GO Fest News

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.

Directions:

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!

When?

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

Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer at Roanoke GO Outside Festival

Since its beginning, the Anthem GO Outside Festival has been made possible (and free) by the support of hundreds of hardworking volunteers.  An enormous amount of work goes on behind the scenes to pull off an event of this size, and volunteers are essential in making the magic happen!  Here are our top 5 reasons to volunteer at this year’s GO Fest.

#1 Support Roanoke’s Outdoor Community

The region’s outdoor scene is made up of small businesses, outdoor athletes, non-profit organizations, government agencies, social clubs, and more. A great way to lift up this community is by supporting the annual event dedicated to celebrating all things outdoors! Through volunteering at GO Fest, you’ll have the opportunity to work with likeminded individuals involved in Roanoke’s outdoor scene. If you’re new to the region or looking to meet new people, this is a great way to make connections with folks who are passionate about outdoor recreation, environmental stewardship, conservation, and more.

#2 That Sense of Satisfaction

It’s no secret that volunteering your time and talents is a great way to make a positive impact on your community.  Whether you’re a longtime fan of GO Fest, or if this is your first time, volunteering is the perfect way to give back.  Many of our volunteers enjoy their experience so much they choose to join us year after year.

2022 GO Fest Volunteer T-shirt

#3 Exclusive Volunteer SWAG!

Volunteering comes with lots of intangible benefits, but at GO Fest, we throw in a few extra perks!  We’re so grateful for the hundreds of hours given each year by our volunteer crew, and we make a point to provide extra special goodies of thanks.  This year, we have an exclusive t-shirt as well as an ENO brand tote bag, and a pair of Dahlgren alpaca wool socks for every volunteer!  Green Team volunteers will also be getting surprise SWAG from Mast General Store.  We know you don’t volunteer for the free stuff, but it doesn’t hurt, right?

#4 Peek Behind the Curtain

Volunteering at GO Fest lets you see behind-the-scenes of a big festival.  If you’re interested in event planning, volunteering allows you to familiarize yourself with the environment.  Or, if you’re just curious about how a large scale festival like GO Fest is possible, your volunteer shift will give you insight into the bigger picture while you make the magic happen!

#5 Mix it Up

Roanoke GO Fest has a wide selection of volunteer roles, from pouring beer, to keeping things clean with the Green Team, to helping set up beforehand or breaking down the festival afterwards. There are jobs suitable for many different abilities, interests, and ages, so take a look and find the right fit for you.  We’ll see you in October!

A big thank you to Franklin County Parks and Recreation for sponsoring our volunteers this year!

Free Banff Mountain Film Festival Returning to Roanoke GO Outside Festival

The Banff Mountain Film Festival, presented by Mast General Store, is making its second appearance at the Roanoke GO Outside Festival! Now, you’re probably thinking one of two things right now:

What the heck is the Banff Mountain Film Festival?
Or
Yes! The Banff Mountain Film Festival will be there!

For those in the latter camp, skip to the “What Kind of Films…” section! For those in the former, keep on reading.

What is the Banff Mountain Film Festival?

Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious mountain festivals in the world. Hot on the heels of the festival that is held every fall in beautiful Banff, Alberta, the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour hits the road. With stops planned in roughly 550 communities and more than 40 countries across the globe, the Banff World Tour celebrates amazing achievements in outdoor storytelling and filmmaking worldwide! Pretty appropriate that it’s coming to Roanoke GO Outside Festival, right?

From the over 400 entries submitted into the festival each year, award-winners and audience favorites are among the films that are carefully selected to play in theatres around the world.

Traveling to remote vistas, analyzing topical environmental issues, and bringing audiences up close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports, the 2021/2022 World Tour is an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the mountain world.

What Kind of Films Can We Expect?

Black woman in snowy landscape with hiking backpack bent over to snuggle a black dog. It's winter and the ground covered in snow, and the woman is dressed warmly in winter clothing.

Audiences agreed that the “Maple” line-up of films was strongest, so that’s what we’ll be showing at GO Fest! This line-up was popular because of its portrayals of women and people of color in the outdoors, as well as some dog films (and who doesn’t love a good story involving a pooch?). These include titles like “A Dog’s Tale,” the Audience Choice Award winner “Precious Leader Woman,” and “Breaking Trail,” a story of the first woman and person of color to thru-hike the 1900 km Ice Age Trail in winter.

When and Where is This Held?

Join Roanoke Outside and PLAY Roanoke when Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour brings the spirit of outdoor adventure to GO Fest at the Haley Toyota Stage in Elmwood Park on Friday, October 14 at 7:00 PM.

Bring your blankets and snuggle up while enjoying the most visually compelling and thought-provoking outdoor films. There will be food and beverages available for purchase to enjoy at the festival. No outside alcohol is allowed.

Outdoor amphitheater at night showing a movie with several people on the terraced seating facing the amphitheater.

What’s the Cost?

Nothing! Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Mast General Store, entry to this event is completely free. However, if you want to support the outdoor assets in your community (think things like greenways, the Roanoke River, or trails at Carvins Cove), please consider a donation to Project Outside, a community fund created by businesses, governments, and individuals to support outdoor capital improvement projects, maintain key outdoor assets, and help launch and support businesses in the outdoor sector.

To learn more about the Banff Mountain Film Festival and the rest of the incredible events coming to GO Fest this year, visit www.Roanokegofest.com. See you soon!

Parents’ Guide to GO Fest 2022

When it comes to outdoor family fun, The Anthem GO Outside Festival has something for everyone! Known locally as GO Fest, this event is the biggest celebration of the outdoors in the region, bringing professional stunt shows, adventure experiences, outdoor brands, and unique entertainment to the Star City each fall. Here’s our Parents’ Guide to getting the most out of your GO Fest experience.

Can’t-Miss Performances – Watch It!

Watch your child’s face light up with delight when you stop by one of the professional stunt shows. The Timberworks Lumberjack Show, presented by Member One, showcases incredible woodsman skills and is sure to entertain. With competitions like speed sawing, ax throwing, pole climbing, and the famous log rolling, the lumberjacks are a hard act to follow. Luckily, the ProTown BMX, presented by Gentry Locke, show never disappoints. See these professional bike riders take huge jumps, flipping and flying through the air. Children of all ages are certain to love it, and it may make you feel like a kid again, too! Friday night’s Banff Mountain Film Festival, presented by Mast General Store, is another great way to watch professionals in action. Keep your eyes peeled for even more live performances; we may have a surprise lined up!

Choose Your Own Adventure – Try It!

An important part of GO Fest is going beyond just watching the pros and trying out adventures for yourself. Here are some of the ways you can participate:

  • Reach new heights on the climbing wall
  • Paddle your own canoe in the Demo Pool, presented by Freedom First
  • Learn to shoot a bow and arrow with the Girl Scouts
  • Practice your fly-casting at the Orvis Fly Casting Pond
  • Balance on a slackline
  • Show off your skills on the YMCA’s Super Ninja Course
  • Race on the strider bike course with Carilion, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, and Virginia’s Blue Ridge Team Twenty24
  • Practice your disc golf toss with Play It Again Sports

Both kids and parents can enjoy GO Fest activities, so don’t miss an opportunity to join the fun!

Down-to-Earth Activities

Little Planets Kids Zone

Since going outside isn’t just about big adventures, we also love to connect with the natural world through hands-on activities. Hike it Baby Roanoke will lead families through the Elmwood Garden for a Scavenger Hunt Bingo walk to search for natural objects. Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline will be offering a nature-based STEM activity, plus making tabletop s’mores. Rock out with a lapidary demo (aka, cutting and polishing stones) with Morgan’s Earth Treasures, or learn how to use rocks for painting with Camp Bethel. And, for our youngest festival goers, the Little Planets Kids Zone provides a nature-inspired play area so your littles can enjoy a GO Fest space just for them!

GO Fest a New Way

For families looking to experience GO Fest in a unique way, consider joining as volunteers! GO Fest is a free festival, which means it takes a lot of community support. Families with children ages 10+ can volunteer together, doing things like helping with general set-up or keeping things clean on the Green Team. This will give you and your family a great behind-the-scenes look at what organizing a festival is like. Plus, you’ll get an exclusive GO Fest t-shirt and other volunteer goodies! Sign up to volunteer here.

Just for Parents

If you’re looking for a sign to get a babysitter and plan a date night, this is it! GO Fest has a fantastic music lineup Saturday evening, and you may just feel like boogying with us sans kids. We recommend booking that sitter now and grabbing tickets to see Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears with Shemekia Copeland on Saturday, October 15. These folks are blues and rock powerhouses and they are going to absolutely rock the Haley Toyota Stage. All proceeds go to benefit Project Outside, supporting regional outdoor recreation. Purchase tickets here.

See the full Anthem GO Outside Festival schedule here to plan your weekend!

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 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



How to Use the GO Fest Schedule (Favorites Tab)

Our new website has a pretty cool feature. You can select your favorite events and then revisit them on the same device and they will be saved under the “favorites” tab for up to three months. You can also download or print your favorites. That way you don’t miss anything!

Watch the video to learn how to use the “favorites” tab to build out a custom schedule, or if you’re already onsite you can visit the “now” tab to see what’s happening right at that moment.

GO Fest 2021 Road Closures

GO Fest is coming to downtown Roanoke! The following parking changes and street closures will result due to this event. Please feel free to reach out to Downtown Roanoke Inc. with any questions and we look forward to a busy and exciting weekend in downtown Roanoke.

GO Fest –  Friday, Saturday, Sunday on October 15, 16, and 17, 2021 10:00 am – 8:00 pm 

No Parking Thursday 10/14 after 3 PM through Sunday at 8 PM

  • Jefferson St southbound parking lane from Bullitt Ave to Reserve Ave.
  • Reserve Ave westbound parking lane from Jefferson to Riverside Circle 

No Parking Thursday 10/14 after 6 PM through Sunday at 8 PM 

  • Market St. – between Church Ave and Cambell Ave 
  • Kirk Ave – between Market St and Williamson Rd 
  • Campbell Ave – between Parking Garage Entrance and Williamson Rd  
  • Wall St. – between Campbell Ave and Salem Ave 
  • Market St – between Campbell Ave and Salem Ave 
  • Salem Ave – between Market St and the Parking Lot 
  • Williamson – between Bullitt Ave and Elm Ave
  • Jefferson St – between Bullitt and Day Ave
  • Franklin Rd – between Jefferson St and Williamson Rd 

The following streets will close on 6 pm Thursday, October 14, 2021 and remain closed until 8 pm Sunday, October 17, 2021 

  • Wall Street – between Salem and Campbell Ave
  • Market Street – between Salem and Campbell and Campbell and Church Ave
  • Kirk Ave will become two-way and open to thru traffic and parking lot traffic only 
  • Franklin Road – between Jefferson St and Williamson Rd

The following streets will close on 8pm Thursday, October 14th, 2021 and remain closed until 8pm Sunday, October 17, 2021 

  • Campbell Ave from Center in the Square Parking Garage to Williamson Road.

Parking Downtown

If you’re worried about parking downtown – don’t be! One of the benefits of moving the event downtown is there are several large parking garages in downtown Roanoke that will be available. There are a few free options and some paid options that may be more convenient for those willing to fork over the cash (we do not receive any of this money).

You can view downtown parking that is always available on www.downtownroanoke.org.

GO Fest Brings Live Music and Films to Elmwood

Annual, outdoors festival brings adventure films and live music to the newly, relocated Downtown Roanoke event – October 15-17

ROANOKE, VA (September 20, 2021) – The annual Anthem Go Outside Festival will be rocking out Elmwood Amphitheater at this year’s downtown Roanoke event, featuring headliner Vintage Trouble on the Haley Toyota stage – Saturday, October 16.

Continue reading “GO Fest Brings Live Music and Films to Elmwood”

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.

Continue reading “GO Fest Moves Downtown”

Concert FAQs

2020 Benefit Concert FAQs

Pre-Arrival Information for Concert: Extremely important information everyone in your pod must be aware of (and do) in order to get in. Seriously…read it.

What are your COVID policies and safety protocol? See our full policy here. Those refusing to adhere to the mask requirement and safety protocols may be asked to leave.

Can I bring a pop-up tent? No tents or umbrellas allowed to ensure everyone has a good view.

Can you have more than six people in a pod? No. All pods will be strictly limited to the six original people you arrive with. When you purchase a pod you will be sent six unique scan codes and those will be the only six people allowed inside the concert venue. Once in your pod you will have color-coded wristbands for just the people in your pod. No pod co-mingling will be allowed.

When can we arrive? By now person who purchased the pod will have received an email with instructions (please share this with your entire party pod). You can also read the contents of that email here. You will be assigned an arrival time. Please ensure your entire group arrives at that time. This ensures we don’t have long lines and are able to maintain social distancing. If your group or a few members cannot arrive at your scheduled time please do your best to consolidate your group into smaller groups and arrive when you can.

We ask that you arrive with your entire party pod. At your assigned arrival time approach the venue as a group. Please distance from other parties and have your masks on. At check-in you will receive your wristbands, instructions, and any items you pre-purchased or that came with your pod level. An usher will escort you to your pod.

Can I bring chairs and blankets? Yes, you may bring camping chairs and blankets to sit in your pod. We recommend a blanket to sit on and a blanket for warmth.

Can I bring my own alcohol? No outside alcohol will be allowed. All beer will be served in cans and delivered to your pod. Beer served onsite will be a variety Deschutes canned beer. Cider and wine in cans will also be available. All onsite sales will be credit card only through an app.

How do I buy beer tokens? If you purchased beer tokens through the ticketing portal, they will be given to you at check-in with your packet and swag items. If you need more onsite, you will be able to buy them through the Odeko App (GO Fest Shop) and they will be delivered to your pod (instructions will be in your arrival/check in packet).

Is there an age restriction? Yes, this concert is for ages 18+ only due to explicit content.

Where should we park? Party pods are required to arrive and check-in together, so we recommend that you carpool or use a ride share. Parking is available on a first come first serve basis in the new River’s Edge North parking lot and Carilion parking lots and garage located off Reserve Ave.

Can we bring our own food? No outside food will be allowed either. Attendees can order from food trucks onsite using the Odeko app (download prior to arrival for ease) and it will be delivered by volunteers to your pod. Brush up on details here ahead of time, they will also be included with your arrival packet. VERY IMPORTANT – when ordering anything through the Odeko App you MUST replace your name with your POD #…this is the only way we know where to deliver your order.

Can I smoke or vape? No. This is a smoke- and tobacco free event.

What is your bag policy? – No large bags or coolers will be allowed into the event. You may have a small personal bag, chairs and blankets. All bags are subject to search.

Are dogs allowed? No dogs at the benefit concerts. We will be working very hard to keep everyone safe and in their pods at all times (except when using the bathroom) so it just makes it too complicated to add dogs to the mix.

Can I leave and Come Back? No. There is no re-entry


Andy Frasco Returns to GO Fest for Benefit Concert

andy frasco roanoke

The Anthem Go Outside Festival’s 2020 pivot toward socially-distanced, smaller scale events includes two concerts on Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17 at Maher Field (River’s Edge) in downtown Roanoke. Andy Frasco & The U.N., who performed at GO Fest in 2019 and has been an internet sensation with streaming concerts during COVID-19, will headline the double-feature.

Proceeds from these ticketed concerts will benefit Project Outside, with a goal of raising $100,000 for the Roanoke Region’s outdoor assets, maintenance and small businesses.

Continue reading “Andy Frasco Returns to GO Fest for Benefit Concert”

GO Fest Pivots in 2020 with Small Events

ENO

ROANOKE, VA (Aug. 26, 2020) – The Anthem Roanoke GO Outside Festival (GO Fest) isn’t happening in the traditional sense. The event, which is put on by the Roanoke Outside Foundation and Roanoke Parks and Recreation, will not happen in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but you can show your outdoor community spirit in other ways.

GO Fest will pivot from a large outdoor festival to a series of smaller, socially distanced events that still contribute to the Roanoke Region’s outdoor community.

Continue reading “GO Fest Pivots in 2020 with Small Events”