Adventure Rock

May 14, 2002
Outside Magazine
2002 Summer Tour Dates

The Jeep World Outside Festival kicks off July 10 in Charlotte, North Carolina. For a complete listing of festival venues and dates, click here

Tickets can be purchased at your nearest Ticketmaster outlet.

"Soak Up the Sun": Sheryl Crow

All aboard: San Francisco-based Train

What do Sheryl Crow and a 22,000-gallon wave pool have in common? They're both going on tour this summer with the Jeep World Outside Festival, a first-of-a-kind union between a major popular music concert tour and the exploding world of outdoor adventure sports.

The festival, which runs from July 10 to August 23 and visits 23 cities across the nation, boasts top musical acts, including Train, O.A.R., and Ziggy Marley along with Crow. But the nightly music is only half of the equation. Daytime activities are centered in the multi-million dollar Outside Magazine Adventure Village, where concertgoers can take a stab at mountain biking, whitewater paddling, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, and scuba diving.

"It's like an interactive exhibit on steroids," says Ray Waddell, senior editor of touring for Billboard Magazine. "The tour has a strong mainstream rock-and-roll appeal and is more immersive with a higher degree of audience participation. To my knowledge this type of tour has never been done before at this level."

The adventure village will house two kayaking pools, a mountain-biking course, a downhill skiing/snowboarding simulator, a scuba-diving tank, and a 24-foot rock-climbing tower along with a second stage featuring emerging artists. Top professional athletes will help staff the village, doling out one-on-one tips and presenting demonstrations and exhibitions.

"The whole idea of exposing the sports this way is so cool," says National Steep Creek Champion Jamie Cooper, who along with World Rodeo Champion Erica Mitchell will preside over the 22,000-gallon Confluence Wave Box kayaking pool. "People will get the chance to see that what we make look easy actually isn't."

The pool provides a pourover and adjustable hydraulic which can reach Class IV levels, giving participants the chance to bone up on their rodeo and freestyle paddling skills. A flat-water pool will be available for skill clinics and beginners.

Two-time North American Mountain-Biking Trials Champion Jeff Lenosky has signed on to work at the specially designed mountain-biking course. The handmade portable singletrack samples different terrain and conditions with varying levels of intensity while incorporating the unique aspects of each venue.

"The track should be different depending on the site," says Lenosky. "We might build it into the hill of an outdoor amphitheater or set it up on a perfectly flat surface."

Professional bikers will also give demonstrations and clinics on a closed track. Riders will highlight bike-handling skills while negotiating eight-foot drop-offs, maneuvering across balance beams, and pulling four-foot bunny hops.

Alpine addicts looking for a midsummer fix can try out the skiing/snowboard simulator. A circulating carpeted belt will substitute for snow while speed and pitch variables will provide a range of skill levels. Instructors from the Aspen Ski & Snowboard Schools will offer tips and analysis.

At the climbing tower, Team Rubicon adventure racers Rebecca Rusch and Patrick Harper will coach climbers and answer questions about their sport.

A number of gear, apparel, and adventure travel exhibits will be located in the village. Raffles, giveaways, and product demos will be provided by Kryptonite, Wavesport, and Boeri, among other companies.

Crossing musical performances and extreme sports is not an entirely new idea—last July, the fifth annual Gorge Games at Oregon's Hood River attracted some 50,000 spectators and 1,500 sports participants over nine days with a medley that included the band Cracker, an 81-mile adventure race, kayaking, and windsurfing. The Vans Warped tour, launched in 1995, combines punk rock with X Games-style skating, BMX, and mountain biking contests. But the Gorge Games never leaves the river and the Warped tour offers only the chance to observe athletes, not join them. The Jeep World Outside Festival is both interactive and a bona fide road show, with the musicians, athletes, and sports infrastructure literally spending the summer on the road.

"We have created an event that's come and do not just come and see," says Matt Mckee, marketing director for Outside. "It is 100 percent interactive. You can watch the best, learn from the best, and then do it yourself."

"I'd go for the music alone," says Lenosky. "But throw in the sports and I'd be there twice as fast."

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