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 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
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 https://www.roanokeoutside.com/project-outside
ABOUT BERGLUND CENTER:
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 www.BerglundCenter.live for more information