Glamping Gone Wild: When is it Too Much?

Glamping is a spreading phenomenon, and as it grows so do the ways in which people decide to “glamp.” And with anything that becomes wildly popular, at some point, someone somewhere will be annoyed, ruffled, or otherwise offended.

In a Glamping News article published in early Spring of 2014 called “Festival Glamping,” we reported the growing trend of festivals that offer glamping accommodations. The article listed festivals ranging from the Wakarusa Music Festival in Arkansas to the Alt Fest in Northamptonshire, England. Already in the Fall of 2014 there are many more, like the Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire, England and Beyond the Valley Music Festival in Australia, with yet another one in particular causing a stir.

Wilderness Fest tents

The Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire, England now offers everything from “canvas yurts to cosy gypsy caravans,” and bathrooms, hot showers and exclusive bar…just to make your visit to the Wilderness, that little bit more luxurious… you can wonder into the wider woodland, a private nature reserve, if the wild calls.” Certainly glamping at a fest called the “Wilderness Festival” seems appropriate.

Beyond The Valley

In Australia (where fest goers are referred to as “punters”) the brand new Beyond the Valley Festival (a music fest featuring indie rock, alternative, hip-hop and more) offers glamping straight out of the gate.

beyond the valley treats

They claim to take glamping “to a whole new level” at what it calls their Lux Campsite, with “fully furnished hotel style tents with amenities ranging from refillable “eskis” (Esky is an Australian brand of cooler) and wine chillers, toiletries, 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and access to luxury showers and a make-up and beauty parlour.” And if that’s not enough to satisfy anyone, it also comes with “a full buffet breakfast, daily housekeeping, and access to the event’s much-talked-about hangover spa,” and an “option to “pimp your tent” with a portable jacuzzi.”

Burning Man

Luxurious upgrades may be permissible at a music fest, but don’t expect to “pimp your tent” at Burning Man without a backlash. The organizers of the artist and community-centric festival held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada annually has a stated purpose that attendees “dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance,” departing a week later “leaving no trace.”

burning man blue

It is at this festival that, according to a report from the New York Times (A Line is Drawn in the Desert) a new group of attendees referred to as the “tech elite” of Silicon Valley, are causing a stir. Says one tech elite, “We used to have R.V.s and precooked meals… now, we have the craziest chefs in the world and people who build yurts for us.”

burning man desert

Having a “$2 million camps” built for you by “Sherpa helpers” at Burning Man obviously flies in the face of basic principles of the fest, the most obvious being that of “Radical Self-reliance,” where Burners (as attendees refer to themselves) are encouraged to “discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.”

In this case, it isn’t the glamping itself that is the point of contention, but how the tech elite have chosen to glamp. Burners might be fine with it if the tech elite set up the camp themselves and conducted themselves in the spirit of “creative cooperation and collaboration,” rather than connect their lavish R.V.s “together to create a private forted area, ensuring that no outsiders can get in,” as reported by the New York Times. Glamping won’t be an issue if the principles of the festival are adhered to.

Wilderness Final

While people should be free to do as they choose, being responsible with your glamping will prevent bad experiences for others, and avoid giving glamping a bad name. So please glamp to your heart’s content, but also be aware of how it affects others. As anyone who enjoys the great outdoors is encouraged to Tread Lightly, always remember to Glamp Responisbly.


Photo Credits: Wilderness Festival, Beyond The Valley Festival, Burning Man