Hip Hip Hooray for Hoopla – A Simply Wonderful Event

Image Courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Co.

​It would be hard to say that there's a better way to festy than having indoor bathrooms and showers, a place to sit inside and cool off with air conditioning, and a full fledge restaurant available.  That luxury is just what the folks at Devils Backbone put together for the lucky attendees of Hoopla last weekend to close out September at the brewery.  Having never visited Basecamp before (the Devils Backbone brewery property as they like to call it), I was blown away by the facilities in general.  Adding some absolutely amazing musicians ​to the mix with plenty of fun, outdoor, guided activities, beautiful weather ​and you had a recipe for an absolutely marvelous weekend!

Photo Cred: Devils Backbone Brewing Co.

Tyler Childers (Image Courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Co.)

Photo Cred: Devils Backbone Brewing Co.

Tyler Childers (Image Courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Co.)

From start to finish, Hoopla kept people entertained and moving - and not just to the beat of the bands playing, but also through​ outdoor activities,​ being sure to show everyone why they are proud to call the Blue​ Ridge home.  It was the type of event that you could bring a wide range of friends and enthusiasts to, whatever their interests.  Music fans were treated to the sounds of Front Country, who I overheard ​people raving about all weekend, The 77z, which was a welcome sound early Sunday afternoon as they covered some of the best Grateful Dead songs, The Larry Keel Explosion, who kept the crowd entertained Saturday night and Los Chupacabras, as their strong horns blared on for an hour early Saturday getting people to loosen their hips and warm up for the rest of the day.  We don't want to forget also about great entertainers like Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Cris Jacobs Band, Kat Wright, ​who wowed everyone with her performance​​​ and phenom Tyler Childers, who I had yet to see live, but will definitely be sure not to miss any time he comes to town.

Hoopla Festival (Image Courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Co.

Tyler Childers (Image Courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Co.)

Hoopla Festival (Image Courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Co.

​Ernie Chang of Andy Frasco & The U.N.  (Image Courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Co.)

The outdoorsy and active member of your crew wouldn't have been disappointed in the least either.  There were guided hikes on the nearby portion of the Appalachian Trail, bike tours, guided climbs, trips to close by cidery Bold Rock and even classes and guidance on how to prepare for the outdoors ​complete with a campsite cooking challenge.  ​The arts and crafts lover in me also was blown away by the opportunities to create at Hoopla and it was a perfect setup to keep little ones entertained as well.  The list of make-it and take-it crafts had everything from musical instruments, flower crowns and gnomes, to fairy or wizard wands and flower seed bombs.  Adults and children alike participated in the fun and everyone's creations were on display as they roamed through basecamp.  

Hoopla 2

Image Courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Co.

Hoopla 2

Image Courtesy of Devils Backbone Brewing Co.

​If you happen to have a friend who is a beer enthusiast or likes to taste other spirits, the distillery and brewery tours along with tastings and better yet, a place to actually sit down inside with air conditioning would've made them happy as clams as they sipped on the different flavors.  Many a festival has good food trucks or possibly a snow cone spot that you can locate to keep cool, but let me tell you that eating shrimp and grits on the patio of the brewery restaurant, while still being able to see and hear the music on Sunday, was something I never expected to say I did at a festival.  Huge bonus that they offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options on the menu, so again, your crew can really run the gamut here and still keep everyone happy with their numerous options.

All in all, I really can't say enough good things about this festival, and will no doubt be returning year after year.  The best part is, just because you missed out on the fun at Hoopla, doesn't mean you can't experience the facilities and great events that they put on at basecamp.  You can even camp there when the festival isn't going on!  They still have quite a few opportunities to see what makes them a destination not to be missed over the next few weeks.  Find out more about camping and what fun they have planned on their website.​

Photo Cred: Devils Backbone Brewing Co.
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About the author
Karin McLaughlin

Karin McLaughlin

Karin has been a live music junkie all her life, however is a fairly new fan in the world of jam bands and bluegrass. She grew up on hip hop, classic soul, motown and classic rock but has found a new home in the festival world and that is what, in part, had brought her to DC Music Review. Karin produces and hosts a weekly radio show in the area called Karin's Calendar, where she talks all about 'Where to be in the DMV'. She is very excited to be starting down a semi-new road with us and hopes to use her interview skills and write ups of shows to contribute even more to DC Music Review.