Camping spots spread thin for Panic show | AspenTimes.com

Camping spots spread thin for Panic show

Who needs sleep anyway?Thousands of fans hitting town for Widespread Panic concerts Thursday and Friday will find most spots in developed campgrounds already gone.The U.S. Forest Service has been deluged for the last week with calls from music fans hoping to reserve a campsite. What they are discovering is the spaces that can be reserved in advance in four local campgrounds were taken two months ago.”We had an idea then that camping was at a premium,” said Matt Sandate of the Aspen Ranger District. He helps answer the telephone calls and greet visitors who walk in the door.Sandate said the call volume from people planning to attend the annual Labor Day festival in Snowmass Village skyrocketed last week. “Just about every other call was about camping,” he said.He received three calls in about 20 minutes at the Forest Service’s Aspen office Tuesday.The callers had the right theory, just the wrong day. Reserved spaces are long gone at Difficult Campground east of Aspen and at the Silver Bell, Silver Bar and Silver Queen campgrounds on Maroon Creek Road.Other spaces are available on first-come, first-served basis. For the most part, those are taken as well.Widespread Panic attracts legions of loyal fans. Concert organizer Jazz Aspen expects record crowds for the days the band plays.Campers will find numerous undeveloped spaces in the forest around Aspen. Difficult Campground, the largest in the area with about 50 spots, will also offer overflow camping space, according to the Forest Service.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com