The Werks Come To GO Fest

The Werks Headline High-Energy Music Lineup at Anthem GO Outside Festival

The Anthem GO Outside Festival, known for connecting people with the outdoors, announces a high-energy, live music lineup in Elmwood Park that includes national touring artists The Werks and Magic Beans. There will also be DJs positioned alongside the vendors, pro athlete shows, and demo areas throughout the festival footprint as attendees wander, explore, and discover everything outdoors–and it is all free.

Saturday’s mainstage lineup starts with local favorites The Kind, Ambassador, and Lazyman Dub Band; followed by an up -and-coming artist Soul Assassin featuring Gabriel Marin from Consider the Source. Next will be the Magic Beans at 6pm and The Werks will hit the stage at 9pm.

Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, The Werks are melodic visionaries with funk-rock roots. Known for their own music festival, The Werk Out, and albums like Dream and Mr. Smalls Sessions, they have carved out a reputation of energetic, compelling, and downright entertaining live performances. Magic Beans comes to Roanoke from Colorado with national notoriety from their latest album, Unzipped. The album tributes lo-fi recording techniques, hip-hop beat tapes, and 90s neo-soul.

Sunday starts off with a new tradition – the GO Fest Brunch. Grab some great food and mimosas while listening to Colby Helms and the VA Creeper’s bluegrass jams. Then, find Laney Jones, who comes from Nashville, Tennessee, with an Americana rock sound reminiscent of Brandi Carlyle; followed by the Appalachian rock and roll tunes of Virginia Electric. The day ends when Led Zeppelin 2 fills the stage with authentic hard-rock covers of the legendary English rock n’ roll band.

“We want the music of the Anthem GO Outside Festival to match the welcoming atmosphere and high-energy of our outdoor community,” says Kait Pedigo, event manager for Roanoke Outside. “That’s why we are stoked to be working with our friends at 5 Points Music Sanctuary on this really great lineup – and we are extremely glad to open the gates for everyone, no tickets necessary thanks to Anthem.”

To stay up-to-date on the activities, shows, demos, and more at this year’s Anthem GO Outside Festival, follow on social media @RoanokeGOFest or visit

Anthem GO Outside Festival Announces Return of Banff Mountain Film Festival, Project Outside Fundraiser, and New Camping Opportunity at Explore Park

The Anthem GO Outside Festival (GO Fest) returns to Elmwood Park in Roanoke, Virginia, this October 13-15. Organizers are pleased to announce a new partnership with Explore Park to offer festival camping to attendees, as well as the return of favorite shows including the renowned Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, and an opportunity to raise funds for regional outdoor initiatives through Project Outside.

GO Fest is celebrating its 13th year of building a better outdoor community, and the addition of Explore Park to the festival community showcases the Roanoke Region’s unique metro-mountain lifestyle, connecting the remarkable outdoor recreation area to the vibrant downtown core with a short shuttle ride.

Attendees wishing to camp out during the festival can reserve camping spaces with Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism in early September. These campers will be able to spend part of their day wandering Explore Park’s hiking and biking trails, accessing the Roanoke River, playing disc golf, enjoying an aerial adventure at Treetop Quest, or drinking craft beer at Twin Creeks Brewing. Then, they can hop on the courtesy shuttle to the festival where they will explore hundreds of outdoor activities, pro-athlete shows, gear demos, live music, and world-class adventure films.

Setting an exciting tone for the weekend will be the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour presented locally by Mast General Store. Traveling to remote vistas, analyzing topical environmental issues, and bringing audiences up close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the mountain world. The films will begin Friday, October 13 at 7:30 PM in the Elmwood Park amphitheater.

Attendees can expect a jam-packed schedule of shows and activities throughout all three days. One featured show is the awe-inspiring Freedom First Highline Show in which professional slackliners perform death-defying tricks on a 250-foot-long slackline more than 70 feet above the crowd. Also slated is the beloved Member One Lumberjack Show, complete with chainsaw acts, log-rolling fun, and witty hijinks. Attendees can also look forward to BMX stunt shows, gear demos, group meetups,
and more to be announced soon. The festival schedule can be found on and activities will continue to be added right up until the event.

GO Fest remains free, but the event will feature opportunities to donate to Project Outside. This fund was created in 2020 to champion local outdoor maintenance and access projects. To date, more than $150,000 has been awarded to 24 regional projects including contributions to river access and parking lot improvements on both the Roanoke and James Rivers; the purchase of a walk-behind skid steer for the Blue Ridge Off-Road Cyclists (BROC) to use in regional trail projects; the support of Humble/Hustle’s outdoor recreation programs for local black youth; and the building of a public mountain bike skills course along the Roanoke River Greenway at Vic Thomas Park, to name a few.

The proceeds from beverage sales, race registrations, and festival merchandise will go toward Project Outside. Festival merchandise is now available for pre-order with pick up at the event. There will also be opportunities throughout the festival to donate either by pledging a monthly gift or through a simple, one-off contribution.

Those looking to be the first to hear about the music lineup and other festival announcements should follow along on Facebook or Instagram, or sign up for email updates. Volunteer shifts are available now, and this year all who complete at least one shift will receive an ENO hammock in addition to a GO Fest t-shirt!

Impact: GO Fest 2022

The 2022 Anthem GO Outside Festival was an exciting weekend full of lumberjack shows, bmx stunts, paddleboard demos, and so much more. The event laid groundwork for some exciting new opportunities in the years ahead. The festival layout and offerings evolved from 2021’s layout to incorporate nearly 50% more square footage and resulted in a circular flow with pockets for retail; activities like stand-up paddle boarding, biking, climbing and slacklining; dedicated space along wooded paths for connecting with our non-profit community; and, of course, plenty of space for taking in the live music, influential speakers, and the exciting films of the Banff Mountain film festival.

Now that the dust has settled, here is a look at the impact of the event:

GO Fest 2022 stand-out numbers:

  • 32,000 attendees, 12% increase over 2021
  • $2.1 million in total spending
  • 47% increase in vendors over 2021
  • 147 activities from lapidary demos to e-bike tours to the much loved Walkabout Wild Gear Chase and more
  • 76% of attendees surveyed said the GO Outside Festival made them feel connected to the outdoor industry, 27.7% said they felt extremely connected
  • The three most important things to attendees:
    • 1-That it was a free event
    • 2-Connecting with the outdoor community
    • 3- Trying new things

New Connections

Alongside the developed layout, we debuted a new stage and platform for conversation and story-telling: The Campfire Stage presented by Mast. Speakers sat in paddle-board inspired inflatable chairs and were surrounded by plant life as they spoke to audiences sprawled out on the grassy hill under the shade of a tree. The result? The time and space for people of all backgrounds to forge deeper connections to the outdoors.

On the campfire stage:

  • The Humble Hustle Co hosted their popular Outdoor Culture Experience and presented speakers like Xavier Duckett, Earl B Hunter Jr. , and Leandra Taylor who spoke on their experiences in the outdoors and emblazoned an invitation for black community members to spend more time in the outdoors. Food evangelist John Park also joined Outdoor Culture by hosting a cooking demo designed to show that outdoor cooking can be approachable and delicious.
  • The Roanoke Diversity Center presented a panel discussion, hosted by Peter Volosin, on recreation access and options for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Hike It Baby, encouraged families with young children to get outside by demonstrating how to dress babies, toddlers, and young children for any weather and giving parents tips on where to take their kids on local outings.
  • J and Ben Carlin, aka the SuperCarlinBrothers, hosted a live podcast recording touching on Roanoke and outdoor exploration. Visitors travelled from all over for this one, highlighting the draw of our hometown YouTube celebrities and the new world of influencer-lead travel.
  • The Hoot & Holler storytelling event on the theme of “Mother Nature” rounded out the weekend with five unique storytellers spinning their tales.

Economic Driver

The social value seen at the 2022 GO Fest was great, but we also saw progress in business as well. Featured at this year’s festival were a host of outdoor companies capitalizing on the Roanoke Region’s outdoor culture. Not only did the festival host national brands like Smith Optics, Wahoo, and Trek Bikes, but it was easy to see the energy of local small business and industry in the vendors in attendance. One in particular, Wombat, uniquely represents the potential for GO Fest to be an incubator for local outdoor business. The owners of Wombat, Julie and Brad Meilak, chose to relocate to Roanoke based on their experience at previous GO Fests, and since relocating to Roanoke, they have opened up shop to build their custom campers. Read more about their story here.


Festival buzz is a major indicator of what’s going on. Folks were understandably excited by the new high-line act in which athletes stretched a 200′ slackline seven stories in the air over Franklin Rd or from the roof of the amphitheater to a tree on the hill. They also chatted up the opportunity to rub elbows with members of the Virginia’s Blue Ridge Team Twenty24 at the children’s bike course, gushed about the food offerings (if you haven’t had Island Noodles yet, what are you waiting for!?), and asked, “Have you seen the big wheels yet??” referring to the big wheel derby going on on Jefferson St. hosted by Wilderness Adventure. Here are a few other things we heard:

  • “In the past, I’ve liked it okay. There seemed to be an extra energy vibe this year”
  • “Loved all the children’s set ups, the high slack lines(incredible!), music, food, and free s’mores! Elmwood Park has never shined so bright! My favorite Roanoke event forever and ever!”
  • “We love that it’s downtown and accessible.”
  • “First year here and loved it! Very dog friendly.”

We’re looking forward to October 13-15, 2023 for the next GO Outside Festival and hope to see you there! Interested in supporting or exhibiting? Reach out!

The Importance of Outdoor Culture at The GO Outside Festival

We announced this summer that Humble Hustle was bringing their popular Outdoor Culture series to the GO Outside Festival. This is a big deal, and here’s why: GO Fest has been celebrating all-things outdoors for over a decade, but the outdoor community still seems a little, well… white. We have a vibrant and diverse community in the Roanoke area, but folks don’t often see it reflected in our outdoor pursuits.

We’re working to use GO Fest as an opportunity to change that, so we got together with the team at The Humble Hustle Co. to make space to welcome Black, Indigenous, and people of color to the outdoor community. We couldn’t be more excited about what they’ve got planned.

If you haven’t heard of The Humble Hustle, you will want to check them out. The Humble Hustle team works hard to empower Black youth through a series of creative and robust programs. One of these is the Humble Hikes Program, which hosts, among other activities, Outdoor Culture events designed for kids to experience outdoor activities in their own neighborhoods. And now, Humble Hustle is bringing that mission into the heart of the local outdoor community–right here at GO Fest–and presenting an Outdoor Culture experience full of activities, classes, and campfire chats.

The goal? To inspire BIPOC folks and families to come and see all that their outdoor community has to offer.

The cherry on top? Everyone is welcome to check out these chats and activities, regardless of appearance, experience, or background.

Read on for the who, what, where, and when…

Campfire Chats

Black man hiking in the woods turns and smiles for the camera

XAVIER DUCKETT | The Humble Hustle Co.

Campfire Stage: Friday 10/14, 5:30-6:30 PM

Creative, and founder of the Humble Hustle Company and Imagine Me Mentoring, Xavier Duckett is passionate about empowering black youth right here in Roanoke, VA.

EARL B HUNTER JR. | Black Folks Camp Too

Campfire Stage: Saturday 10/15, 5:00-6:00 PM

Earl went camping for the first time in Western North Carolina and was suddenly “all in.”

At the heart of Black Folks Camp Too… is the belief that once MORE Black folks become active camping enthusiasts and begin enjoying the outdoor lifestyle – this will help break down barriers to create more inclusive communities and stronger relationships overall.

LEANDRA TAYLOR | Mountaineer

Campfire Stage: Sunday, 10/16 2:00 to 3:00

She has a passion for communicating and interpreting science to the public and helping Black and Brown people reconnect with nature. She is also the youngest black woman Outdoor Afro leader on the Kilimanjaro expedition.

JOHN PARK | Food Evangelist

Campfire Stage Outdoor Cooking Demo: Sunday 10/16 11:00 AM- 12:00 PM

With passion for food and beverage and admiration of those within the industry, “Food Evangelist” John Park has over 10 years of experience in the food world.

Where to Go and What You’ll See

Come to the Outdoor Culture area in Elmwood Park throughout the GO Outside Festival weekend to meet inspiring people, try new activities, and get a taste of the outdoor lifestyle.


Wander up from the Elmwood Amphitheatre toward the Peter Pan Playground and find the welcome tent just past the fence at the top of the hill. Or, stroll along Jefferson Street in front of the Main Library; once you see the Campfire Stage, look up the hill, and you’ll see Humble Hustle!


Looking to connect with Humble Hikes? Reach out to them here.

Blues Music, Festival Favorites, and New Features at the 2022 Anthem GO Outside Festival

The Anthem GO Outside Festival, known locally as GO Fest, returns to downtown Roanoke October 14-16 with inspiring blues music, jaw-dropping outdoor films, and a plethora of outdoor activities. The three-day outdoor sports festival will host American blues, funk, and soul artist Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears for Saturday night’s Project Outside benefit concert. Described as a “vital and distinctly American voice,” Black Joe Lewis is a stone-cold original who has honed his “gut bucket blues” on stages with Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin Malcolm. Opening the show is award-winning vocalist Shemekia Copeland, who possesses one of the most instantly recognizable and deeply soulful roots music voices of our time.  

The festival footprint surrounds Elmwood Park, using the parts of Franklin Road and Jefferson Street adjacent to the park. That footprint will be filled with favorite events such as the Banff Mountain Film Festival, lumberjack and BMX stunt shows, a second music stage, two beer gardens, outdoor exhibitors, gear demos, and more to be announced. GO Fest organizers are also happy to offer two new commemorative reusable pint cups, getting back to the festival’s roots as a force for sustainability.

GO Fest is excited to announce new elements of the festival that underline a focus on creating space in the outdoors that is welcoming to all. To that end, GO Fest debuts a partnership with the Humble Hustle Co. as well as the launch of the new Campfire Stage as a place for conversation and storytelling. The Humble Hustle Co. is bringing its popular Outdoor Culture Event Series to the festival; this series invites folks of all backgrounds to hear Black outdoor enthusiasts speak at the Campfire Stage as well as participate in outdoor cooking, birding, geology, and fishing activities. The Campfire Stage lineup also features a live recording of the Super Carlin Bros Popcorn Culture podcast and a Hoot & Holler storytelling event, akin to The Moth on the Radio Hour, featuring stories on the theme of Mother Nature.

The festival’s expansion of live entertainment opportunities is thanks in part to a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation awarded to organizing partner Play Roanoke. The purpose of the $20,000 award is to ensure the festival is free to attend and to amplify the significant and positive economic impact GO Fest brings to Roanoke. Tickets for Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears are on sale now through the Berglund Center box office and online. To stay up-to-date on the activities, shows, demos, and more at this year’s Anthem GO Outside Festival, follow on social media @RoanokeGOFest or visit

ABOUT THE ANTHEM GO OUTSIDE FESTIVAL: The Anthem GO Outside Festival is a free annual event that encourages healthy outdoor recreation. Organized through a partnership between the City of Roanoke’s Department of Parks and Recreation and the Roanoke Outside Foundation, the three-day event has evolved into one of the nation’s premier outdoor festivals since 2011. Taking place in mid-October annually, the festival features over 100 family-friendly activities, pro athlete demos, races, craft beer, camping, and live music. Learn more at 

ABOUT PROJECT OUTSIDE: Project Outside is a partnership between the Roanoke Outside Foundation and local land managers (i.e. local governments, ATC, NPS, etc.) of identified regional outdoor assets. Project Outside funds will be used to fill maintenance funding gaps in projects or initiatives and pool resources to tackle large-scale outdoor infrastructure projects. Project Outside is designed to help ensure that outdoor assets remain in top condition for residents and visitors. Since its creation in 2020, Project Outside has awarded $150,000 to 24 different regional projects that benefit the outdoor community. Learn more at 


Celebrating 50 years of bringing the world’s best music to Southwest Virginia, Berglund Center is a full-service entertainment facility located in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.  Endeavoring to provide an unparalleled live experience, Berglund Center takes pride in furnishing exceptional customer service while entertaining audiences of all ages. Visit us at for more information

GO Fest Moves Downtown

Annual outdoors festival will span downtown from Elmwood Park to the Market Building

ROANOKE, VA (August 3, 2021) – The Anthem Go Outside Festival (GO Fest) is making a big move into downtown Roanoke for its tenth anniversary to be held October 15-17, 2021. Roanoke’s signature outdoor event will span from Elmwood Park all the way to the City Market Building, with in between streets closed for vendors, stunt shows, activities, beer gardens, live music and more.

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