Where is the best place to camp at Boomtown? Which is the best campsite? It’s one of the most frequent questions I’m asked about Boomtown. With the help of the unofficial Source Boomtown Map, I’m going to review every campsite at the festival so you know all the best spots.
In this post, Source has given every campsite a rating, along with a selection of pros and cons. I’m only covering the main public campsites which are open to everyone with a standard ticket. So if you’ve already in a pre-booked a specific campsite, check out the map instead to see where you are heading.
Boomtown Campsite Layout
It is important to understand where all the campsites are actually located. The best way to do so is by taking a look at my unofficial Boomtown Map for 2018. Every coloured in area represents a different campsite, so as you can see there are a lot of options to choose from.
Important to know:
Everything to the East of Halfway Woods is called “Uptown”. Everything to the West of of Halfway Woods is called “Downtown”. There is a massive hill in between them. It divides the festival into two distinct halves, and make no mistake that this hill will become a major feature of your weekend.
There will be layout changes in 2019! But the campsites will mostly be located in the same places. Stay tuned, Source will keep you up to date.
To keep things simple in our search for the best place to camp, let’s work across the map from left to right. That mean’s we start with…
Let’s get straight to the point. Metropolis doesn’t seem like that much of a great place to camp. And for a lot of people, it’s going to be their last choice. But there are a few reasons you might want to head here.
Metropolis is a good choice if you don’t want to carry all your stuff for long distances across the festival. You will arrive through West Gate if you are taking public transport, or parked in the purple car park. No lugging your heavy things around, just get inside the festival, put your tent up, and head off to explore ASAP.
Another perk of metropolis is that it will be relatively quiet compared to other areas of the festival. Why not find a quiet,relaxing, and shady spot next to the trees at the northern end of the campsite? Enjoy the relative peace and some comfortable shade for the morning hangover.
On the downside, Metropolis is a very long way from all the Uptown venues. The Lions Den and Sector 6 will be at least a 30-40 minute slog uphill. In fact metropolis is not really that close to anything at all.
Good for:Those who want a quieter campsite, close to West Gate, that’s a 10-15 minute walk to the Downtown areas of the festival.
Bad for: Anyone that plans to spend a lot of time uptown, or wants to be in the heart of the action. Anyone who plans to return to their tent frequently throughout the day.
Verdict: 1/5 – Much too far away from the action for source. There are better quiet campsites. A brutally long mission to get to Uptown.
Barrio Loco / Diss-Order Alley
Next up we have a pair of campsites Source is lumping together, as they have roughly the same attributes. If some of the perks of Metropolis sounded good to you, but the distance was off-putting, you might want to take a look at this campsite.
This pair of campsites is ideal for those who plan to spent a lot of time Downtown, and in the Hidden Woods. The spots closest to Hidden Woods will fill up the earliest
In previous years there was a lot more space for camping in the Downtown bowl area, which has now been greatly reduced. Once the small Dstrkt 5 camping is full, expect people to start setting up in South Barrio Loco. This Southern Barrio Loco area likes to keep the party going all night.
If you want something a little less chaotic in the same area, simply head to the slightly further reaches of Diss-Order Alley, or northern Barrio Loco. The further from downtown, the quieter and more space you are likely to have.
Barrio Loco and Diss-Order Alley are still a long way from Uptown, but their close proximity to the late night action in Downtown makes up for this drawback.
Good for: Those who are planning to spend a lot of time Downtown. Those who want a bit of atmosphere in their campsite (South-East Barrio Loco).
Bad for: Those who want to spent most of their time Uptown, and don’t like walking up a steep hill to get there. Those looking for somewhere quiet.
Verdict: 3/5 – A great spot to camp Downtown. But the long walk up the hill to reach the other half of the festival will be a frustration for many.
Dstrkt 5 / Eco Campsite
New for 2019! Dstrkt 5 is now the official festival eco campsite. This is for those who want to stay in a sustainable and environmentally friendly campsite. The perks are huge… the central location of this camp is one of the best possible!
Brand new for 2019, and replacing Dstrkt 5 campsite is the eco-zone. Those who camp here will need to keep the campsite tidy for the whole weekend, and take their tent and other belongings home with them on Monday. You will need to agree to the rules on arrival, and those making a mess will be asked to move their tents elsewhere.
This prime location cannot be oversold. You have the whole of Downtown and Bang Hai Towers right on your doorstep. Hidden Woods? Just take a minute stroll into the nearby shaded woodland.
Good for: Those who want to camp with other environmentally friendly Boomtown citizens, and want a fantastic central location right in the heart of the downtown bowl.
Bad for: Those who want to make a mess.
Verdict: 5/5 – keep your campsite tidy, take your tent home with you, and be rewarded with one of the best locations at the festival.
Hidden just behind a small woodland from the rest of the festival, Paradise Heights is a fantastic contender for best campsite. Conveniently located half way between Uptown and Downtown, and approximately half way up the hill, it’s the best of both worlds. When they were only halfway up, they were neither up nor down.
Source really loves Paradise Heights. Source camped here in 2016, and found the location to be really convenient. The fact that the new VIP zone, Boomtown Springs, has been located here is testament to the quality of the location.
It’s not the most popular choice, and being tucked behind the woods gives it a more chilled out vibe than other campsites. There are a couple of different paths to cut through the woods depending on where you’re heading.
What makes it so great is the location. You are not very close to anything, save for Tangled Roots. But you are also only a 10-20 minute walk from every corner of the festival. The perk of being “half way” up the hill is key for quick access to both sides of the festival.
This all means that it’s peaceful enough to get some sleep when you need it, and conveniently located enough to pop back to when you need throughout the day. It’s located close to North Gate, which is convenient for Purple car park.
Good for: Those who want the most central location with quick access to both sides of the festival. Those who want a quieter campsite.
Bad For: Those who want to be in the heart of the action. Oh…. and The Grand Old Duke of York.
Verdict: 5/5 – Boomtown is a massive festival, with a huge hill splitting it in half. This is the perfect campsite halfway up the hill if you want to spend equal time on both sides.
Old Town / Copper County
Another pair of campsites reviewed together, and contender for best campsite. Old Town and Copper County camping are located right in the heart of the trifecta of major stages. Perfect for those who want to camp a 5 minute walk from Lions Den, Town Centre and Sector 6.
Source loves Old Town, and camped here in 2014, 2015 and 2018! Slowly over the years, it has become perhaps the most popular place to camp. The location is amazing, with a spectacular overlook towards Sector 6, and 2 other major stages just a short stroll away. You have the whole of Uptown on your doorstep. Downtown is a 15-20m walk down the hill for your late night expeditions.
Expect all the flat camping spaces, particular to the West of Old Town camping to fill up within minutes on Wednesday. A lot of this area is very hilly which is a drawback, but you can find flat spaces if you arrive early enough.
Source thinks camping in Uptown is ideal, as there is a lot more going on during the daytime/evening, and you won’t need to climb up the hill to get to it. You can save visits to Downtown for later at night when it really starts heating up down there.
Good for: Those who want a prime location close to 3 major stages. An overlook view of Sector 6 from their campsite. A little quieter than downtown after midnight when Sector 6 noticeably turns the volume down.
Bad for: Those who want to spend most time Downtown. People who don’t want to hear Sector 6/Psy Forest from their tent.
Verdict: 5/5 – One of my top picks. Uptown has more entertainment during the daytime, and your’re less likely to need to return to your tent during late night visits to Downtown… until bedtime.
Psy Forest / West Sector 6
I have grouped the West side of Sector 6 together with Psy Forest. I’ll review the larger Eastern side of Sector 6 separately below. This area is absolutely ideal if you really love the Sector 6 (Surprise!)
You’ll be able to enjoy Sector 6 from your campsite, and the atmosphere will be absolutely going off everyday. This is the full Sector 6 experience. If you have little interest in Sector 6, then this campsite is not going to be the most ideal experience as it’s going to be full on with that kind of bucket hat vibe.
If you see yourself spending loads of time at Sector 6, then head straight here and claim your spot. The rest of Uptown is a 5-10 minute stroll away, and Downtown 20-25 minutes.
Those interested in a more Psy Forest kind of vibe, might not appreciate the music at Sector 6 dominating your weekend. I advise camping further back in Copper County or Old Town, which will put you in a more central spot between Tribe of Frog and Psy Forest.
Good for: Anyone who bought their ticket for Sector 6 and its lineup. Those who want a lively all night party campsite with a DnB flavour. Easy access to all of Uptown.
Bad For: People for whom Sector 6 is not a priority. People who want a quiet campsite. People who want to spend most time Downtown.
Verdict: 3/5 – The best possible place to camp for all you Sector 6 miscreants. otherwise, average.
East Sector 6
The very large Eastern side of the Sector 6 campsite was new for 2018. Quiet, far out, and close to the public car parks at East Gate. It’s now one of the largest campsites at the festival. But in 2018 at least, not many people actually bothered camping here, and all tried to squeeze into the valley campsites South of Sector 6 stage instead.
This area is ideal if you want to set up your tent as soon as you’ve parked up in the main public White car parks. If you’re arriving by car, there’s a good chance you are going to come through East Gate and find yourself here.
This is a quiet place to camp. You have quick access to Sector 6, and around a 10-15 minute walk to the rest of Uptown. Downtown is a 25-30 minute trek away.
Good for: Those who want to be close to the White/Red car parks. Those who want a quiet campsite 10-15 walk from all uptown venues.
Bad for: Those who want to be in the heart of the action. People heading downtown. People that hate a lot of walking.
Verdict: 2/5 – A fairly decent quiet campsite ideal for lighter sleepers near the main car park. But too far out for the taste of Source.
Chilled our Reggae vibes in the daytime, and some of the festivals biggest headliners in the evening. All taking place right out the front of your own tent. The Lions Den stage could be an entire festival weekend all by itself.
As a small campsite, right at the base of a major stage, this one fills up really fast. You’ve got a view of the epic Lions Den arena, and quick access to the rest of Uptown and the Whistlers Green area. Downtown can be accessed in 15-20m by heading down the stairs.
All in all, it’s a fantastic location. Arguably the festivals “main stage”, and good access links elsewhere. Lions Den finishes up at 11pm so you’ll get some night time peace for sleeping. And you’ll enjoy the chilled out reggae vibes in the daytime without even leaving your tent.
You might just forget to leave this little corner of the festival at all. But I imagine once it all finishes up at 11pm, you’ll be itching to explore elsewhere.
Good for: Those who want to be in the heart of the action when it comes to the festivals biggest names. Easy access to the rest of up town. Chilled reggae vibes all day.
Bad for: Those averse to the smell of herbal medicines. People who arrive too late and find it already totally full.
Verdict: 4/5 – Fantastic location in the heart of the Lions Den. Just remember to leave from time to time and see the rest of the festival!
So as you can see, it’s not easy to decide which is the best place to camp. The rankings here are just the opinion of source, and perhaps you disagree. There are good reasons to camp in most areas.
So in summary which was the best campsite? Let me run down the Source top list.
- Old Town / Copper County
- Paradise Heights
- Lions Den
- Dstrkt 5
- West Sector 6 / Psy-Forest
- Barrio Loco / Diss-Order Alley
- East Sector 6
There are some other campsites too which need to be booked and paid for in advance. There are the Camp Skylark and the Boomtown Springs VIP campsites. You can find some more info about them in the Source ticket buyer guide. There is also camper van, accessible and pre-pitched campsites available.
Source didn’t review the official “quiet” or “family” campsites, as these have very limited space. These are for the select people who need to camp there, and generally include families with small children.
Thanks for reading the Source guide to the best places to camp at Boomtown.