Three-day Music Festival Comes to Bartow in August
Bartow, WV – When you think 4-stage, outdoor, independent music festival, Bartow, West Virginia, might not be the first location that springs to mind. But this summer, some concert organizers from North Carolina and Virginia are planning just such an event in Bartow, at Camp Hidden Meadows.
Known as Camp Barefoot, the festival will run from August 19 through 21, featuring some 40 bands on its four stages, with music beginning and noon each day and continuing through the evening. People have the option of camping out at the festival for all or part of the event. For the first three years, McClain says the festival made its home in Gore, Virginia, at the Cove Campground.
“We just expanded and got to a point where we needed a little bit more land, not to even grow, but to feel comfortable in regards to the whole production end of things,” says McClain.
In the search for a new home for the festival McClain says he crossed paths with Camp Hidden Meadows owner Tom Bryant, who was receptive to the idea of hosting a family-friendly music festival.
“We sat and talked with him, and explained the whole mission of what we’re trying to do in regards to promote a grass-roots festival where it’s more of a family-oriented, small-sized festival, where you camp, but you don’t feel overcrowded,” McClain says. “A lot of these festivals nowadays are getting so big you know, 10,000 to 15,000 people it’s overwhelming. Obviously there’s a lot of music fans out there like myself that have experienced those big festivals, but there comes a point in time you still want to go out and see the music you just don’t want to feel smothered.”
The festival draws attendees from all over the United States. McClain said last year, people from 28 states bought tickets. This year, he expects to sell about 2,500 tickets to Camp Barefoot 4.
Despite the national draw, McClain says Camp Barefoot has a local focus. A portion of the proceeds from this summer’s music festival will benefit the Pocahontas County Humane Society. McClain says the lineup of bands has something for everyone. He says this is largely due to the wide mix of music he and his friends enjoy, which became apparent at the first events they organized.
“I love bluegrass, and I love jazz,” McClain says. “And I have friends up in Virginia that love all types of music.”
“We all have our real day jobs and whatnot, and we thought, Hey, let’s pick a weekend and just have a get-together, get all our friends and have a couple bands,” McClain continues. “The idea really expanded to the real thing. And we had to start from the ground up. We really didn’t have sponsors. We’re so proud, in year four, of how far we’ve gotten. We really try to focus on the diversification of music that’s not just jam music or rock-and-roll.”
“We have all types of music,” McClain says, “from bluegrass to rock-and-roll, jazz, funk. We have it all. Anybody that really wants to check themselves into new music that they’ve never heard they’ve really got a great opportunity here.”
If all goes well, McClain says he hopes Camp Barefoot will find a home in Bartow, and Pocahontas County, for years to come. For the complete lineup of artists and ticket information, visit CampBarefoot.org.