D J on the stage in front of people dancing.

REI announces 2018 dates and locations of new Outessafest outdoor festivals

Women amplified at locations in Washington D.C. area and Raleigh, N.C.

May 16, 2018

SEATTLE – REI today announces 2018 dates and locations for two all-new one-day festivals celebrating women, music and the outdoors. Join Outessafest at Patuxent River Park in the Washington D.C. area on Sept. 29 or Outessafest at Shakori Hills in North Carolina on Oct. 20. The festival is inspired by women, but all are invited to attend the inclusive gathering.

“People discover a love of the outdoors in a variety of ways, and it’s in nature that we form deeper connections and discover new things about ourselves,” said Sally Johnson, senior manager, events marketing at REI. “Just as some are transformed by climbing giant peaks every weekend, others connect with the outdoors by taking a walk in the park, doing yoga or a 5K run, or simply experiencing art or listening to music outside. Outessafest was created to delight the senses and include unexpected moments to engage with nature.”

Start the day off with yoga; drop-in sessions for all levels will be hosted throughout the day for participants to find their centers in a beautiful outdoor space. Follow yoga with rock climbing, where festivalgoers will bring themselves to new heights, whether they’re experienced climbers or new to the sport. In Maryland, take a tour of Jug Bay by paddling the peaceful water or, in North Carolina, work up a sweat by running a 5K. Other highlights include inspirational speakers and panelists who will share how an outdoor lifestyle helps them to be their best selves, as well as outdoor classes such as hacks for the outdoor life and camp cooking to inspire and support discovery into the outdoors. Spend the afternoon and evening listening to a dynamic line up of female-led music performances. Limited camping will also be available on-site in North Carolina for those who want to spend even more time outside.

Classes will be led by female REI Outdoor School instructors, in addition to brand partners. As the largest provider of outdoor experiences in the country, REI Outdoor School had over 375,000 participants in 2017.

REI Outessafest partners include some of the best outdoor and lifestyle brands and products. These organizations share an interest to inspire more women to have an active outdoor life. Top partners include Black Diamond, Garmin, Hydro Flask, Leatherman, Lorissa’s Kitchen, Maui Jim, Merrell, OluKai, Osprey, RXBAR, Salomon, Sea to Summit, Smartwool and Subaru of America.

Outessafest is the year’s culmination of the 2018 Outessa series – retreats and festivals designed to grow and strengthen the community of women in the outdoors. With the addition of Outessafest, the transformative Outessa experiences are now more accessible to people who live in East Coast urban environments. The Outessa series is part of REI’s Force of Nature effort, announced in 2017, focused on creating more access to the outdoors for women. Force of Nature aims to level the playing field to ensure women are just as motivated and equipped as men to embrace life outside.

Complete details on musical talent lineup, speakers and programming will be available on June 19. Tickets will also go on sale June 19 for $100 per festival. Children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge. 

Photos can be found here

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 179 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.