Within the first few months of 2018, there were two camper van features we remarked about not seeing as often as we'd expect: roof-top decks and beer taps – see here and here for the proof. Had we discovered the Discarvery VW "Open Flair Edition" van prior to those articles, we would have had to find different words. This modern VW camper van incorporates both features into a mobile music festival headquarters built for blasting music, partying hard, sleeping it off, and doing it all again the next day.
Custom camper van designs tend to be driven heavily by customers, but the Open Flair was a custom van project in search of a customer. Bochum, Germany-based Discarvery had the idea but it wasn't exactly the build its average customer came through the door looking to commission. Eventually, the conversion shop decided to team with the Open Flair Festival and definitively forge the oft-intertwined worlds of outdoor summer music festivals and van life together.
As it does with its typical conversion projects, Discarvery started with a Volkswagen T6 Kombi. It also ticked off some of the usual equipment boxes, adding in a three-seat, folding rear sleeper bench; swivel front seats; kitchen with portable stove, Waeco compressor fridge, sink and cabinetry; and dining table for four. The addition of a 230V electrical package with AGM battery, 27-L fresh water tank, LED lighting and thermal insulation further created a proper home out of the van.
At this point, Discarvery's work would usually be coming toward a close and our conversation would be shifting to pricing. But with this particular conversion, Discarvery was just getting started. It had a comfortable after-show crash pad, but what it also wanted was a proper pre-show party machine.
The conversion team focused the next stage of its work around the outside of the van, and it did much more than just splash on special "Open Flair Festival" graphics. It started by dropping in a rear slide-out with an outdoor shower and compact beer tap for 5-L mini-kegs – keep a couple of spare minis cold in the Waeco, and you have the beginnings of quite a tailgating party.
A proper party needs some music, which Discarvery supplies in the form of a full sound system piped outside the van through tailgate speakers and outdoor speakers hanging over the sliding door. There's even special lighting and a disco ball for extra atmosphere.
If you need to quick-escape the ruckus of the tailgate area, you can always find your way up to the relative serenity of the roof deck. Discarvery has placed bamboo decking atop a Frontrunner roof rack, creating a terrace on which to sit, relax and take in the wider view.
Time to hit the road and party, right? Not quite.
Discarvery had a lot of fun, but it also did its best to put on a responsible adult cap, predicting some potential issues that could turn a night of peace, love and music into a painful morning of problems and headaches. Bumpy, muddy grass parking lot? Meet the 1.2-in (30-mm) lift and 235/65 R16 all-terrain tires. Unsavory thieves targeting preoccupied festival goers? Prepare to be stopped by the Bear Lock gear-shift incapacitation system or caught by the GPS tracker.
Now, a few hundred hours of work later, it's time to hit the road and party ... in a camper van designed specifically for squeezing the most fun out of the summer concert and festival circuit. It sure destroys the cramped, sauna-like tent I suffered through short nights in atop the vast, shadeless camping lawn at my last festival.
Discarvery developed its special edition camper van for last year's Open Flair Festival. We'd be surprised if the van doesn't show up to future Outdoor Flair Festivals and probably other shows – because what the hell else are they going to do with an "Open Flair" festival party camper?
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