Campout for the Cause 2019: A Weekend of Connection
Campout for the Cause: A Weekend of Connection
The 11th Annual Campout for the Cause festival took place in The Meadows, Buena Vista, Colorado from May 31st to June 2nd, 2019. This unique festival encourages attendees to connect throughout the weekend. Besides a stellar music lineup, there are a variety of activities, including yoga, rafting, educational workshops, and SUP courses.
Colorado Festivals Bring More Than Just Music
There are no shortages of music festivals in Colorado. They happen all year long, and they are spread out all around this incredibly beautiful state. To coincide with Coloradans’ obsession with outdoor activities, many of the music festivals tend to offer something other than just music. Incredible skiing, whitewater rafting, beautiful camping, impressive mountain views – all things that are pretty easy to obtain in this glorious state.
After living in Colorado for 15 years – and spending a good chunk of that time dedicated to exploring music festivals – you would think that I might have already discovered the best music festival sites this state has to offer. Last year, Festy GoNuts covered 10 music festivals in Colorado alone.
Campout for the Cause jumped on my radar this year after they announced the lineup at WinterWonderGrass in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The lineup looked pretty stellar, and I’ve been wanting to spend more time in the beautiful area surrounding Buena Vista. But what really stood out to me was the way that people described the festival itself. Past attendees spoke about the beautiful campground, and how the campsites were shaded and spacious. Many mentioned that the festival was chill and relaxing, and several talked about the classes being an integral part of their overall experience.
What I really started to notice was how everyone said that Campout for the Cause was just an unexpectedly different festival experience.
I can’t even count how many music festivals I have attended over the years, but I am always open to having a completely unique festival experience. And I am definitely interested in checking it out if it’s only a breathtaking three-hour drive from my home in Boulder, Colorado.
Bonus Points: Campout for the Cause was the weekend before Jason’s birthday – so just another cause for celebration!
Camping Out in the Spectacular Meadows
While we had been to several music festivals already this year, Campout for the Cause would be our first camping fest in 2019. I was pretty excited to dust off the tent and pack up our sleeping bags. The Colorado winter had seemed like it was never going to end, and I was definitely anxious to start playing outside without my snow gear.
Campout for the Cause is located in The Meadows, just a couple of minutes from downtown Buena Vista – but it seemed like a world away. When we pulled up, we were directed to Snow Moon campground. There are several camping options to choose from, and Snow Moon put us close to our cars and only a 10-minute walk to the music.
The shaded campsites line the Cottonwood Creek, a tributary of the Arkansas River. There was ample room to throw up our spacious tent, plus the other dozen or so tents that our friends had brought. Our campmates easily erected four canopies to provide shelter for our kitchens and comfy lounge areas. There was still plenty of room to spare.
Wandering up the hill to get a lay of the land, we were immediately greeted by views of the snowcapped Collegiate Range. Expansive fields are spread out in front of the mountains. The surroundings take your breath away, and the cool mountain air refreshes your soul. The backdrop sums up everything Colorado has to offer – mountains, rivers, trees, meadows. We haven’t even gotten to the festival grounds, and we’re already in awe of this incredible location.
Mind, Body & Soul
I came into this weekend with a bit of a different agenda than I normally bring to music festivals. Everything had been a little hectic leading up to this weekend, and I was determined to come away more relaxed than when I arrived at Campout for the Cause.
Music festivals can often leave one feeling exhausted, as many “vacations” have a tendency to do. A festival typically comprises of an abundance of adult beverages, late-night parties, poor eating habits, and potentially walking miles back and forth between your campground and the stages. My heart and soul may be overflowing with joy from the weekend experience, but my physical body tends to need a few extra days of rest to recover.
Campout for the Cause invites you to take a different approach to your music festival experience. “MORE PURPOSE AND LESS PARTY!” is their request boldly printed on their website. Their festival grounds comprises of two stages for music, but a variety of tents are set up for yoga classes, educational workshops, kids’ events, and many other activities. Learn how to river surf. Practice yoga on a standup paddleboard. Reach new heights through aerial yoga. Discover neurosculpting. Take a class on creative writing, sustainability, or eating better. You choose your schedule, and you take what you need from the weekend.
Personally, I was taking a break from alcohol this month, and Campout for the Cause would be my first “dry” festival. The festival offered so many alternative activities, and it supported a break from the normal rage-fest. It was easy to abstain from alcohol for three beautiful days, and I was grateful for my choices in the mornings.
Saturday’s Ramona Yoga with Gina Caputo was the ultimate reward. DJ Ramona set the beat, and Gina woke us up with her vibrant teaching style. I was so fully refreshed after the practice, my smile was stretched from ear to ear. I practically skipped back to my campsite, eager to share my experience with my campmates over a cup of fresh-brewed coffee.
All of us were anxious to soak in the afternoon sun, so we headed down to the pond. Perhaps too chilly for a dip, the pond was a perfect spot to jump on a SUP, or simply lay out a blanket and chill on the beach.
Campout for the Cause encouraged attendees to refocus and renew. I felt drawn to relax with my community at the campsite and the surrounding meadows, while balancing the music and activities. Many of us are deeply involved in the music community, and it can be difficult to find times to sit down and connect. We may cross paths at shows and events, but it seems we often miss out on deeper conversations with each other. Campout allowed just that – a space to reconnect with close friends and to build new relationships with others in our community.
Music Connects Us All
This festival provided more than anticipated, but at the end of the day, music was the main reason we put Campout for the Cause on our calendar this year. The production team put together an outstanding lineup of bands and musicians, as is to be expected from the same crew that puts on the WinterWonderGrass festivals.
There was a strong female presence on the stages, including a powerful set of music from the WinterWonderWomen. An incredible amount of female talent was showcased by Mary-Elaine Jenkins and Tiffany Christopher, as well as multiple weekend appearances from Bridget Law, Megan Letts (Mama Magnolia) and Lindsay Lou.
I find it interesting when organizers excuse the lack of female musicians on their lineup due to the fact that there simply aren’t as many females in the industry – and then you come to a small festival in Colorado that is overflowing with talented women musicians. Just another reminder of how lucky we are to live in this extraordinary state, and another tip of the hat to the team that puts together these festivals.
The weekend headliners showcased a variety of musical styles, providing a different vibe to every evening. Trout Steak Revival, The California Honeydrops, and Billy Strings all closed out the main stage with impressive performances. The audience was also treated to bonus side-stage sets and sit-ins from the headlining artists throughout the weekend. Collaboration sets brought together some of our favorite musicians, such as Pickin on the Dead (featuring Grant Farm and Jake Wolf), Lindsay Lou and friends, Jay Cobb Anderson Band, WinterWonderWomen, and the late-night bonfire picks.
Pixie and the Partygrass Boys were the musical highlight of the weekend for me, personally. I have caught their sets at a few festivals this year so far (WinterWonderGrass Steamboat and Leftover Salmon at the Broadmoor), and I have moved them up to the top of my “must-see” list. Their performance at Campout for the Cause did not disappoint. Pixie and the Partygrass Boys bring a unique energy to the stage. Their humorous lyrics blend with their fast-paced instrumentals, keeping the audience on their feet. Be sure to keep an eye out for them, as they are playing several music festivals this summer.
The Cause to Campout
Campout for the Cause does, in fact, have a cause. For the past two years, all profits have been donated to Emmy’s Friends Foundation – an organization that helps families and young patients find the resources they need when facing life-threatening illnesses.
One of the highlights of my weekend was relaxing in the Emmy’s Friends space. Their tent was filled with tables and chairs, and they offered a huge variety of delicious baked goods. We took a moment to enjoy a homemade treat, in exchange for a small donation to Emmy’s Friends Foundation. It was the perfect spot to sit down, connect with friends, and be surrounded by those committed to this caring organization.
Connect at Campout
Campout for the Cause is a festival focused on connection.
Connection with yourself, connection with your tribe, and connection with the music.
You get back what you put into this weekend, and I left feeling more refreshed and reunited. The venue alone will have you never wanting to skip this Colorado festival, but there is so much more to gain from this weekend in Buena Vista. It’s up to you.
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