REI has announced the 2018 dates and locations for two all-new one-day festivals celebrating women, music and the outdoors. The Outessafest festivals will be held at Patuxent River Park in the Washington, DC, area on Sept. 29 and at Shakori Hills in North Carolina on Oct. 20. Outessafest is inspired by women, but all are invited to attend the inclusive gathering.
“People discover a love of the outdoors in a variety of ways, and it’s in nature that we form deeper connections and discover new things about ourselves,” said Sally Johnson, senior manager, events marketing at REI. “Just as some are transformed by climbing giant peaks every weekend, others connect with the outdoors by taking a walk in the park, doing yoga or a 5K run, or simply experiencing art or listening to music outside. Outessafest was created to delight the senses and include unexpected moments to engage with nature.”
Events will include yoga, rock climbing, paddling and a 5K. Other highlights include inspirational speakers and panelists who will share how an outdoor lifestyle helps them to be their best selves, as well as outdoor classes such as hacks for the outdoor life and camp cooking to inspire and support discovery into the outdoors. Outessafest will asos feature a lineup of female-led music performances. Limited camping will also be available on-site in North Carolina.
Classes will be led by female REI Outdoor School instructors, in addition to brand partners.
REI Outessafest partners include Black Diamond, Garmin, Hydro Flask, Leatherman, Lorissa’s Kitchen, Maui Jim, Merrell, OluKai, Osprey, RXBAR, Salomon, Sea to Summit, Smartwool and Subaru of America.
Outessafest is the year’s culmination of the 2018 Outessa series–retreats, festivals and a virtual join-in designed to grow and strengthen the community of women in the outdoors. The Outessa series is part of REI’s Force of Nature effort, announced in 2017, focused on creating more access to the outdoors for women. Force of Nature aims to level the playing field to ensure women are just as motivated and equipped as men to embrace life outside.
Complete details on musical talent lineup, speakers and programming will be available on outessa.com on June 19. Tickets will also go on sale June 19 for $100 per festival. Children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge.