Written by Michael Stegner
Music meets nature this summer during The Festival of the Red, a second year festival which will take place on June 28-30 in Slade, Kentucky. The region is home to the Red River Gorge, one of Kentucky’s most beautiful recreational areas. For those that have been to the area, they know that this region of Kentucky is located within Daniel Boone National Forest, and is home to Natural Bridge State Park. The area boasts the highest concentration of sandstone arches in the world outside of Utah, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails. The gorge is also home to some of the best rock climbing spots east of the Rockies.
Miranda and Chase Fallen, who are from Stanton, just a short drive from Slade, are the owners and creators of the event. They’ve lived in the area their whole lives and have an outstanding respect for the land.
“We love the fact that we can bring people to our area to showcase what the Red River Gorge has to offer,” they explained. “Our main objective in starting this festival was to showcase our local talent and bring people to the gorge. Everyone knows about Natural Bridge, but they don’t know about all of the small businesses and the people behind them that are here.”
With the inaugural event under their belts, Miranda and Chase are hoping Festival of the Red will draw an even larger crowd this year, while they focus on improving the overall experience of patrons and musicians alike. They have nearly doubled the amount of musical acts since last year, including headliners Justin Wells and Laid Back Country Picker, as well as last year’s headlining act, TA Clayton and the Soulminers along with dozens more.
“We will have more vendors than before, and since the county went wet in 2018, we will be able to have alcohol served for the event,” Chase explained.
As recreational tourism in the region continues to increase, multiple new businesses are opening throughout the area, and are choosing to get involved with Festival of the Red.
“The community of Slade continues to grow and in that process we are all happy to help one another,” MIranda said. “Through those relationships, several of our local businesses, campgrounds, and cabin companies are willing to sponsor our event to see us all succeed.”
With that being said, there are countless cabins for rent throughout the area, as well as backcountry camping within designated areas for those of you that are really hoping to find your true nature selves. You likely won’t want to miss a minute of the fun during Festival of the Red though, so we suggest primitive on-site camping which is included with your festival ticket!
The venue is the beautifully serene Natural Bridge Campground, located just behind the Slade Rest Area and Slade Welcome Center right off the exit. The privately owned venue features a small fishing pond (bring your poles), a creek, and hills surrounding the stage. There are also bathhouses and restrooms on the property.
“We will have cornhole boards set up and we will also have our artisans there selling their handmade products and crafts,” Chase said. “The Kentucky Reptile Zoo is located directly beside the venue and should definitely be something everyone visits as well.”
In the end, what it comes down to is that this is a beautiful location for an event, and the curators would love to show the patrons the most wonderful weekend imaginable. “We want to provide an experience that allows you to forget about your day-to-day worries and just enjoy other like-minded folks for a couple of days.”
Miranda and Chase ended their interview with a favorite quote of theirs by John Muir: “Into the woods I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”
“That is truly what happens when you are in this part of our world,” Miranda said. “We hope to see lots of smiling faces!”
Tickets are available for purchase here.
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