The Gorge Amphitheatre is a majestic outdoor venue located on the Columbia Gorge in central Washington. I have heard from many music artists and attendees alike how scenic and special this place was. It was a top bucket list item for my music experiences. I couldn’t wait to attend Paradiso 2018 here. The two-day camping festival was the perfect opportunity for me to witness the magic of the Gorge.
The Festival Expierence
The festival itself is a two-day camping festival that houses mostly electronic music. The lineup was pretty diverse as electronic music goes and creates other stages besides just the amphitheatre stage. My crew grabbed a gold camping spot last minute for pretty cheap. The gold camping was the third tier which meant it was quiet, close to the venue, and much more space for activities.
We had two separate cars attending at different times which made things difficult. You were only allowed one vehicle per campsite and everyone was supposed to enter at the same time. We learned very quickly that staff there really don’t care and it was easy to get more vehicles in. Since we had gold, we had a ton of space and we were next to the day parking. When the second vehicle showed up, I walked over and gave them the parking pass. They moved there car with just telling security they were already in. Absolutely zero hassles, thanks for being awesome Paradiso staff.
My crew of four went in pretty much every day around four. It was hard to rally before that knowing that we couldn’t go back in for the day. That was the biggest downfall of this festival. It was hard for us to go into the festival all day, even with a locker, without going back to camp. We spent the entire time at the festival riding the free rides and dancing all night. We spent more time at the smaller stages which means we had space to dance.
The second day had a crazy storm blow through that shut down the festival for about two hours. Everyone was asked to head to their vehicles since there were thunder and lightning. Lucky for us, it blew over quickly and they opened the festival for re-entry which was hassle free. They didn’t scan ticket or anything, but just let us go back in. The rest of the trip went pretty smooth.
Around sunset, the crowd makes a journey to watch the sunset behind the main stage. Here is when you are reminded of why the Gorge Amphitheatre is boasted as one of the most scenic venues in America. The sun sets behind the stage while the river behind reflects the colors of the sky. This was my favorite part of the whole trip and really made it an unforgettable experience.
Tips if you want to go
- Waiting last minute to go. People were selling discounted tickets on Facebook weeks before. We ended up saving hundreds of dollars and bought the third most expensive camping pass.
- Don’t do general admission unless you want the chaos. As most festivals, GA was overpacked and Paradiso had an infamous reputation for how terrible GA was. I heard many people advise to avoid GA at all costs.
- You can easily sneak people into high tiers of camping. Walking through side rows through cars instead of
- Get a locker. There is a no re-entry policy so a locker is a must. The non-electronic ones are perfectly fine if you have an external battery.