The stars have aligned for Valley of the Vapors organizers -- literally -- as the 20th annual independent music festival will coincide with the solar eclipse of April 2024.
Calling next year's event ECLIPTIC, Low Key Arts Executive Director Sonny Kay says making the announcement a year in advance is the most responsible thing to do.
After previously discussing plans to move up the festival for better weather and as to not compete with The World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade, Kay said the idea was actually seven years in the works. Moving to Hot Springs and taking over Low Key Arts just after the last major solar eclipse in 2017, Kay was already looking ahead to 2024.
"Timing-wise, it just made sense to combine it with the 20th anniversary of the Valley of the Vapors," said Kay. "We're attempting to do something on a scale we've never done before. We're equally excited, a little bit scared."
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It will be the first time the event will last four days since moving to Cedar Glades Park. The group is planning for 300 campsites and can accommodate 3,000 people daily.
He said parking and transportation will be major issues, but having an entire year to address it should be enough. With hotels already booking all their rooms and Airbnb prices skyrocketing, organizers decided to make camping passes available now. Each tent space can fit up to four people.
Tickets for the music festival itself run for a limited time at $100 for the four days, or $25 per day. Prices are set to double July 1.
Kay said this is a bargain for what they have in store once they announce the bands and offerings of the festival.
"We understand that people might be skeptical about the scale of this event," he said. "And announcing anything a year out is off the chart for us. It's really an unforeseen development in the way we do things, but we have this eclipse to accommodate, and we feel like this was the most responsible way of making this announcement."
He said he hopes for people to be confident in the organization's ability to deliver an event that is exceptional and memorable.
"We don't want this to simply be a music festival on top of a hill," Kay said. "We want it to be something restorative for people. Something inspirational. Something celebratory. And we want people to leave feeling better about themselves and about the world we all occupy."
The eclipse could be a time when people are more prone to "feel more of a sense of community in their space in the universe," he said.
"We want to provide the most optimum space for that," he said. "We intend to provide a transformative experience."
For pricing information and more information, visit https://www.eclipticfestival.com.