Are VIP tickets worth it for music festivals in general?

Are VIP tickets worth it for music festivals in general?

General admission tickets to music festivals are already prohibitively costly, so what’s the deal with VIP, and is it really worth the exorbitant price? Virtually all music festivals now sell “VIP” and “Platinum” tickets at double the price of a basic ticket, which may cost up to $1,000 per person or more. I’ve been to a lot of music festivals, but I’d never received VIP treatment until last weekend, when I was covering the BottleRock Festival in Napa as press. I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of it. VIP rekindled my interest in and enthusiasm for music events. True, a VIP ticket is a pure luxury that many (like me) cannot afford, but it offers some interesting benefits that may convince you to buy.

Are VIP tickets worth it for music festivals in general?

VIP Views

The primary purpose for purchasing a VIP ticket is to get a better perspective of the stage. The most perplexing thing I noticed at BottleRock was that there are several VIP levels. There are three levels of VIP: regular ($709), VIP Plus ($1,200), and VIP Platinum ($3,500). Everyone in the VIP section got access to the front of the main stage. There will be no packing or battling for a seat since we’re talking several feet with plenty of breathing room. Then, there’s VIP Plus, which has access to the Alaska Airlines Skydeck, an elevated tent to the side of the stage that offers an incredible, unobstructed view of the stage (away from the crowd), comfortable seating, shade, and free, unlimited drinks (which cost about $15 a pop for festival-goers).

Then there’s VIP Platinum, which includes backstage access (!) and a private tent to the stage’s right. The Platinum stage’s balcony is virtually eye level with the main stage. I did get to meet Macklemore backstage. It’s incredible to see the musicians up close and take in the energetic audience from their perspective. It seemed like I was living vicariously via the performances for the day. There is one little catch: no one may remain for the whole set. So that everyone has a chance to go backstage, the small group stays for a few songs before being escorted out.

VIP Bathrooms

Porta Potties = General Admission. VIP means air-conditioned bathrooms with flushable toilets, toilet paper, sinks, and soap. I was beyond thankful for three days in the sun. I never stood in line, and attendants kept the toilet paper and paper towels stocked at all times.

Are VIP tickets worth it for music festivals in general?

Private VIP Stage

All VIP had access to a “VIP Village” that had private bars, restaurants, restrooms, and even a private stage. Headliners performed exclusively for VIPs on this stage, allowing you to see the performers in a more intimate environment.

Are VIP tickets worth it for music festivals in general?

Free Drinks and Food

You have to spend a lot of money to have access to free beverages and meals. VIP Plus received complimentary beverages at the Skybar. In its white tent lounge, VIP Platinum enjoyed chef-catered dishes and top shelf beverages. Then, there’s the “VIP Suites,” an elevated tent perched to the side of the tent (like the Skybar but sectioned out into smaller units). Sponsors and companies rent them out and provide food and beverages to a small group of people.

Are VIP tickets worth it for music festivals in general?

No Physical / Mental Exhaustion

Fighting the sun and crowds all day oftentimes lead to intense physical and mental exhaustion at music festivals, but with VIP, there’s none of that. Certainly, I was exhausted at the end of the day. I didn’t, however, depart burnt, dehydrated, or needing Advil for muscular and backaches. That’s a first for me at a music event! I truly felt calm after the weekend, like if I had gone on a beach vacation.

Are VIP tickets worth it for music festivals in general?

Though VIP isn’t something I’ll have a chance to do regularly (or even again), my experience was so positive, I’m apt to read the fine print of a VIP ticket the next time I go to a concert or music festival. If the ticket includes a great view, clean restrooms, loads of goodies, and a soothing experience for the proper price, I know I’ll be persuaded.

Alaska Airlines, the sponsors of the BottleRock Skydeck, covered the author’s travel and expenditures for the purpose of writing this tale.

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