The Festival at Sandpoint: Dos and Don’ts

By Soncirey Mitchell
Reader Staff

Anticipation is rising with the temperature as locals and tourists prepare for the 40th annual Festival at Sandpoint. Once again, crowds will pour into War Memorial Field for eight nights of music, food and fun. Whether it’s your first or 40th year attending, here’s everything you need to know to get the most out of your experience.

Dancers at the 2021 Festival at Sandpoint. Photo by Racheal Baker.

Tickets are selling fast, and Train, Michael Franti & Spearhead and REO Speedwagon are already sold out. Be mindful of resellers marking up prices or selling fake tickets; tickets are only available through the Festival office (525 Pine St.) and online through As seating is always first-come, first-served for general admission, festival-goers should plan to arrive early to save their spot in line. Designated seating is reserved in the grandstands for wheelchair users. Check in at the front gate at least 20 minutes before gates open to receive your accommodations.

Chairs, coolers and drinks — oh my!
Chairs are available to rent in-venue; for those looking to save $5, you’re welcome to bring your own low-back chair. To ensure everyone has a proper view of the stage, higher-back chairs are only allowed behind the blanket seating area. Hard-sided coolers, rolling coolers and wagons are no longer permitted this year. Soft-sided coolers are still allowed, and concertgoers of legal drinking age may bring their own alcohol, but wine bottles and growlers are the only glass permitted inside.

Lining up
The Memorial Field box office opens one hour before the gates each festival day. Check your tickets for individual starting times. The Festival asks that those arriving early line up anytime after 6 a.m. on the day of the event. Lines will be long, so be sure that you’re waiting in the right place; general admission, early entry and patron tickets each have a separate entrance.

Food and vendors
There are 11 Festival food and drink vendors — plus a full-service bar — located inside the venue. As these are cashless events, only credit and debit cards will be accepted. Bring a picnic from home — without glass or knives — or sample the offerings available  throughout the concert grounds.

Now, we dance
The Festival makes a distinction between “standard” and “seated” shows. During a standard show, a dance area will be roped off directly in front of the stage. It’s the perfect opportunity to let loose and have a good time. Seated shows may have dancing space available to the sides of the stage, but, otherwise, concertgoers should remain seated. Be respectful of your fellow concertgoers and dance in your seat when the mood strikes.

The don’ts
All concertgoers are required to pass through a security checkpoint to enter the venue. For the first time this year, attendees will be unable to re-enter the venue once they leave. Pat down your pockets and make sure you grabbed your purse before you go inside. Clear bags are encouraged, but not required, to expedite the security search. No weapons, including guns, ammunition, pepper spray, mace, etc. are allowed inside the venue — without exception. 

Drugs and drug paraphernalia, as well as flammable materials such as explosives, fireworks and flares, are also all prohibited. Cigarettes and e-cigarettes are only allowed in the designated smoking area. 

No pets will be allowed inside — reach out to the Festival office at 208-265-4554 for more details about bringing your service animal. Personal mobility devices for ADA guests are allowed, but otherwise personal vehicles like bikes, skates, scooters and skateboards, etc., must be left outside the venue.

For more information about the Festival at Sandpoint’s guidelines, visit or call the office at 208-265-4554.

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