Questions and Answers About Camping in Sturgis
What’s the difference between the Rally Pass, Extended Rally Pass and Early Bird Pass?
Here it is, plain and simple:
- Rally Pass – Monday, Aug. 3 – Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015
- Extended Rally Pass – Saturday, Aug. 1 – Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015
- Early Bird Passes – Monday, July 27 – Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015
If you arrive earlier than the dates covered in your package, you may check in at the box office and pay for the additional camping dates.
Can I buy passes for individual days?
Yes you can. Daily passes will become available as the schedule comes together. The earlier you reserve your passes the better the deal. Prices increase as the rally approaches. Pay close attention to the website and Facebook and get your passes early so that you don’t miss out.
Can we get concert passes if we’re not camping at The Chip?
Concerts are free with camping, so it’s up to you whether you camp or not. Although camping in Sturgis at The Chip is an experience you and your friends will never forget. You can purchase your camping passes online, by calling (605) 347-9000 or at the box office upon arrival.
Can we show up for concerts and/or camping without a reservation?
You bet! Just remember, you get the best price when you reserve in advance. RV sites and cabins sell out well in advance. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute. Instead, take advantage of the HUGE value you receive by planning in advance.
Can we reserve our tent camping spot?
Tent camping spots are available on a first come, first served basis. So if you have a specific space in mind, come join the party a little earlier. You’ll have a good time.
Can we reserve a specific location for our motor home?
RV spaces in Crazy Horse Camp, Stage Hill Camp, Water Tower RV, West End RV, Quarter Lane, and Vendor Row are all pre-assigned and have specific numbers associated with them. If you are looking for a site in one of these areas, act fast! They are always the first to sell out. Spots in the South 40 area will be assigned once you arrive.
Are pop-up campers okay? What about a bus?
Yes! Pop-up campers and busses are allowed, and a lot of people bring them. They are considered to be an RV, and the RV fee applies. If you wish to put the bus or pop-up on an improved site with power and water, an advanced reservation is strongly recommended.
Does it cost money to bring my vehicle onto the site?
When camping in Sturgis at the Chip, it’s free to bring one four-wheeled vehicle to your campsite. We will issue you a vehicle camping pass with your camping passes at the West Box Office. Please take careful note of our traffic policies.
Can we bring our own alcohol to the campground and concerts?
At the Buffalo Chip we don’t care much for rules. We try not to have any that aren’t in the law books or aren’t for the safety of our visitors. SD codified law 35-1-5.6, makes it a crime "for any person to consume any alcoholic beverage upon the premises of a licensed on-sale dealer if the alcoholic beverage was not purchased from the on-sale dealer."
The entire campground is licensed as an on-sale dealer. It is therefore illegal to bring outside alcohol into the campground. Law enforcement prefers we self-police and therefore bringing outside alcoholic beverages into the Chip is prohibited.
Can I bring my camera into concerts?
While we don’t care if you bring in your camera, the bands do. Bands uniformly prohibit professional cameras, and they require us to enforce the restriction. We encourage snapshooting, but please, no professional equipment.
Can we bring our pet?
Safety has required a uniform prohibition of pets that we must enforce without exception. Please make arrangements for Fido and Fluffy before coming to the Sturgis Rally. Below is a list of local pet boarders:
Northern Hills Vet Clinic – (605) 347-3606
Dogwood Lodge - (605) 720-1364
All Fours Moriah Pet Boarding & Grooming – (605) 787-5431
All Seasons Pet Care – (605) 787-7554
Peterson Ranch Kennels – (605) 787-4149
Where is the nearest place to buy _________?
You name it, and you can probably find it at the Buffalo Chip General Store in the main amphitheater or the camping supply tent located in the South 40. When camping in Sturgis at the Chip, there’s no need to leave to buy the necessities. The General Store is open 24/7 and is located inside the amphitheater.
Does The Chip have showers?
The Buffalo Chip has more than 60 free showers conveniently located at the North and South ends of the campground. We are proud to provide guests with hot, clean showers and well-maintained shower stalls. We employ a full time staff during the Sturgis Rally to keep shower houses serviced around the clock. In addition, many shower vendors are set up throughout the campground, providing guests showers for a nominal fee.
What are the bathrooms like?
There are seven buildings of flush toilets in the amphitheater area that employ their own staff to clean the toilets and hand you a paper towel after each use. Now that’s service! Each shower house also has flush toilets, and there are also many permanent outhouses throughout the campground. Each one is cleaned, sanitized and maintained daily throughout the Sturgis Rally.
Is there food available?
You don’t have to cook while you’re on vacation. There are plenty of great food options available from temporary food vendors, as well as our own Stage West Café. In addition, the Sons of Light Ministry provides guests with a free pancake breakfast every morning.
What is there to do at the Buffalo Chip during the day?
There are enough activities and entertainment options at the Chip to keep you occupied throughout the entire day! Start your day with a free pancake breakfast from the Sons of Light Ministry, go for a swim in the Bikini Beach pond, take a stroll through the Field of Flags, sing Karaoke with Jose Craigo or watch the talented performers on our showcase stages. The list goes on and on.
How do you choose the bands?
Thank you for all of your suggestions for bands. We receive countless suggestions to book specific bands and we work all year to get the bands asked for. There are many bands we’d love to have perform for you during the Sturgis Rally. Here is a quick run down of how the process pans out:
Take considerations from fans;
Determine what bands are an appropriate fit for rally goers;
Attend trade fairs;
Meet with agencies;
Find out what bands are working, if they are on tour that time of year, if they are able and willing to make their way to the middle of nowhere and route through Sturgis, SD, if they are willing to perform for a bike rally, willing to perform at an outdoor festival and willing to perform with the other bands that are booked for the stage;
Determine if band has the dates open or if they will hold the dates as they are putting their routing schedules together;
Notify band agent The Chip might be interested in having the band perform;
Wait some more.
Occasionally bands prefer to visit the venue secretly first.
Some bands consider for years before all of the above work out and they finally commit.
Once bands get a taste of performing at the Chip and know how special the audience is during the motorcycle rally, many ask the Chip if they can return year after year. Some even plan their tours around it.
If the stars all align we get a confirmation and you get a terrific show!
What does the staff do during the “off-season?”
Believe it or not, a party this big doesn’t just plan itself. While it may seem as if the Buffalo Chip has an off-season outside of the Sturgis Rally, our full time staff works year round to ensure you have the best possible experience once you arrive. When the last camper has packed up his gear and hit the road, we get right back to work planning how to do things even better next year. After improving facilities, creating more campsites, meeting with sponsors, scouting new talent and bookings bands, it’s already August again!
How can I get a job working at the Chip?
We are always looking for smiling faces willing to “Chip In” during the Sturgis Rally. You can find our employment application is available online. While we only employ a handful of people year-round, hundreds more join the staff during the Sturgis Rally. Most of our Rally staff loves working here so much that they come back year after year.
What should I pack?
Pack clothes that will keep you comfortable in all temperatures. August weather in South Dakota is unpredictable. It’s often hot during the day and cool at night. We’ve also seen our fair share of storms. Those at the 2013 Kid Rock concert will back us up on this one!
If you could give me one tip for staying at the Chip, what would it be?
Be prepared to make friends and memories to last a lifetime.
Have a question we didn’t answer? Leave a comment on our Facebook page, write us an email or post your question to our message board. We’ll do our best to get back to you with a response as soon as possible. Until then…Ride Free and Take Risks®!