For those of you lucky enough to be a part of the seventh annual Campout for the Cause this year, you know it was a weekend to remember. Hundreds gathered on the banks of the Colorado River at Rancho Del Rio for four days of roots music, yoga, camping and paddle boarding from May 21 – 24, 2015. This intimate setting was filled with people who had plenty of smiles and dancing to go around, making for a wonderfully festive and enjoyable weekend. Even the weather felt like partying and certainly didn’t disappoint with its typical Colorado unpredictability. But the intermittent rain, hail, and bursts of sunshine didn’t stop the Campout for the Cause family from coming out of their tents and enjoying the amazing performances from artists such as Elephant Revival, Fruition, The Birds of Chicago, Gregory Alan Isakov, and The Lil’ Smokes.
Amazing jam performances raged through the night under a covered pavilion that allowed for some wild dance parties next to roaring bonfires. The day-time entertainment was also spectacular, with yoga classes going from the morning into the evening, providing a nice balance to the long nights spent dancing. And those brave enough to brace the cold temperatures and try out paddle boarding were not disappointed.
Stand Up Paddle Colorado lead a few classes out on the river during the sunny hours of Saturday and Sunday and the laughter could be heard from shore as the groups returned from their excursions.
Highlights of this weekend were definitely the Fruition set on Friday night, with the band playing during a torrential down pour to an enthusiastic audience. Elephant Revival’s amazing late night performance on Saturday blew me away and left me a devoted fan. They brought on artists from Birds of Chicago and other bands to create an incredible musical experience.
This combination of different bands playing on stage at once was beautiful to see. There were so many talented artists in Bond this weekend and their ability to share and collaborate truly made this a special and unique experience with their palpable chemistry on stage. Another favorite moment from the weekend was Fractal Tribe’s stellar fire poi act. They held a captive audience on the festival grounds while performing artful dances holding flaming flow toys. Their act ended with two members holding flaming fans, connected by the ankles, floating atop another member’s shoulders, a feat that looked impossible yet elegant.
Campout for the Cause definitely has another loyal family member after my experience this weekend. To know that we all gathered together to support incredible land preservation and humanitarian organizations the Eagle Valley Land Trust, American Rivers, and All Hands Volunteers makes the take away even greater. The stellar volunteers, yoga instructors, vendors, musicians, and crowd that they were able to gather left me feeling like I just discovered another part of myself I didn’t know existed and I look forward to what they bring together next year.
All photos by Stacey Rupolo for Compose Yourself Magazine.