GO Fest. You’ve been there, done that, and probably even got the t-shirt (if not three or four). Experts like you have up to nine years of experience of GO Festing, so what more do you need to know? We’ve put our heads together with Roanoke Outside and have created this Local’s Guide to GO Fest.
WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR?
The location. This is just a temporary switch to the south side of the river while River’s Edge North gets a face lift for GO Fest 2020. You’ll want to keep up with Roanoke GO Fest on Instagram and Facebook for shuttle details, parking info, and road closures.
Among the growing list of food vendors, exhibitors, and activities, here’s a few additions we think you’ll like: For parents, a spot just for the little ones at Little Planets. This is a nature-inspired, eco-friendly, whimsical space for kiddos. For bikers, Jamis will be here for the first time demoing mountain and gravel bikes. For the gastronomes, Island Noodles is joining the lineup and serving up Hawaiian style soba noodles. For music lovers, you can now look forward to a Sunday soundtrack on the Haley Music Stage. Last, we’re looking forward to a brand new, show-stopping activity that’s going to be a blast for folks to try, to watch, and even to compete. Follow our social media for details!
Our partners at Across the Way Productions (the music magicians behind Floyd Fest) know what they’re doing, and we’re excited to announce their picks for this year’s lineup. Friday night features Southern Avenue, a “boundary-breaking Memphis combo.” Headlining Saturday night, we’ve got Andy Frasco & the UN! They’re fresh off producing their recent album Change of Pace from the road and reckoning a life of music and love with philosophy. Click here for more information about the entire lineup!
GO FEST YOURSELF
With limited edition GO Fest merch, outdoor gear, local experiences, and more, you’ll want to plan to do a little shopping while you’re there. As some folks are figuring out, many retailers come armed with GO Fest specials—not to mention experts to talk with and many options to demo gear. The cherry on top? When you buy at GO Fest, you’re contributing more to the local economy than when you purchase gear online.
WHAT TO BRING
Your ready-for-anything sneakers or sandals, a GO Fest reusable pint, a water bottle, battery backup, and a sense of adventure. And you’ll probably want a few bucks for food, drinks, and any cool gear you want to buy.
Since you’ve been around the GO Fest block a time or two, you know that parking can be hard to come by. We suggest grabbing your bike (or renting one from your local bike share or shop), heading up the Roanoke River Greenway, and taking advantage of the bike valet. If you’re walking, there are several parking options along the greenway to leave your car and hoof it to the festival. Bonus? You’ll feel less guilt as you eat and drink your way through GO Fest.
BE PART OF THE TRIBE
If attending is awesome, participating is a game-changer. We suggest grabbing a volunteer shift or signing up for one of the races or competitions. There’s nothing like a little service or competition to bond with other members of the GO Fest tribe.
FOR THE TRUE LOCAL
There’s more to be done at GO Fest than anyone can fit in, so here’s what we suggest for getting the most authentic GO Fest experience: hit up the new stuff and stick around for the music and food. Outside of that, have an open mind and be ready for anything. GO, wander, explore, and be open to the experiences that find you—who knows what you may encounter? And if you head home with a smile on your face, then you definitely got the GO Fest experience!