The Anthem Go Outside Festival (GO Fest) is making a big move into downtown Roanoke for its 10th 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.
“We are incredibly excited about the move to downtown. We’ll be transforming the streets into the epic, outdoor festival we all love, featuring all your favorite events,” said Kait Pedigo, events manager for the Roanoke Outside Foundation. “GO Fest has always been a community-driven event, and our downtown businesses have suffered throughout this pandemic. We hope making this move will bring them a much-needed economic boost and involve them with the regional effort to brand Virginia’s Blue Ridge as an outdoor mecca.” One of the fundamental elements of GO Fest is to showcase the Roanoke region’s mountain-metro mix. The new location will highlight the ability to shop and dine in the region’s urban core and within minutes be at the Mill Mountain Star, cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway, running on the greenway, or paddling on the Roanoke River.
This year’s event will be a joint effort among the Roanoke Outside Foundation, City of Roanoke Parks and Recreation Department, and Downtown Roanoke Inc., allowing for new opportunities at the festival. This includes a special alcohol license that will allow attendees to buy beer and wine inside the city’s downtown breweries and restaurants and then take them out to the street festival, similar to cities like New Orleans or Savannah.
“While GO Fest has always taken place in our downtown district, we’re very pleased with this year’s move into the downtown core. The new location provides a prime opportunity for us to show off all that Downtown Roanoke offers, including all of our wonderful locally owned businesses,” said Tina Workman, President and CEO of Downtown Roanoke, Inc.
GO Fest will be packed with more activities than you can do in three days–-biking, paddling, races, fishing, climbing, live music and gear shopping. The festival is the perfect location for testing a new bike, pair of shoes, or even a stand-up paddleboard. Elmwood Park Amphitheater will have nightly entertainment, showing the Banff Mountain Film Festival on Friday and live music on Saturday. The full music lineup and more festival details will be announced in the coming weeks.
What began as a partnership between Roanoke Parks and Recreation and Roanoke Outside to engage the outdoors community has evolved into one of the premier outdoor festivals in the country with more than 35,000 attendees in 2019.