Outfound Series in Oregon Finds Its Outdoor Voice
There’s a new three-day festival coming to Hood River next week and if you love playing in the outdoors and think you maybe, could, really wanna try making a living doing what you love, you just might want to head to Oregon for the inaugural Outfound Festival, June 9-11.
Event Organizer Antonio Aransaenz did exactly what he’s offering to attendees. The native New Yorker with a background in event planning decided he loved the outdoors so much, why not create a space for like-minded outdoorsy types to meet up, play and engage in their passion.
Aranasaenz likes to say his new baby Outfound is SXSW for the outdoors. Just like in filmmaking and music, “there are so many innovative and passionate people in the outdoor world, and with OUTFOUND we set out to create a festival that brings them all together. That just can’t happen at a traditional trade show or expo event,” said Aransaenz. “There’s a push in the outdoor industry for more authentic experiences and opportunities where people can really connect and hear the stories behind adventures and products.”
The Outfound Festival will encourage that dialogue while also offering a lot of playtime kiteboarding, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, SUPing, and more. “It’s a hands-on experience where you are in this outdoor venue along the Columbia River Gorge. Brands can meet directly with consumers…network, have a myriad of activities at your fingertips whether it’s networking, outdoors or entertainment focused.”
If your idea of roughing it is a three-star hotel, Outfound Festival isn’t for you.
The Outfound Festival is the only event of its kind. From the looks of the schedule, it’s a bit more than a sports fest for athletes. There are games, a speaker series of outdoors professionals, music, movies, workshops like VanLife, Feeding The Hungry Hiker and Yoga and a pitch competition like Shark Tank for outdoor ideas. There will also be an Expo: an adventure sports consumer show where brands showcase and demo their latest products. All of these activities take place on a scenic, 30-acre waterfront playground where most will camp.
“The people who get the most out of [Outfound] will be those inspired to network and leave with new friends and relationships,” said Aranasaenz. “We hope to give you ideas of where to start in the outdoor industry.”
But Aranasaenz still wanted to keep the recreational festival experience. “That’s why we kept it open to everyone,” he said. There are already 500 people signed up for the event and the special half-off promotion could double or triple those numbers fast. “We have tons of space. We’d like to see it become a yearly thing for Hood River and possibly roll it out to other places. “It’s really all about the experience and having fun and meeting new people in a fun creative way,”
– Bryan Pape (Founder Miir Water bottles)
– Damien Leroy (Professional Kitesurfer/Waterman)
– Sally Bergesen (Founder of Oiselle)
– Kevin Rutherford (CEO of Nuun)
– Mark Healey (Big wave surfer and conservationist)
– Stephan Jacob (Co-Founder of Cotopaxi)
– Alison Vercruysse (Founder of 18 Rabbits)
– Bill Worthington (Founder of Olukai)
– Joe Desena (Founder of Spartan Race)
– Rex Burkholder (Scientist and Social Entrepreneur)
– Cedar Wright (professional Nat Geo climber)
– Steve Jones (Founder of Teton Gravity Research)
– Jamie Danek (Founder of Humm Kombucha)
– Rob Little (Founder of Cairn)
– Boone Speed (pro photographer)