So I have to laugh these days when I think about planning the year’s biggest party here at ACE and in the New River Gorge. Talking with national touring musicians, promoting Mountain Music Festival (MMFest) to sponsors, or just wrangling the day-to-day staff and logistics can be a lot to take in, after all I’m just a raft guide!
I migrated to ACE 6 years ago in search of new rivers to run and challenging whitewater adventures. I found everything I was looking for and more in West Virginia’s mountains and I have had the opportunity to guide thousands of great folks down the rivers here. Spending my summers in the New River Gorge I quickly began to realize the unique opportunity we had. ACE’s 1,500-acre resort and immense infrastructure is a perfect place to host special events of all kinds. I’m talking concerts, paintball tournaments, mud runs, half marathons, haunted houses, and a few more things I’m forgetting about. Mountain Music Festival was our first big event utilizing the new stage and festival grounds built last winter.
MMFest is just a two-day event but WOW it is a full time job 365 days a year. The first year we all gave 110% referencing our years of experience showing people a great time on the river and we threw in a soundtrack, POW it was a success. Now we have a little dirt under our fingernails and knowing what to expect we are super dooper excited for everything in 2015.
Some of the most exciting things we are planning for this year’s MMFest will be whitewater rafting and zip line trips with bands playing on the big stage. One of the coolest things we did last year was to take Keller Williams on our canopy tour adventure. We are blowing up ACE Lake this year by adding live music to the Beach Party Saturday afternoon too. Another thing we learned last year was that folks who like good music also like to hula-hoop, I got some new skills. So this year we are planning cool workshops from Frisbee golf clinics, glass blowing demonstrations, and even your own hula-hooping lesson. Let us know if you have a cool idea for a workshop and I will see what I can do.
Of course the BIG question about 2015 is who will be up on that big stage? We can’t wait to tell you and we know that waiting is the hardest part. I can tell you there are some awesome things happening behind the curtain. The bands and artists we are negotiating with are going to make for an amazing lineup every music lover will want to be a part of. We will have announcements coming soon. I’m talking any day now. If you want to stay up to date with announcements be sure check the website and like us on Facebook.
Planning the biggest party in the New River Gorge is fun and all but I got to get out of this office and play in the woods too, so come visit. We can go zip lining, I’ll shoot some paintballs at you, or we can hit the river this spring for some BIG whitewater. But don’t forget June 5th and 6th this summer you will definitely want to be here.
By Chris Colin