By Sloan Shoemaker
Summer is in full swing and there’s so much to cram into this short but busiest season. The rivers are full, the wildflowers are glorious, the trails are melting out, and the high country beckons. Because our surrounding public lands are most accessible this time of year, we’re all out there busy pursuing the activities that keep us fit and renew our spirits. But, we rarely come together as a community to celebrate our common love of these lands. And that is precisely what WILDFEST is all about.
Wildfest is Wilderness Workshop’s annual gathering of the clan of public lands lovers to celebrate our common ground. It’s open to all, featuring live music, freshly prepared food and drink, guest speaker Michael Brune of the Sierra Club, a Leave No Trace demo booth, live art creation, a social media activism tent, and a kids’ zone full of fun activities. This is the second Wildfest hosted at Hunter S. Thompson’s legendary spread at Owl Farm, and represents an exclusive opportunity to see his famous property with its stunning views of the Elk Range.
The centerpiece of every Wildfest is a killer lineup of live music. This year Carbondale’s own Pearl & Wood will open. They are a locals’ favorite sure to warm up the crowd. Co-headlining are two fabulous bands, The Railsplitters of Boulder, CO and World’s Finest of Portland, OR. The Railsplitters have a solid grounding in the bluegrass tradition, which they put their own adventurous and innovative spin on. World’s Finest is the closer this year and is sure to get folks on their feet with bluegrass-based psytrance, funk, and dub soundscapes. Dancing barefoot in the grass to these top-notch acts will be a highlight of the summer.
Hungry during the set change? We got you covered! Slow Groovin’ BBQ and The Sled by ASC will be serving up freshly prepared food. Two bars will be serving spirits by Sopris Liquor and Wine and Aspen Brewing Company. Yerba Mate tea will be available as well.
Come one, come all! This is a family-friendly happening and kids 12 and under get in free! Wildfest runs from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 1. General Admission tickets are $45 and can be purchased at www.wildernessworkshop.org/wildfest. The Gonzo ticket, at $150, offers a number of added amenities. Like last year, it’s sure to sell out again so get your tickets today! We hope to see you there.