk about true Folk Fest spirit! Find them just north of the food vendors. 

Free Shuttle to Festival

A free shuttle travels a round trip route around to all three campgrounds and the Folk Fest site every 30 minutes during Festival hours to take you from the campgrounds to the site. 

Thursday, July 5: First bus departs at 5:00 pm, Last bus departs at 12:30 am

Friday, July 6: First bus departs at 10:00 am, Last bus departs at 1:30 am

Saturday, July 7: First bus departs at 10:00 am, Last bus departs at 1:30 am

Sunday, July 8: First bus departs at 10:00 am, Last bus departs at 12:00 am

Buses depart every 30 minutes. Frequency of buses may change unexpectedly due to circumstances outside of our control. Times noted are from bus stop on Festival Drive across from the west parking lot of the festival site.

 

Presented by:

 

Traffic Volunteers

The campground traffic crew is one of the first contact points for campers. They strive to make the arrival and exit of 1,000 vehicles and 6,000 campground patrons as safe, pleasant and stress-free as possible, so thank them when you see them!

Save the Park

Environment volunteers will be doing “clean campsite checks” throughout the weekend, handing out prizes and high fives to campers who are keeping their sites in order. They will also be asking you to tidy up your area if it’s getting messy. Be a champion for the environment and keep your site neat!

 
Leave No Trace

Respect Mother Nature and help us continue a legacy of eco-consciousness in the campground. Respect your neighbours and the environment! Leave No Trace – that’s the Folk Fest philosophy. The creatures that live at the park year round thank you, as do the volunteers who clean up the garbage left behind.

This is our home for five days – keep it clean! Volunteers will provide you with bags upon your arrival: black for garbage and clear for recyclables. If you need more bags, visit the friendly volunteers at Environment Headquarters – the wooden shelter at Trailhead 2, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily. They’d love to talk trash with you! 

Did you know that environment volunteers collect the deposits from beer empties for campground improvements? Bring your empties and recycling to the Environment Headquarters and win some prizes.

Smokers, practice the “pinch and pocket” habit and don’t butt out your filter on the ground. Free cigarette snuffers are available at Campground Central, Environment Headquarters and Audience Services (on the festival site).

When you leave, take all of your camping gear home and bag all recycling and trash and put it in the appropriate bins or Environment Headquarters. Please take down all the ropes you tied to trees to hang your tarps and hammocks. Ropes left on the trees strangle and kill them over time – we’ve already seen too many trees die because of this. Help us see that the beautiful park doesn’t suffer any further loss

Composting

At Environment Headquarters, you can pick up a compostable bag to collect organic waste at your campsite. You can drop your compost at Environment Headquarters.  

Campground Map

Become familiar with your surroundings when you arrive. Note the locations of porta-potties, water taps, service areas and all the great art and animation to explore!

(Click on image to enlarge)

 

Keep Our Trees Healthy

Remove Your Ropes

After the festival's over and you're ready to pack up your tarps and hammocks, please remember to remove all rope from the trees. Over time, rope left wrapped around tree trunks and branches strangles and kills the tree. We have already lost trees for this reason. Help keep the beautiful Birds Hill Park forest alive and healthy.