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Northern Nights Music Festival + PayRio

By Amanda Ferron

Are You Ready?!

Pack your bags, and get your camping (or glamping?) gear ready… It’s time for the Northern Nights Music Festival! The event is celebrating its 10th year, so this weekend is sure to be one to remember.

Known as the premier music festival focused on combining the love of music, camping, and Cannabis, the Northern Nights Music Festival is truly one of a kind. A 3-day reprieve from the regular world, where you can disconnect from society, and get lost floating down the Eel River amongst the majestic redwood trees. 

The weekend of July 14th-16th 2023, an estimated 6,000+ people will head to the nation’s largest Redwood campground, Cooks Valley Campground. There, festival goers will be able to enjoy a weekend full of music, art, local food vendors, and of course, Cannabis!

Dance the Night (and Day) Away

The Northern Nights Musical Festival boasts 5 different stages, including a silent disco, and a “river stage”, where you can enjoy your tunes while floating on a tube in the Eel River. There is an impressive lineup of musicians, featuring: Big Gigantic, G Jones, Mura Masa, TOKiMONSTA, Dr. Fresch, and Netsky, just to name a few!

You can see the whole musical line up here.

Be There or Be Square

Ticket prices range from $150 for general admission/unreserved tent camping, to $600 for the VIP experience. There are lots of spaces for the unreserved tent camping, including a beautiful spot right on the river. Those sites are first come, first serve, so get there early if you have a particular camping site in mind!

They also have campsites available for different locations/styles of camping. The “glamping” sites sell out quickly, and were already all gone by the time I wrote this piece… But they have vehicle, all-terrain, and RV campsites still available on their website. There is also two beautiful reserved tent camping sections, where you can choose to pitch your tent in either a towering Redwood grove, or a lovely Persimmons grove. 

You can purchase tickets and reserve your campsites here.

Northern Nights Focuses on Cannabis 

A unique part of Northern Nights is the inclusivity it offers to Cannabis consumers. While California is, in general, very accepting of Cannabis, its public use is still often frowned upon. Even at music events. 

But NOT at Northern Nights!

Here, Cannabis is an essential part of the festivities. They were actually the first music festival to offer legal on-site Cannabis sales and consumption. The event has become known as a hot-spot for Cannabis industry insiders to gather and discuss the plant, different products and Cannabis policy.

This year, Northern Nights has partnered with Weedmaps and CVALT to allow festival goers to purchase Cannabis in designated pickup areas. For:20 Minutes sponsor, PayRio, is the Official Payment Processor for Cannabis sales on site, enabling consumers to use their debit or credit cards to purchase their Mary Jane. MUCH easier and more convenient than carrying a bunch of cash around!

Be on the lookout for PayRios Chase Nightingale and Elise McRoberts a.k.a The Hashinista, who will be on site all weekend, wearing our brightly-colored PAYRIO hat… So they should be easy to spot!

They will also have the Tree Lounge again this year. A farmers market-esq space, featuring some amazing Cannabis vendors/brands. Keep your eye out for some of my personal favorites, including: One Log House, Humboldt Seed Co, Farmer and the Felon, Space Gem, and more! 

Don’t Forget…

There are a few things you are going to want to make sure you remember before you head north to this enchanting campground. So besides the obvious, like a tent, sleeping bags, and pillows, don’t forget:

  • Layers/warm clothes. The evenings can get down into the 50s
  • Some flip flops for the day, and comfy shoes for those cold evenings.
  • Sunglasses for during the day
  • Swim gear. You’re going to want to take a dip!! So make sure you’re comfy… Water shoes, innertube, a dry bag, and towels are all a must!
  • Eco-friendly sunscreen/bug spray
  • Reusable water bottle/extra water for your crew. They have water/hydration stations throughout the grounds, but it’s always good to bring water!

While this is a pretty free-spirited and open minded event, there are a few things that are prohibited:

  • The website explicitly mentions that they DO NOT want you to bathe in the river. There are multiple hot showers available on site.
  • DO NOT bring your dog/pets/animals. There are a lot of people at this event. The space could seem hectic and stressful to an animal, so leave your fur babies at home!
  • Other than sparking up some Cannabis, there are NO FIRES allowed on site. No campfires, or open flame BBQ grills. The fire hazard is high, and we don’t need anyone accidentally burning down this amazing space.

Have Fun, and Be Safe!

Here’s me being a Mama-bear: I hope everyone has an absolute BLAST this weekend! That being said, I also want everyone to be smart, and stay safe. Do not accept drinks (or other substances) from people you don’t know or trust. Watch the drinks you do have. Make sure you note where the Medical, Info, and Security booths are when you arrive at the campgrounds.

The Northern Nights Music Festival was created for people to come together and bond over their love of music, cannabis, and art. It is a very special event, founded by some incredible people. They want everyone to have a great time, and go home safely to their families. 

So stay hydrated, use your sunblock, use your head, and HAVE FUN!