The Campfire Stage presented by Mast General Store returns to the Anthem GO Outside Festival with a lineup of inspiring changemakers. The Campfire Stage is a collaboration between GO Fest and The Humble Hustle Company to celebrate the ways conversation and storytelling guide our journeys through the outdoors. The theme throughout this year’s Campfire Stage sessions is “Cultivating Change.”
In addition to getting people outside, GO Fest’s mission is to create a welcoming space outdoors for all walks of life. Organizers feel the Campfire Stage hits the nail on the head. From nationally known organizations and speakers to some local favorites, the stage will host panel discussions, educational chats, a podcast, and a networking social all focused on the outdoors and encouraging positive change.
“In 2022, the Campfire Stage turned out to be one of the most impactful events at GO Fest, and we knew it had become a festival mainstay,” Kait Pedigo, GO Fest event manager, said. “People longed for a space to tell their stories, discuss important, sometimes difficult, topics, and encourage empathy and awareness; we’re excited to provide that outlet.”
All speakers and events focus on the impact of the outdoors—economic, social, and cultural—yet each brings a different perspective and energy. Kicking things off on Friday, October 13 at 5 p.m., Get2KnowNoke is hosting a panel discussion: Leveraging the Outdoors to Attract Business & Talent led by Pete Eshelman, Director of Talent Strategies for the Roanoke Regional Partnership. This session also includes a pop-up networking social for professionals to gather.
Saturday brings four heavy hitters to the stage. Roanoke’s own Super Carlin Brothers will start the day with a live recording of their famous Pop Corn Podcast. Last year, attendees from all over North America traveled to GO Fest to watch J and Ben Carlin’s performance. Following the podcast, James Gregory, AKA: The Ethnic Explorer, will take the stage to discuss his passion for nature and his devotion to promoting diversity in outdoor spaces. Next, the region’s local parks and recreation directors will delve into the development of regional outdoor assets and the visionary mindset and organizational realities of working in this space. And Asia Bright of Black Girls Hike will cap off the day. Bright shares her story of creating a community of Black and Brown outdoor enthusiasts through her grassroots effort to bring more people of color to the outdoors.
Two impactful shows close out the stage on Sunday, October 15. Amber Wendler is a runner, backpacker, birdwatcher, kayaker, and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. She’ll start us off with an educational discussion about making science and the outdoors more inclusive. And rounding out the festival is Outside Magazine’s Get Outside Tour. Their goal is simple: get everyone outside.
The Humble Hustle Company has been instrumental in finding inspirational speakers for this stage. “We’re really excited to provide this Outdoor Culture experience and to have James, Asia, and Amber on the Campfire Stage sharing their experiences as people of color in the outdoors,” says Xavier Tremaine, founder of The Humble Hustle Company and the Humble Hikes Program. “It’s going to be great once again for festival goers to connect with these stories, engage in community, and hear about new ways they can engage in the outdoors, too. This is definitely not your average GO Fest experience.”
Attendees can find The Campfire Stage presented by Mast General Store at GO Fest on the grassy hillside next to Roanoke’s Main Library. Click here for the Campfire Stage schedule and for more details on each campfire chat. People are invited to grab food and drink, lay out a blanket, and enjoy the talks. No tickets are necessary, and all are welcome.
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 roanokegofest.com.
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 www.roanokegofest.com