By Tim McCoy
This weekend more than 30,000 athletes, adventure seekers, music lovers, and craft beer enthusiasts will converge in Roanoke’s River’s Edge Park for the 7th Annual Anthem Go Outside Festival, which kicks off Friday night and runs through Sunday, Oct. 13 – 15, highlighting the best of our region’s outdoor recreational activities.
This year, the festival organizers, the Roanoke Regional Partnership and Roanoke City Parks and Rec, continue the partnership with Across the Way Productions, to bring in top-quality musical acts. This year’s lineup promises to showcase some of our best regional acts, and is bringing the guitar phenom Marcus King to the stage Saturday night.
The music starts at 7:00 on Friday night with live tunes by Blue Mule, followed by MC Broom and the Jam, led by local musician John McBroom. Saturday, on the Haley Toyota Main Stage, Roanoke’s own GOTE will kick of the evening’s festivities at 5:30 with its innovative vibe the players bring to classic rock and roll tunes. Next, Morgan Wade & the Stepbrothers bring roots rock Americana to the stage. Wade’s raspy twang brings a soulful feeling to her original music, supported by her band of talented musicians. Sol Searchers, the recently formed collective of local musicians, features more talented roots music, infused with lots of jazz, and jam band digressions will play 45-minute set before the main headliner, The Marcus King Band takes the stage at 9:15. King, a South Carolina native, has been amazing audiences with his blues guitar prowess, and a just 21 years of age, he appears set to have a long successful career ahead of him.
Ten local artists will get their time in the spotlight at Go Fest too, as local radio station, 101.5 The Valley’s Music Place, hosts an acoustic stage that runs from late morning to mid-afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, ENO will be putting on a series of silent discos throughout the festival that feature a lotus lounge with a DJ spinning tunes in the center.
Go Fest was originally started in 2011 to showcase the best of what Roanoke has to offer in outdoor amenities to people in the region and beyond. What started as a one-day festival with a turnout of about 4,500 people has grown into a full-blown, three-day event that features everything from fly fishing and mountain bike demos, to lumberjack and BMX stunt shows, air dogs, slacklines, foot races, beer relays and Frisbee golf tournaments, to yoga and barre classes, cooking demonstrations and wilderness survival training.
As always, the music is still free to festival goers, and that is made possible through beer sales, vendor fees and sponsorships which are the key contributors to what keeps Go Fest free to the community. Vendors span the gamut from bike and retail shops, to food and outdoor clubs, and all are encouraged to provide hands-on experiences to festival goers and encourage people to touch, feel, and try new things.
Go Fest is a kid-friendly and dog-friendly event, and options are available for camping on-site. This year the festival features buy-up experiences with a “Glamping Zone,” and a VIP music package. Additionally, this year there will be a Deschutes Brewery Sunday Beer Brunch Sunday morning open to everyone.
Online you can find complete festival details and a schedule of all the incredible recreational activities and music that Go Fest is dialing up for the weekend ahead.