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. I’m going to review every campsite at the festival so you know all the best spots. Updated for 2019!
Important update! The layout of the entire festival is going to change in 2022. We are all going to have to be lost together next year. You can find out more on my latest Boomtown 2022 changes info page.
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’re already in a pre-booked a specific campsite, check out the 2019 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 2019. Every coloured in area represents a different campsite, so as you can see there are a lot of options to choose from.
Click below to see the map larger in a new tab…
Important to know:
Everything to the East of Halfway Woods is called “Hilltop”. 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. Get to know the difference between the two halves of this giant festival.
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 Hilltop venues. The Lions Den and Area 404 will be at least a 30-40 minute slog uphill. In fact metropolis is not really that close to anything at all, as it will take 10-15 minutes just to get Downtown.
The terrain is mostly gentle slopes, with a slightly steeper valley running through the Eastern half of the campsite. The Western side of Metropolis is notably flatter.
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 around Hilltop, 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 hilltop.
Barrio Loco / Diss-Order Alley
Next up we have a pair of campsites Source is reviewing 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 these two campsites.
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 the Hidden Woods treeline will fill up the earliest on Wednesday. They benefit from morning shade.
In years gone by there was a lot more space for camping in the Downtown bowl area (south from here), which has since been greatly reduced. Once the small Dstrkt 5 campsite is full, expect people to start setting up in Eastern Barrio Loco. This Eastern Barrio Loco area near the Hidden Woods will be bustling and keep the party going all night.
If you want something a little quiter in the same area, simply head further out to Diss-Order Alley. 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 Hilltop, but their close proximity to the late night action in Downtown makes up for this drawback.
The terrain is a mixture of gentle slopes, with some steeper areas close to the valley that runs through the middle of the area.
Good for: Those who are planning to spend a lot of time Downtown. Those who want a bit of atmosphere in their campsite (East Barrio Loco).
Bad for: Those who want to spent most of their time in Hilltop, and don’t like walking up a steep hill to get there. Those looking for somewhere very 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 Downtown location of this camp is one of the best possible!
Brand new for 2019, and replacing Dstrkt 5 campsite is the eco campsite. 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. You will need to agree to the rules on arrival, and those making a mess will be asked to move their tents elsewhere. You will be asked to sign up to the “eco-pledge”.
This prime location cannot be oversold. You have the whole of Downtown and the Relic stage right on your doorstep. Hidden Woods? Just take a minute stroll into the nearby shaded woodland. Relic will be blasting out DnB until 3am, and the atmosphere in the campsite will be that of an all night party.
The terrain of Dstrkt 5 is gently sloping, but some of the flattest camping spots at the whole festival are located in the Southern tip of this area.
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. Those who like to party all night.
Bad for: Those who want to make a mess. Those looking to spend a lot of time in the hilltop areas, which are a march up hill. Those who want peace and quiet.
Verdict: 4/5 – 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 Hilltop 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 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 and quiet vibe than other campsites. There are a couple of different paths to cut through the woods depending on where you’re heading to.
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 steep hill is key for quick access through 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.
The terrain is steeply sloping in the Southern peninsula, but the larger Northern area slopes much more moderately for pitching up your tent.
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 Nucleus.
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 Area 404, and 2 other major stages just a short stroll away. You have the whole of the Hilltop area 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. I have circled an area on the above map as the “Premium Camp Spot”. In my view, this is the best place in the whole festival to camp (if you can find any space). It is the most centrally located camping area, and it’s also relatively flat compared to the rest of the area, which has a steep valley (Temple Valley) running down the middle.
Speaking of Temple Valley, it really is very steep. It won’t be very pleasant to camp on the slopes. I have marked the steepest part of the valley with orange arrows. Because this area is popular, even these steep hills fill up with tents, albeit much more slowly than the flat areas either side.
Source thinks camping in Hilltop 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.
The terrain is extremely mixed, with some disgustingly steep hills, but much gentler slopes too, especially in my selected “Premium Camping Spot”.
Good for: Those who want a prime location close to 3 major stages. An overlook view of Area 404 from their campsite. A busy partyzone campsite.
Bad for: Those who want to spend most time Downtown. People who don’t want to hear Area 404/Psy Forest from their tent. Those looking for quiet/calm.
Verdict: 5/5 – One of my top picks. The heart of the action. hilltop has more entertainment during the daytime, and your’re less likely to need to return to your tent as often during your late night visits to Downtown... until the bedtime walk home.
West Area 404
I’ll review the larger Eastern side of Area 404 separately below. This Western area is absolutely ideal if you really want to camp nearby the brand new Area 404 (Surprise!)
You’ll be able to enjoy views of the brand new Nucleus stage from your campsite, and the atmosphere will be absolutely going off everyday. This is the full on Area 404 experience. If you have little interest in this area of the festival, then this campsite is not going to be the most ideal experience as it’s going to be full on with that kind of house/techno vibe.
If you see yourself spending loads of time in Area 404, then head straight here and claim your spot. The rest of Hilltop is a 5-10 minute stroll away, and Downtown 20-25 minutes.
Terrain is moderately sloping, with a few really steep bits too.
Good for: Anyone who bought their ticket for Area 404 and its lineup. Those who want a lively all night party campsite with a House/Techno flavour. Easy access to all of Hilltop.
Bad For: People for whom Area 404 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 area 404 miscreants. otherwise, average.
East Area 404
The very large Eastern side of the Area 404 campsite was new for 2018. Quiet, far out, and close to the public car parks at South Gate. It’s now the largest campsite at the festival. But in 2018 at least, not many people actually bothered camping here. They all tried to squeeze into Temple Valley instead (Old Town, Copper County & Area 404 West).
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 South Gate and find yourself here.
This is a quieter place to camp. You have quick access to Area 404, and around a 10-15 minute walk to the rest of Hilltop (but you’ll have to cross the steep Temple Valley). Downtown is a 25-30 minute hilly trek away.
The terrain slopes gently to moderately. There is yet another valley running down the centre which can be steep. The flattest spots are those closest to Tangerine Fields.
Good for: Those who want to be close to the White/Red/Orange 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, especially up and down hills.
Verdict: 2/5 – A fairly decent quiet campsite ideal for lighter sleepers near the main car park. But too far out for the personal 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 Hilltop and the Whistlers Green area within 10 minutes. Downtown can be accessed in 15-20m by heading down the nearby 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 needing to leave 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.
The terrain slopes gently to moderately, giving excellent views of the Lions Den stage.
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 Hilltop. Chilled reggae vibes all day long.
Bad for: Those averse to the smell of herbal medicines. People who arrive 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 (Eco Camp)
- West Area 404
- Barrio Loco / Diss-Order Alley
- East Area 404
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 are also camper van, accessible and pre-pitched campsites available. None of those are reviewed here.
Source didn’t review the official “quiet” or “family” campsites, as these have very limited space. These are for 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.