Shakori Hills is a music festival in Chatham County, NC that runs every spring and all. They have over 50 bands playing from May 4-7 as well as onsite camping, morning yoga sessions, and a variety of activity booths. Here are some tips to get you off on the right foot at Shakori!
1. Prepare for rain and mud! Plenty of mud…
As though by some beautiful curse, Shakori consistently receives enough rain each festival to churn up plenty of mud for everyone’s shoes, the rain is embedded into the Shakori experience at an almost molecular level. Last years fall Shakori coincided with Hurricane Matthew’s tour, while they did play some bright thunderous tracks off their old album they also brought a whole lotta rain. This year’s forecast is looking like another rainy encore. Bring some heavy boots if you really wanna get down, and a pair of fresh socks to change into at the end of the day!
2. Save on parking by carpooling with your friends!
Cars with four or more people get free parking, this saves you from the $5 per vehicle per day price for on-site parking. There generally is plenty of parking by the Henderson Tanyard road entrance but be wary any heavy rains can produce some mud sliding action, if you’re lucky.
3. Camping Locations!
There are five main camping sites at Shakori: Woodstock, Middle Earth, Old Homestead, Meadow Side, and Green Acres. Both Woodstock and Green Acres are considered family camping areas. If you’re looking for the ideal location Middle Earth is a great spot that is essentially surrounded by stages and activity tents. However study up a good path to and from your camping site because at night it can be a struggle to find. Also the early bird gets the worm on picking on a good camp site so get a friend to stake out a good spot near a footpath early on if possible.
4. Camping Gear Necessities!
Half of the Shakori experience is camping out and being one with ~nature~. Be prepared with a couple tools and you’ll never miss a beat. A headlamp works wonders late at night, especially for spotting that obscure footpath you need to take to make it back to camp after the shows finish for the night. Tarps are ideal for protecting large tents from rain. Coolers and ice for any beverages you wish to keep cool, or drink your sodas Shakori style: lukewarm. And obviously a shelter of some form, however my preferred setup is a hammock+tarp cover with a fairly warm sleeping bag, super lightweight and mobile.
5. Volunteering Options!
If you’re a bit low on cash but still wanna Shakori, then check out the volunteering options. One 3-hour work period will get you a pass for that day. My suggestion: work early and do trash/recycling. While there are other jobs like Gate Crew, Food Prep, and Hospitality I think Trash/Recycling is the easiest and has the added benefit of sometimes ending early. Working early generally means the work is lighter and gets you out in time to see all the great night shows.
6. Have Fun! Make Friends!
While the music and mud are great all on their own half of the fun of Shakori is the people. Go roaming around Middle Earth, or go hula hooping with some randos by the music stages, or say hi to your camping neighbors! Shakori always has a good crowd of good people so go out and meet em’!