What is the Wimbledon Queue? And Why Are People Sleeping Outside of Wimbledon?

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Wimbledon is one of the hottest tickets of the summer sports season. Tennis fans (and celebrities) from around the world are showing up and showing out to see tennis greats play in one of the most historic tournaments the sport has to offer. 

While British royalty and celebrities have no trouble securing their tickets for Wimbledon, it’s not the same for us regular folk. Sure, you can buy tickets ahead of time, but you can also take part in the Queue. Maybe you’ve seen posts on Reddit or other social media about people sleeping outside of the historic venue, maybe you’ve even thought of participating in the Queue yourself.

Essentially, Wimbledon has formalized the process for camping out for tickets. Each day, Wimbledon sells a certain amount of Show Court or Grounds tickets, and fans will wait in line, or queue, for a chance to grab a ticket for themselves. The event’s website notes that “Wimbledon remains one of the very few major sporting events where you can buy premium tickets on the day of play.” (1)

Why Do People Sleep Outside of Wimbledon? 

It might seem silly to you to camp outside of a tennis tournament, but Wimbledon is one of the most significant tennis events in the world each year. You can count on favorites like Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka, Coco Guaff, and Carlos Alcaraz to be showing up to the tournament this year. 

Since Wimbledon sells a select number of tickets to the event each day, fans who don’t already have tickets can have a shot at getting into the tournament. If you follow tennis, then you know how exciting it could be to get a chance to see one of the all-time greats, or the next big star of the sport. Even if you don’t follow tennis, you might be familiar with the idea of people queuing overnight in very long lines for concerts, TV show tapings, and more. 

 How Do People Camp Outside of Wimbledon? 

So, let’s say you want to camp out at Wimbledon, what will you need to do? As it turns out, there are some pretty well-defined rules when it comes to camping outside of Wimbledon. The Queue begins in Wimbledon park, and is managed by a team of Stewards who will ensure that those waiting in line are following the conduct rules laid out by the event. (1)

For example, you must keep your Queue card on your person at all times, one person must remain in their Queue spot at all times, and you cannot leave the Queue for more than 30 minutes for the bathroom. (1)

If you plan to camp, there are even more rules that you must follow. You can only camp with a two-person tent, and are requested to keep your personal items to a minimum. You cannot bring a camping stove or grill, and you cannot order food past 10 PM. (1)

At 6 a.m. each morning, you will be made to pack up your overnight camping gear, and if it exceeds 60 centimeters x 45x centimeters x 25 centimeters (or 23.6 inches x 17.7 inches x 9.84 inches) in size, you’ll need to stow it in Left Luggage, which will cost about £5 (or $6.37 USD). (1)

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Camping for Wimbledon 

Sleepopolis has a couple of recommendations for sleeping while camping in a tent. You’ll want to make sure that you’re prioritizing keeping light levels and volume low so you can still get a restful night of sleep. You can do this by wearing an eye mask and earplugs to sleep so you aren’t disturbed by other people around you. 

Additionally you’ll want to make sure that you’re prioritizing your safety while camping out. Sleeping with a flashlight and having your shoes ready to go if you need to make an escape are some best practices. 

You’ll also want to be sure you’re prepared for the nighttime temperature drop by having a sleeping bag and pajamas that will keep you warm throughout the night.

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Sources

  1. Queuing for Tickets. Wimbledon. Updated July 2, 2024. Accessed July 3, 2024. https://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/atoz/queueing.html
Mary-Elisabeth Combs

Mary-Elisabeth Combs

Mary-Elisabeth Combs is a Staff Writer at Sleepopolis covering all things Sleep news. Previously Mary was a writer for CNET, and she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in English. When she's not writing, she's probably knitting, reading or catching up on Formula 1. 

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