A Three Day Celebration of Energy & Life in the Ozarks
Most of us are familiar with music festivals that last two or three days. Well, deep into NoCoast territory a very special event took place called the Fayettechill Summer Solstice. The guys at Fayettechill Clothing Co. took the idea of a music festival to the next level. By incorporating many different outdoor activities, along with music it became the perfect combination. The schedule for the three day event included things like: yoga, mountain biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, frisbee, body painting, music, camping, food and most importantly skating. Saturday was the ramp and slide jam; Sunday the outlaw race, both hosted by The pAth Outfitters.
We packed up the car with as much gear as possible and headed to Arkansas. Since it was Go Skate Day we had to skate something on the way the way. Marble, one of our favorite runs just happens to be on the way. So we stopped there for a quick sess.
The first night there we were treated to some really good music. Shawn James and the Shapeshifters absolutely killed it with their style of blues, rock and bluegrass.
The music raged until 4am I believe, I didn’t make it past three. All the different activities had their own sections they were camping in. It was like a family reunion for all the skaters, this many of us don’t often get to hang out all at once.
DAY 1 VIDEO:
Day 2 — Ramp Jam
When we woke up, instead of taking a shower, we took a dip in the river, this is one of my favourite parts about camping. After some coffee & breakfast we prepped for the ramp and slide jam that was going on later that day. Jared Henry worked hard with the guys at The pAth over the past month to help design some rad obstacles for the riders.
The slackline has become a staple for skaters while camping. Balance is obviously a big part of skating, but these guys make it look really easy. Once we got tired of that it was back into the river to cool off and get our rope swing on. The skaters all basically hung out and waited for the music to start. That night we had some of the best reggae I have ever heard. The Stiff Necked Fools, were from Louisiana and definitely had their own sound.
DAY 2 VIDEO:
Day 3 — Outlaw Race
So the last day of the festival was focused on the outlaw race we were having down a run we call Waka. It tops out in the low 40’s but it’s curves make up for the lower speed. The road is known for having a lot of traffic, but a Sunday afternoon made it even busier. We used walkies to try and ensure the riders’ safety, but even then some cars snuck through the barricade. I’m pretty sure there were cars in the other lane every time we hit the run. The guys from The pAth tried their best, but staying in outlaw spirit we carried on.
Most of us had all hit this run in previous trips to Arkansas, but never had we raced it. The locals had a bid of an advantage as usual, but it was so fun ripping with our homies in all the heats. The best part of the run is a chicane that is banked on the entrance and the exit. This is also where we set up some hay bales and had a lot of the spectators watch from.
We had been running four man heats but ended up with a six man final. The push started on a flat and started off with a slow right hairpin. All the riders were very close off the push and I was on the outside of Matt. We ended up locking wheels and went down also taking out the two guys behind us. All of us scrambled to get our boards, Matt Ewalt getting to his board first ended up catching the front two riders making the pass for second place.
As outlaws go there is always a sense of excitement when you can attempt to close down a road without the permission of the authorities. Something we have realized is that if there are enough people there watching and skating with a few hay bales and sponsor signs, no one will question if you are supposed to be there. I heard the cops did show up after we did prizes, but most people had left by then. So much appreciation for The pAth, a local Fayetteville skate and art shop. They were responsible for organizing all the skating that went down over the weekend and making sure there were prizes for both days. They did a great job and I can’t wait to go to another one of their events.
I have a feeling that the Fayettechill Summer Solstice will be back next year, if you live anywhere near Arkansas make sure you plan to come out. You won’t be disappointed.
Make sure to be on the lookout for Day 3 video featuring the outlaw race. Will be coming out next week.