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17th Annual Valley of the Vapors: lineups, new activities, COVID, volunteer opportunities


2021 VOV Logo

The rescheduled* 17th Annual Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival, presented by Low Key Arts, will be Oct. 1 and 2 at Cedar Glades Park. In addition to 11 underground bands from around the country, this year will also include new things like camping, movie screenings, hiking, disc golf, rock wall climbing, vendors, a Northwoods Trails scavenger hunt, art installations and kids activities.


All the fun begins with the first-ever Tour de Vapeur — a group bike ride led by Hot Springs Bicycle Touring Co.’s Courier Coleman**. Starting at 2 p.m. Oct. 1 at 118 Arbor St., the group will head up Park Avenue to the Pullman Street Trailhead, which will lead them to Cedar Glades Park. The first musical performance of the festival will be Crush Diamond, of Houma, Louisiana, beginning at 4:30 p.m.


Other headliners for night one include Psychic Graveyard, of Providence, Rhode Island, supported by Deeper, of Chicago, Illinois; Ohmme, of Chicago; and We Are The Asteroid, of Austin, Texas.


After a night of fun and camping, day two will begin with a radio-controlled Flight Exhibition from 8-11 a.m., hosted by Hot Springs RC Flying Club.


Headliners for day two include Holy Wave, of Austin, Texas, supported by Various Blonde, of Kansas City, Missouri; Silver Synthetic, of New Orleans; Estereomance, of Juaréz, Mexico/El Paso, Texas; Dendrons, of Chicago; and Esmé Patterson, of Denver, Colorado.


During the festival, food trucks will be on-site, and beer and wine will be available.


VOV is open to all ages, and attendees 12 and under are free for both music and camping. Tickets are on sale now at valleyofthevapors.com.


Camping and COVID


The following is from a VOV news release:


Camping will be separated into two areas: General Camping and Family Camping. A camp bonfire/meeting area in each of the zones will be attended by volunteers each night and act as an information point (and grill!)


This year’s rescheduled festival has been planned with COVID in mind and attendees can expect social distancing protocols throughout the grounds. Camping sites and parking have been planned to provide safe distance between groups and attendees will be expected to mask when queueing for concessions, etc. or in otherwise congested areas. Hand sanitization stations will be present throughout the park.


Volunteer Opportunities


With this year's VOV, there are a lot more volunteer positions to fill than in the past, and Volunteer Coordinator Rob Cox is still looking for more willing participants.


"I have needs for security...basically making sure everyone behaves and are age appropriate if drinking," Cox said. "Working the front gate, which will entail directing people to camping areas if they're camping or parking for general attendees, collecting money, giving out maps, selling tickets. ... Also have a need for floaters. Floaters will be assigned to places that I have a need for. So that could be bar, security, parking, front gate."


There is a general interest volunteer meeting Sept. 26 at Whittington Place, 301 Whittington Ave. For anyone interested in volunteering, email Cox at Cox@lowkeyarts.org. There is no age limit for volunteers, only restrictions when it comes to handling alcohol.


"Actually I'd love to encourage high school/college kids to volunteer," he said. "They will be the ones to keep it (VOV) going."


*Historically held in March, after a COVID-19 hiatus taken in 2020, and pushing the 17th Annual VOV Festival back from March 2021 due to COVID-19 precautions, for the first-time ever the festival will be held in October.

**To have your camping gear shuttled to Cedar Glades ahead of the ride, contact Coleman at 501-276-2175.