Apr 13, 2023 - Things to Do

Tips to help you enjoy — and survive — Country Thunder Arizona

Country Thunder Arizona in Florence. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder USA

Arizona's premier four-day country music festival kicks off Thursday in Florence and I've got some advice to ensure a rowdy — but safe — experience.

  • I've been to Country Thunder multiple times as a reporter and attendee and I've had to learn the hard way!
🛻 Getting there

🤬 If you're driving out Thursday, just know it could take hours to get into the campground. The rest of the weekend won't be as bad, since most people will camp and won't leave the festival grounds until late Sunday or early Monday.

🚌 If you're not camping, take the Stagecoach Express Shuttle from Mesa or Apache Junction.

😬 Survival

🚰 Buy more water than you think you need. You can bring one unopened bottle into the grounds, but definitely leave more at your campsite.

🌬️ Bring a bandanna or mask. It's windy and dusty out there and you don't want to go home with the notorious "Thunder lung."

💸 You'll need cash for showers, RV pumping and other services in the campgrounds.

😏 Pro tips

🎶 Visit the country radio station booths throughout the weekend. They often have meet-and-greet giveaways and surprise performances.

🫵 Review what you can and can't bring into the festival grounds before you make the trek. And don't even try to smuggle in contraband — security is intense and I've seen many people forced to throw away the PBRs they thought they could hide under their cowboy hats.

📱 Sign up for the "CT Nation - Arizona" texts so you get information about security lines and performance updates in real time.


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