Northern Nights is a young Music Festival that started in 2013, thus it has only existed for 5 years. I have been attending for 4 years and have enjoyed watching the festival mature and grow.
When I turn off the freeway to enter the festival, I’m always excited to discover the upgrades introduced to the festivals flow. Each year the festival has discovered its problem areas and fixed them. For example, check-in was fast and easy, the parking was organized and efficient, and the stages were bigger and brighter. I just got home from NNMF 2017 and I’m ready to go back.
NNMF has something for everyone. With four official stages and one rogue stage, you’re never short of entertainment options. Attendees can float in the river and listen to Naughty Princess or do evening yoga in the woods with Kashif. When the sun sets in Humboldt, music starts on the main stage. The moment you assume the night is over, silent disco starts and continues until the sun comes up.
The days are hot and the evenings are cold, be prepared to experience summer and winter in one day. To avoid the heat attendees of NNMF wake up early to float in the river, spend the afternoon dancing in the woods, then dress up in the evening for the main show. Don’t be shocked if you stay up till the sun comes up again. Sleep is not a problem, if you stayed up all night you can rest on the astro turf at the River Stage or in the hammocks near the Grove Stage.
NNMF is a very progressive festival. Located in Humboldt County it seems very fitting that the festival would invest time and money into creating an exclusive area for attendees to learn about Cannabis. Legalizing marijuana was a long and complicated process, so it can be assumed that having a legal area at a festival was also complicated. The festival hired San Francisco entertainment lawyer Vivek Sridharan from Counsel LP to keep all festival transactions fully legal. The set-up was impressive and vendors were very professional.
I love a good festival where I know all the bands. However, I don’t know a lot of EDM artists. Thus when I attend an electronic festival I’m trusting the judgment of the festival booker. This is the fourth year I have been attending NNMF, I always discover new bands I love. This year I was excited to see Cherub and Jai Wolf, but I was impressed by Living Legends, G Jones, Big Wild, Nombe, Justin Jay, Lucky 3.0, Naughty Princess, JOYZU, and Starfari.
• The music stages are close to each other. However, the schedule is planned so that the sound doesn’t leak from one stage to the other.
• The food is conveniently located near the main stage. Prices are higher than SF but lower than most festivals.
• You can listen to live music 24 hours a day. When the bands stop, the Silent Disco DJs start.
• The festival has hired local police officers to keep everybody safe.
• Parking costs $20 on top of your festival ticket.
• The walk from the parking lot to your camping spot is a little far. Be prepared with a cart for your gear or pray that a rickshaw appears when you’re ready to be picked up.
• Finding a camping spot can feel intimidating and confusing. If it’s your first NNMF you’re bound to feel overwhelmed. When you find a pretty spot, act like you know what you’re doing and drop your tent.
• There are no food options near the river stage.