Below is a list of frequently asked questions. If you have any questions about the festival please look through these first before contacting us. If you still cannot find the answer to your question on this page or any other page of this site then please do go ahead and get a hold of us through the contact form to the right with any not-so frequently asked questions.

ADA Access?

We always have an ADA bathroom facility.  Since it is an outdoor event, we can prepare for additional ADA access and have supplies at the ready.  Please email squarelakefestival@gmail.com with questions and requests and we’ll discuss.

What time should I arrive?

The festival “gate” opens 30 minutes before programming is scheduled to begin (2:00pm).  Please do not arrive prior to that as you will not be admitted.  There is only one exception to this policy: If you are biking from The Hub or Cycles for change, leaving with the group, and arrive prior to when the gate opens, you will be admitted.

See the Full Schedule
Can I bring my lawn chair?

Yes.  Please be considerate when setting up your chairs near the stage, but by all means, have a seat and be comfortable.

Can I buy tickets at the gate on the day of the event?

It’s likely that the festival will sell out in advance, as it has in previous years.  However, if by the event date we have not listed a “Sold Out” announcement on our website, we will sell a limited number of tickets at the gate for $40.

Can I bring a small grill?

No – we do not allow any open flame or grilling at the property.  We are not a campsite, but rather, have a large lawn where we allow our attendees to pitch a tent on in order to avoid a late night trip home in the dark.  You are welcome to bring a cooler with food that does not require cooking, or buy a hot meal from our food vendor, who will be selling great food during the festival.

What if it rains?

This is a rain or shine event. Bands and film will continue as long as severe weather doesn’t threaten the safety of our performers or attendees. The Square Lake Festival does reserve the right to pause performances or (in the worst case scenario) change or alter the schedule due to inclement weather. Please prepare yourself accordingly. (expect the worst)

How do I submit my film for consideration?

We use Film Freeway exclusively for film submissions.  Check out our Film Festival page for more information

Will there be food available for purchase?

Yes – We always have a vendor who will be selling hot food at the festival.  The menu will be available on our website a few days in advance of the festival.  Other than that, the nearest place to get groceries or restaurant food is 6-7 miles away so please bring anything to eat or drink that you need.  Attendees are allowed to bring a small cooler into the event.

Why isn't there bottled water for sale?

We are reducing waste to the best of our ability, and will not have bottled water for sale at the festival.  We encourage you to bring reusable containers for water and fill them with the coolers we have on site, which are filled using a food grade hose by our volunteers.  You are also welcome to bring a cooler with bottled water.

Can I reserve a campsite in advance?

No.  There are no campsites, but a large area of our lawn is available for you to pitch your tent on a first-come, first-served, limited basis based on ticket sales and Washington County law.  Please ensure that your tent is at least 10 feet from your neighbors and remember that there are no open flames allowed on the festival property.  A  festival volunteer will provide placement directions.  A maximum of 50 tents can be pitched on the festival grounds lawn, and the overflow area will be on the property adjacent to grounds.  Please also keep your bike away from the tent area to preserve space and walkways.  You are welcome to lock your bike up almost anywhere else on the property.

Is the festival family friendly, and do I need to buy a ticket for my child?

Our kids have the run of this place and we think it is a great place for all ages to hang out.  There will occasionally (rarely) be a film shown that might not be appropriate for your child.  We will flag any questionable films on the festival program which you will receive at the gate.  These films will always be shown in the barn and you can simply choose not to go in during that time slot.)  Children under 12 receive free admission.  We ask that you get a ticket for them (free on Brown Paper Tickets) when you buy your own so that we can keep track of how many people are here, but no children will be turned away because  they didn’t get a ticket.

Is there a place for me to charge my cell phone or other electrical devise on-site?

No. Please bring your own solar charger.

What is the situation with parking?

You may park on the festival property for free; however, SPACE IS LIMITED.  Please carpool with your friends if you can, to ensure we don’t run out of room.  We’ve come very close but have always been able to accommodate everyone thanks to careful direction from volunteers and a large chunk (about half) of our attendees arriving by bike.  Please do not park on the road unless directed to do so by one of our volunteers.

How do I get there?
Location Page


From the Twin Cities: take Hwy 36 east toward Stillwater. Turn left on Manning Trail. Proceed 6.9 miles on Manning Trail and turn right on Square Lake Trail. (Look for festival signs or signs for Square Lake County Park) Go 4.3 miles on Square Lake Trail and then turn right on Partridge Rd. Go 1/2 a mile and the festival is on your left at the top of the hill.

On the day of the event, call #651-204-0775 for a recording of driving directions to the festival.

Most attendees will want to budget about one hour to travel from the Twin Cities.

Where are you in relation to Square Lake?

The festival is about a quarter mile from the entrance to Square Lake County park.  It would take 15-20 minutes to walk to Square Lake Beach from here or 5 minutes to drive.  Please note that we are NOT located in the county park, or on the shores of Square Lake.

What should I bring?
  • food (or cash buy food from vendor)
  • beverage (or cash to purchase onsite)
  • warm clothing
  • flash light
  • re-usable water drinking device
  • bug spray
  • a blanket to lay on
  • dancing shoes (or no shoes at all)
  • camping gear
  • a smile on your face
Can I bring my well behaved dog?

We ask that you leave your dogs at home or in the care of others while at the festival.  We believe that your dog is well behaved and that you will be diligent about any clean up associated with bringing your dog, but others might not, and we cannot be responsible for letting yours in while keeping theirs others out.  Thanks for understanding our need for keeping it simple.

How can I help?

Considering making a voluntary donation when purchasing a ticket on Brown Paper Tickets. Ticket prices cover only a fraction of the expense involved with putting on the festival and donations are greatly appreciated.  Those wishing to receive a tax deduction for their donation can donate through our fiscal sponsor, Art Reach St. Croix.  Please email us if you would like to learn more.

-Volunteer – almost everyone you see working at the festival is a volunteer and many shifts are available.  Volunteer Page-Pick up after yourself (and others if you are so inclined).  Please remember that the festival takes place on a private property and be considerate of the people who live here by being respectful of the property and cleaning up any trash you generate.

Who cleans up this mess for you?

We do, along with our friends and volunteers, if we can get them.  There is no volunteer shift scheduled for Sunday morning, so please help out to the extent you can by cleaning up after yourselves.  Reduce trash, bring it home with you, or make sure it ends up in the designated trash and recycling containers rather than on the ground.  If you see folks milling about on Sunday morning picking up, lend a hand if you can.  We are a volunteer run organization and appreciate any help you can add.

Volunteer Page
What if I bought a ticket but now can't go?

We are definitely sorry to hear that, unfortunately the tickets are nonrefundable. We would encourage you to bless someone else with tickets via social media or elsewhere!

Do I need to depart with the group leaving from the Hub or Cycles for Change in order to get the biker discount?

We prefer that Twin Cities bikers depart with the two groups (Peace Coffee/HUB and Cycles for Change/Summit).   We’ve received tons of comments over the years from bikers who enjoyed the community feel of the group bike ride.  However, as more and more of our attendees originate from areas outside the Twin Cities, we have begun allowing people to bike independently from the two groups.  Enjoy your ride, and thanks for helping us avoid parking shuttles and the impact of parking 100s of cars.

Can I bike if I didn't buy a discounted ticket before advanced sales were cut off?

Of course, and we hope you do, however, the deeply discounted bicycle tickets are available in advance only.  If you bike out without a ticket, you will need to pay full price at the door..  Please visit our Biker Info page for more details. (coming soon)

Where should I park my bike?

Please keep bikes out of the area reserved for tents and seating in front of the stage.  Other than that, you can park your bike wherever you can find room.  Many people use the cedar fence along Partridge road.  Please note that we are not responsible for lost or stolen bikes.  While this has never happened to our knowledge, we encourage you to bring a good lock and use it to secure your bike.

What if I purchased a bike ticket and decide to drive at the last minute?

You will be charged the difference between the $15 biker ticket and the door ticket price when you arrive.  Be prepared to pay cash as we cannot guaranty there will be credit card processing at the door when the show sells out in advance.

When are quiet hours observed?

The festival is held on a private property in a residential area.  Our neighbors are very generous to support us when we ask the township to issue our conditional use permit which allows for this event.  Please help us keep the goodwill that we have with our neighbors by observing quiet hours after the festival programming ends at midnight.  In addition, many of our attendees will be rising early on Sunday morning to bike home and will appreciate the opportunity to get some rest before the making the trip.

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