IRL Benefit Concerts Kick Off GO Fest Weekend

The Anthem Go Outside Festival looks a lot different this year.

The event, which is put on by the Roanoke Outside Foundation and Roanoke Parks and Recreation, has pivoted to socially-distanced, smaller scale events that kick off Friday and continue throughout the weekend.

This iconic annual festival has moved from a 40,000-person free-for-all event into a benefit concert, epic team challenge, gear raffles, and small-scale outings spread throughout the region. All proceeds will benefit Project Outside, with a goal of raising $100,000 for the Roanoke Region’s outdoor assets, maintenance, and small businesses.

It starts with back-to-back benefit concerts on 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. Tickets are on sale through 11:59 p.m. Thursday; there will be no on-site sales.

Maher Field on Reserve Avenue provides ample space for the concerts and the ability to maintain a strict social distancing policy for attendees. Instead of buying individual tickets, groups of six people (or a party pod) attend together with food and beverage delivery to maintain distance among groups. Additional safety measures include no contact temperature screening cameras upon entry, online pre-screening prior to arrival, contact tracing data, and backpack sprayers that will allow for frequent porta-potty sanitizing.

It’s the first event of its kind in the Roanoke Region since the start of the pandemic.

“We really had to think of a new way to bring people together safely outdoors,” said Julia Boas, Events Director of the Roanoke Outside Foundation. “This is a fundraiser to support the region’s outdoor assets. People are getting outside more than ever and we need everyone to contribute right now to maintain these resources. This is a fun and easy way to get involved.”

The concerts aren’t the only thing happening this weekend. In the spirit of GO Fest, organizations and businesses around the region are hosting events and activities for people to take part while generating awareness and funds for Project Outside. There are more than 50 events taking place this weekend with everything from kayak demos to bike races to nature walks to barre on the roof.

Weekend activities include:

Find the full weekend lineup here: https://roanokegofest.com/schedule/

Support GO Fest and Project Outside

Project Outside is 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. Project Outside is managed by the Roanoke Outside Foundation. Corporate supporters are leading the charge with $68,000 already pledged from Anthem, Carilion Clinic, Freedom First Credit Union, Haley Toyota, Hydro Flask, Member One Federal Credit Union, Orvis, Blue Ridge Hydroponics, Draper Aden Associates, and EC Pace Company.

LEARN MORE & GET INVOLVED

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 Roanoke Outside Foundation and the City of Roanoke’s Department of Parks and Recreation, 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