Editor’s note on April 9, 2019: Our commitment to create unique experiences for women, by women is steadfast. We will not be announcing 2019 Outessa dates. We hope the expanded local and REI Adventures trips will allow us to continue to come together as women, growing and learning from each other in the outdoors for years to come. Learn more about other experiences designed for women from REI.
We’re sorry to inform you that REI Outessafest has been canceled. Despite an incredible lineup of artists and activities, ticket sales did not meet our expectations. All previously purchased tickets will be fully refunded to the card you used for purchase (including all fees). You should see that balance reflected in your bank account within 3-5 business days. If you have any questions or concerns about this refund, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Building on the success of REI’s popular Outessa retreats, the co-op is bringing music, art and the outdoors together in a whole new way with two Outessafests in 2018. These one-day festivals will feature experiences that celebrate an outdoor lifestyle during the day and a dynamic line up of female-led music performances in the evening.
“We’ve looked at being part of music festivals over the years in lots of different ways. Outessafest was created for the urban female who is interested in the outdoors, music and art and wants to have fun experiences on the weekends with her friends and family,” says Sally Johnson, senior manager, events marketing. “These festivals are made by women for women. There’s something really inspiring and energizing in this work.”
The first Outessafest will happen at Patuxent River Park in the Washington D.C. area on Sept. 29 with the second hosted at Shakori Hills in North Carolina on Oct. 20. Overnight camping will be available in North Carolina for those who want to spend a little more time outdoors.
“At the festivals we’ll have things like a climbing wall or trail running to help people have an outdoor experience that lights that spark,” says Ladan Yalzadeh, events manager. “That spark is the thing that goes off inside you. It shows you that you can have an outdoor life, even while living in a city, just by going to a nearby park and experiencing how much better life can be in the outdoors.”
Other activities include yoga, trail running and paddling. Outessafest partners like Black Diamond, Garmin, Hydro Flask, Leatherman, Lorissa’s Kitchen, Maui Jim, Merrell, OluKai, Osprey, RXBAR, Salomon, Sea to Summit, Smartwool and Subaru of America will be on site to inspire women to have an active outdoor life. Attendees will have the chance to learn about wellness in the outdoors from guest speakers and even make their own gift to take home to remember their experience.
Under the Outessa framework, these festivals are centered around female musicians and artists. The festivals are inclusive to women, their families, friends and anyone who has an interest in women-led culture. Classes and activities are open to all skill levels and kids under 12 get in free.
“Hopefully these festivals help awaken a love of the outdoors for people new to spending time outside,” says Sally. “We want to show people how many different ways there are to get outside and how enriching it can be. There are so many intersections between what people care about and the outdoors, like adventure, music, beauty and creativity.”
Tickets are on sale now, June 19, on www.outessa.com for $100 per festival. Performers include Mavis Staples, Best Coast and many more.
Check out full details at www.outessa.com including additional performers, lead sponsors and speakers including Ambreen Tariq (Brown People Camping), Jenny Bruso (Unlikely Hikers) and Mirna Valerio (ultramarathon runner and body positive advocate).