From Canvas Tents To Chill-Out Zones: Tips For Creating A Unique Retro Festival Campsite

It’s groovy, it’s outdoorsy, it’s Old School Cool – introducing Retro Camping, the trendiest new craze taking festivals around the world by storm! Retro aesthetics are the funkiest way to make your campsite the place to be at any upcoming music festival, turning your temporary home into the chill space for the coolest kids at the party.

Inspired by hippie aesthetics from the 60s and 70s, as well as the giant rock and roll festivals of bygone eras (we’re looking at you, Woodstock ’69!) this move towards playfully vintage setups presents an opportunity to get even more creative with camping. We’ve compiled a few tips and tricks for turning your next campsite into a throwback paradise with Camp Master.



  1. Choose more “vintage” materials.

Taking a look through outdoor snaps of days gone by, one thing you might not see a lot of is plastic and plastic-based textiles. Back in the ’60s and 70s, most outdoor gear was made of treated canvas. And on reflection, those jazz cats were onto something! Canvas is highly durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, as well as being water resistant.

The fabric is also breathable, which makes it cool, and can be coated in a versatile range of treatments that encourage flame retardancy, UV resistance and mildew resistance. Canvas camping gear also looks super cool! Camp Master has a full range of canvas tents for you to explore when looking for a groovy festival shelter.

  1. Create a community space

Much of the hippie philosophy of “peace, love and harmony” was built around the idea of being a community, one big family. Construct your retro campsite around a space that facilitates that notion by creating a spacious, well-decorated communal area, where all the campers can chill out, make friends, listen to music and chat. The comfier and homelier this feels, the more at ease everyone in attendance will be, and the “gnarlier” the vibe!

Make an effort to provide shade, because getting burnt at festivals almost always leads to catastrophic dehydration. Camp Master’s range of sun shades and gazebos are big enough to hold a crew of any size! You’ll also need to provide comfortable seating to really allow the squad to settle in, so we recommend taking a look through the Camp Master range of chairs to find one that’s perfect for each person present.

  1. Lighting is everything!

It’s crucial to keep your retro festival campsite lit (and no, we don’t mean in the intoxicating way!) Creating atmosphere and ambience is all about keeping the vibe groovy even after the sun sets. As many festivals prohibit the lighting of fires in campsites due to safety concerns, you need to take lighting setups into consideration to show off your vintage efforts all the way into the early hours of the morning. If you’re leaning into the “disco” vibe, try out these Camp Master glow sticks. If you’re going a little more classic, we recommend these ultra-bright portable lanterns.


  1. Leave no trace

A huge part of hippie philosophy, especially how it has progressed into the current day, is the idea of caring for Mother Nature. Even at festivals, it’s imperative that we leave areas as we found them, and a great way to do this is by making sure that in our camping spaces, there’s a spot where everything belongs. You can do this neatly (and in a rather aesthetically pleasing way) by incorporating Camp Master storage solutions into your campsite planning.

We recommend stacking these utility boxes for small gear and food storage. For cooking implements and small essentials, try out these camping cupboards. You can even store your extra gear and luggage in an on-site trailer.

  1. Create a funky photo booth

Only half the fun of festivals happens at the actual festival! The other half happens in reminiscing, swapping stories, talking about music and sharing happy snaps with friends on social media! Make your campsite the place to be by creating a retro-themed photobooth in a well-lit corner with props, chairs, refreshments and a battery-powered ring light. If you’ve got a little time beforehand, we recommend painting a cool retro-inspired background on a Camp Master tarpaulin to string up between two trees and set the scene in a sustainable, DIY way!


You’re all set to have the greatest, grooviest, most retro festival season ever in 2023! All you need to bear in mind is materials, comfort, storage, lighting and decoration, and you’re already on your way to setting up your own mini-weekend Woodstock.

If you’re excited to get funky outdoors, we recommend heading down to your nearest Builders’ Warehouse, Makro or Game to stock up on our full range of camping essentials! They’re durable, yet affordable and convenient, and we know they’ll complement your vintage fantasy perfectly.

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