Beardfest Returns for Its Biggest Celebration Yet

Where can you learn tribal fusion belly dance, participate in a drum fitness class and community painting, and listen to exciting live music all in one woodsy location near Philadelphia?

The one and only Beardfest of course!

Beardfest is a three-day celebration of creative energy that strives to enliven the artist in everyone. Beardfest offers attendees the opportunity to unplug in South Jersey’s beautiful Pinelands Preserve while enjoying music that spans an incredibly wide range of genres.

After experiencing a record number of attendees last year, Beardfest returns on June 13th for its 7th year bigger, better and burlier. Rock On Philly talked to Zach LoPresti, co-founder of Beardfest and member of Out of the Beardspace about what to expect this year.

Rock On Philly: Last year saw record numbers attend! Do you anticipate changes this year to accommodate more people? 

Zach LoPresti: Yes! We’ve pretty much doubled the infrastructure, meaning more security, a larger medical team, more volunteers than ever, etc. On top of that, people are going to see some improvements to BOTH stages that we’re very excited about.

ROP: How else will Beardfest 2019 be different, if at all, than others? 

ZL: The general concept is the same, but the aim is to do everything we can to learn from previous years and make the experience all the better. As I said above, there are some exciting changes production-wise and our team in general consists of people who are constantly growing and improving their skills. I would say the difference would be that we’re one year “better” at pulling this thing off.

ROP: Has it become easier to plan Beardfest now that you guys have more than a few under your belt, or has it become more challenging as the fest grows?

ZL: With each year, the attendance increase plus the stakes of working with bigger name artists present new challenges to deal with. That said, the core team is pretty much the same so we’re constantly improving upon our processes and lots of things that felt heavy in the past seem easy to deal with.

ROP: As the fest grows, how do you guys maintain the strong community atmosphere Beardfest is known for, AKA the “Beardfam”?

ZL: That’s a bit of a tough thing to pinpoint. Mostly, I’d say the enthusiasm of people who feel as though they are part of the Beardfam continues to grow and rub off on newcomers. We certainly do our best to welcome people in and stimulate community growth by creating a space where people are encouraged to connect on a deeper level than just attending a concert together. I think our workshops do a great job of this, as many of them are participatory/interactive. I also think the general vibe being put out encouraging folks to embrace themselves and each other for who they are, while continuing to grow and striving to reach personal goals.

ROP: Many of the bands on this lineup have played previous Beardfests, which shows that bands like playing this fest! How do you guys ensure artists have a good quality experience?

ZL: We do our best to treat our artists well! Our hospitality is top notch, consisting of fresh, nourishing foods that are cooked on the spot. Our sponsors Guayaki, Tonewood Brewing, and Whitehorse Winery keep the artists’ thirst quenched. Our live art team ROMPUS creates a visual stage experience unlike any other, which artists really appreciate and enjoy. On top of all that, the Beardfest crowd consists of open-minded base of music lovers, so bands are usually able to make legitimate fans who will support them for years to come in this area.

ROP: What’s a band that hasn’t played Beardfest before that you are really excited about?

ZL: Ooooo there are a few! But, I’m going to say it’s a tie between Wednesday Night Titans and Anomalie.

ROP: Anything important a Beardfest attendee should know that might not be obvious?

ZL: Wear bug spray and check for ticks!

Beardfest 2019 happens this weekend starting on June 13th – 15th. Tickets are still available and you can learn more at beardfest.net.

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