Gauley Fest - September 14-17, 2017 - Summersville, WV


American Whitewater's Biggest Fundraiser!

All proceeds from the festival support American Whitewater's river conservation and access works throughout the nation. Started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a hydro-electric project that would have disrupted the flows on the Gauley River, Gauley Fest has grown to become the largest paddling festival in the world.

The festival is a showcase for American Whitewater and the top whitewater vendors in the boating community. The festival will feature live entertainment, a whitewater marketplace, raffle, and a silent auction where you can pick up some awesome outdoor gear. Come out and join us for a weekend of great paddling, exciting camaraderie, live entertainment, killer boat raffles, and the infamous silent auction.

Note: Gauley Fest will always be held on the third Saturday of September


The Gauley Fest vendor marketplace is second to none for reaching the whitewater boating and outdoor community in the US. Every year literally thousands of attendees come from nearly every state in the U.S. to Gauley Fest to view product demonstrations, interact with manufacturer representatives, and make purchases. Purchasing a vendor space at Gauley Fest offers a terrific opportunity to vendors who wish to reach a broad demographic and generate substantial sales for their business.

Complete info on our Vendor Information page.


In the name of safety, the following parking limits are in place -

  • Friday 8 pm: No more vehicle access to the inner festival area
  • Saturday 2 pm: No more vehicle access to the inner festival area

After this time all vehicles will have to park outside the inner festival area and walk 50-100 yards in. This park and walk-in system is the exact same that you would see at any other festival of Gauley Fest’s size and is a safety necessity.

Entrance Fees

  • Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: $40
  • Friday and Saturday: $30
  • Saturday only: $20
  • Dogs: $20 (please keep your dogs on a leash and under you control at all times)
  • Kids 15 and under: FREE

We encourage you to remember that American Whitewater is a non-profit organization and Gauley Fest is our biggest fundraiser of the year. All the money raised goes to fund our river stewardship projects. New for 2016, there will be a suggested quiet camping zone behind the cabins as you enter the festival gate on your left.


gvol.jpg Gauley Fest can't happen without your help! Please consider signing up for two hours (or more) and become a part of the Gauley Fest Volunteer Team! It's a fun and easy way for you to be a critical part of an amazing festival that's also AW's biggest fundraiser.

For your time you'll be given a “volunteers only” Gauley Fest T-shirt, tickets for a “volunteer only” raffle, plus the feeling of knowing that you help make Gauley Fest happen! We've even got a few more “volunteer only” surprises up our sleeves too. Don't want to volunteer alone? Bring your friends!

Signing Up

Sign up to volunteer now!

If you have any additional questions please contact our volunteer coordinator Natalie Cox (she's the best!) at Slots are on a first come, first serve basis so we'll try to get you in your preferred volunteer slot. If you're part of a club or group of friends that would like to help out, please let us know as well! See ya there!

Schedule and Musical Acts

See our Festival Schedule or Musical Acts page for full details.


camping.jpg Camping is pretty standard large-festival-camping at Gauley Fest. We have a couple of simple rules:

  • No fires on the ground (each fire mark costs AW $100.00)
  • No glass bottles (we are using a children's recreation area!)
  • Spaces are first come, first serve
  • No camping before Thursday
  • New for 2016, there will be a suggested quite camping zone behind the cabins as you enter the festival gate on your left
  • Dogs are discouraged at Gauley Fest (if you must bring your dog they need a gate band, really!)
  • Dogs must be under the owners control at al times (please do not leave dogs unattended at the festival)
  • Owners must clean up after their dogs
  • Aggressive dogs will be impounded by animal control

Map and Directions


Festival Site: Google Maps

Shuttle: Download a Gauley River shuttle pdf (note: not all roads are on this shuttle map) and bring it with you

Facebook Event

See who's going and invite your friends! See the Facebook Event page.