5 Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Miss Camp Barefoot 10
August 18-20, 2016, Pegasus Farm, Elkins, WV
Written By Elise Olmstead
Photos by Roger Gupta
Camp Barefoot is a reunion of such for those in the Mid-Atlantic, and I affectionately dubbed it “The Best Friend Party” after Camp Barefoot 8. The festival has always brought local bands from West Virginia and surrounding states, as well as amazing headliners that created the initial draw, but the festival itself created a magic that got you hooked. Now in its 10th year, taking place August 18-20th, there is a feeling of climax about the festival, especially with its new venue at the beautiful Pegasus Farm in Elkins, WV. With a return to its roots and exciting community vibe, here is a list of reasons why you should not miss Camp Barefoot Music Arts and Festival this year in 2016.
- The friends and family atmosphere.
Though many groups from different areas may gather, there is no sense of division amongst Camp Barefoot. The number of attendees makes for a perfectly intimate environment that strengthens the sense of community. There are people that you know around every corner, and strangers that are just friends you haven’t made yet. It is also the perfectly sized festival for bringing the kids, as it is not too chaotic or crowded. The community will look out for your little ones as they enjoy kid’s activities, hula hooping, giant bubbles, glow stick drawings, and more good clean fun shared by everyone. Anyone who attends Camp Barefoot is immediately part of the family…forever.
- The new venue and its perks.
Part of the magic of Camp Barefoot has always been its home in West Virginia. This year it will take place at Pegasus Farm in Elkins, WV, again nestled in the beautiful mountains underneath a clear, unpolluted sky. This new venue has some of the greenest grass I’ve ever seen, so I implore you to go barefoot at Camp Barefoot this year and make sure to take a moment to check out the stars. Besides the aesthetic appeal, it is also easily accessible from surrounding states and metropolitan areas like Baltimore and DC. Another perk of this new venue is that everyone can camp beside their car for free!
- The Hometown Heroes (local bands).
Some of the biggest crowds gather for the smaller bands at Camp Barefoot, as it is a very community-minded group of music lovers. Some of the biggest, wildest crowds I’ve ever seen has been at North Carolina band BIG Something’s set and Richmond band People’s Blues of Richmond’s set at Camp Barefoot. Local favorites are handpicked from surrounding areas like West Virginia’s Fletcher’s Grove, Ohio’s Rumpke Mountain Boys, Washington DC’s Moogatu, Baltimore, MD’s Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (who have been starring at the festival for years), and many more. Don’t miss out on some of your more headlining favorites, though, like Ghostland Observatory, Keller Williams, Dopapod, The Motet, and more.
- There’s a chance to give back to the musical community.
At Camp Barefoot, there is a unique chance to give towards the non-profit HOPE n Music (standing for “Helping Other People Experience Music”), which gives towards music education, music equipment, and lessons for children. The unique way to give towards this non-profit is to participate in the dunk tank, where you can try your hand at swinging a ball toward the target and dunking some of your favorite bands and promoters into the tank. Even Scott McLain, the organizer of Camp Barefoot, will be participating! Don’t leave after you’re done with him, though, because Appalachian Jamwich’s own Taco Olmstead will also be taking the hot seat.
- Silliness is encouraged.
The crowd at Camp Barefoot takes their silliness seriously, and theme nights each night encourage party-goers to dress to impress in costumes or other festive attire. The themes this year are Renaissance/Medieval (Thursday), Carnival (Friday), and Sparkle/Glow Party (Saturday). Attendees love to dress up in costumes and take photos together for a souvenir. Besides costumes, people can be seen giving theme-appropriate gifts, carrying totem poles and inflatable or stuffed animals, and you better bet there will be a large mural on the ground made out of glow sticks near the main stage. One of my fondest memories is of my friend Sketti leaping through the glow sticks like huge hop scotch game, yelling for his friends’ attention akin to a child yelling “Mom! Look at me!”
Children of all ages, from 1-101 are welcome at Camp Barefoot, and celebrating its 10th birthday this year, it’s bound to be one you will regret missing. You can’t cherish the memories if you don’t make them, so I urge you to join us next week August 18-10th at Camp Barefoot 10.