The short answer is around 3:30 or 4:00 am. There is one person whom I know
very well by sight but for the life of me I can't recall his name, that
prides himself on always being first in line. Each year he comes a bit
earlier to assure that honor and I, being a but more sleep oriented tend to
let him. Now don't be fooled by this. You can come much later and still
find attractive seating. I tend to line up between 4:00 am and 4:30 and am
usually between number 10 and 20 in line which is fine for my needs. I
guess it all depends on how critical your needs are. If you absolutely have
to be in the first row, dead center in front of the stage, better be in line
by 3:30 or 4:00. If you're not as picky, adjust accordingly
Having said all of that, let me go over a few other things that are good to
1) There are two lines. One is at the riverside campground entrance to the
music meadow and the other is at the parking lot entrance. The parking lot
entrance line tends to be a little shorter
2) Except on Friday (noon opening as I recall) you must remain with your
stuff in line. No just leaving a chair to hold your place in line. Potty
breaks are allowed. I look at it this way. If your chair was in line
without you, it can go let in according to its place in line, but you can't
go in with it. :-)
3) Each person in line is allowed to bring in 4 chairs. So one person in
line can reserve space for 4 people. What is no longer allowed (starting
this year) is for one person to wait in line (with or without 4 chairs),
then just before the gate opens 15 friends show up each carrying 4 chairs.
If you need space for 5 to 8 people, then 2 must wait in line. For 9 to 12
- 3 people, etc.
4) The vendor area (where the coffee is) is not open till around 7:00. So
you can't use the vendors to caffeinate yourself while waiting in line.
5) The parking lot line forms about 200 yd farther from the music meadow
gate then the Campground line. To compensate for this the parking lot line
"moves up" to the music meadow gate about 15 to 30 minutes before the music
meadow opens, equalizing it with the campground line.
6) Unlike some "mad dash - foot race" festivals, this one has an excellent
process for when the gate opens at 7:00 am. Peter (head of security)
releases 5 or 6 people from each line at a time at 30 to 60 second
intervals. So you are only competing with a hand full of others in that
"release" and not racing hundreds of folks. It's actually very civilized.
No one gets trammeled, no one gets hurt, and even if you're slow, people in
releases after yours will be hard pressed to pass you by.
7) Please pay attention to rules on blankets and chairs on the main web
site. During the "set up" hours each morning there are well trained staff
in the music meadow to deal with problems. They also do a good job keeping
people from being too creative in opening up space by moving other folks
things. Some small adjustments are permitted to close up gaps, but major
shifting is stopped. However, until the area around me fills in, I tend to
stay around to help folks who might not understand this rule. There are no
8) You must remove ALL of your gear each evening and start over the next
day. Just before 7:00 am, security gathers up all abandoned items in the
music meadow and piles it on a tree stump near the back.
9) Security prevents vendors, artists, and staff members from "inventing"
other entrances to the music meadow from the sides or back stage during the
morning set up period.
Hope that helps, and if you have more questions feel free to ask
DATE: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 20:32:10 -0000
SUBJECT: Waiting in Line
This is my first time at the KW Festival. I wondered what
time the line forms in the morning. The site says the gates
open at 7. Thanks for any input.