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Rugged or Ritz: Camping at CounterPoint a pricey affair

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CounterPoint music festival

Houston Premier (left) and Madison Kaiser cook breakfast burritos Saturday at CounterPoint Music Festival. The pair are staying in the general admission tent camping area. (Alan Riquelmy/RN-T.com)

Taylor Carringer stood Saturday afternoon outside the VIP bathrooms at CounterPoint, waiting for his wife.

Both are camping in the VIP area of the three-day music festival at Kingston Downs. Facilities such as bathrooms and showers are a big reason they chose the higher priced spot.

“It’s a little more comfortable experience, relaxed,” said Carringer, of North Carolina. “VIP is great. There’s no lines anywhere. It’s nice being able to come and go as you please.”

The bathrooms and showers are in what appear to be medium-sized trailers. They’re close to tents in the VIP area, as opposed to general admission camping where people have a healthy walk to relieve themselves. VIP campers also have special access to the music stages.

Alex Carney, of Social Circle, and Allison Mahfuz, of Monroe, have a tent near the entrance to the VIP area. A small, battery-powered fan is attached to the roof of their tent.

“We’re not campers like the rest of them,” Mahfuz said. “The bathrooms and the showers are rough enough for me. It’s definitely better than a Porta Potty.”

A short walk from the VIP tents is the “Glamping” area. The high-end camping spot features large tents, real beds and, from 4-6 p.m., an open bar.

Craig and Jennifer Bishop, of Valdosta, reclined Saturday afternoon under a large, communal tent. They’re celebrating Craig’s 47th birthday.

“It’s very relaxing,” Jennifer said. “You’re pampered. These tents were set up for us when we came in.”

“Earlier today they stocked our ice,” Craig noted.

If Glamping is the pinnacle of CounterPoint living, RV camping isn’t far down the ladder. Music blasted through the air as bikini-clad women danced on top of RVs. Nearby four men played Cornhole.

“Party,” said Sean Sumner, of Fort Wayne, Ind., on why he attended the festival.

Duane Duke, of Chattanooga, Tenn., agreed. “Music. Music and friends,” he said.

RV, VIP and Glamping are a short walk to the Midway, the large grassy swath where attendees can buy food, drinks and memorabilia. Someone walking to general admission camping must stroll along the Midway and down some steps before entering a tent city that fills the infield of the Steeplechase racetrack.

Tents and vehicles parked in the infield form impromptu foot-traffic lanes. Those pathways grow narrow the deeper someone goes into the tent city.

One woman played with a Hula Hoop near one tent. A group of men drank beers in the shade nearby.

Madison Kaiser watched as Houston Premier cooked breakfast burritos. The pair, from North Carolina, had grilled chicken, eggs, two different cheeses and onions.

“I don’t think anybody’s taken a shower yet,” Kaiser said. “It’s just the first day.”

Kaiser said infield campers must pay for the showers, which are a good walk from her tent. She brought baby wipes as a substitute for hot water and soap.

Sporting a shirt on his head, Premier focused on his burritos.

“They’re taking their time,” he said. “You’ve got to have breakfast. It’s the most important meal. We try to get it before 2 p.m.”

The music festival ends tonight, with Flux Pavilion and Tycho following headliner Outcast at 11:45 p.m. Tickets for the 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. concert are $90.