Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Outside magazine’s The Jeep World Outside Festival has been pumping up both the volume and the adventurous energy of festival attendees across the country since its first show July 10 in Charlotte, N.C. Matt McKee of Outside told us that attendance at that show was more than 7,500. What’s unique about the event is in addition to two stages of live music — including Sheryl Crow as the headliner — is the Adventure Village. In the Village, festival goers can try whitewater kayaking in the Confluence Wavebox, go scuba diving in another pool, try skiing or snowboarding on simulators, crest a climbing wall, and ride mountain bikes on a small course. In Charlotte, McKee told us that there were more than 250 folks trying scuba diving, 170 in the Wavebox over a five-hour period, and an unknown number lining up to try the other adventures. In addition, in between concert sets, pros who are also acting as instructors in the paddling pool, ski and snowboard simulators, and in the mountain bike area put on dazzling demonstrations. Even freezing rain at the most recent Denver show, July 20, didn’t dampen spirits, despite having to cancel the Wavebox and scuba pools because of, ironically, drought conditions. The festival moves on to a tour of the West coast and northeast through August 3 before heading through St. Louis and the Midwest with a final production August 17 in Boston. SNEWS® View: We’ve talked to attendees and sponsors at these events and everyone is practically gushing! Energy is good and folks are getting to see and try the outdoor adventure experience who might not otherwise have cared. That’s a beautiful thing! And it’s reaching the consumer who may have always wanted to try something, but now this offers a “safe” environment. Reminds us of Germany’s Wolfstock festival put on by Jack Wolfskin — this year slated for September — which is a wonderful consumer mix of education, hands-on trial, music and fun.