Many vanlife gatherings in 2021 have been cancelled or postponed due to the effects of the virus. Practicing social distancing and following safe gathering procedures has allowed vanlifers to still gather as long as safe guidelines have been put in place.
It seems as though this pandemic has led to a rise in van dwellers and just nomads in general. With businesses being shut down what better time to travel than right now. Rather than sitting at home day after day you can buy a van, throw a bed in the back, and hit the road.
WHERE ARE THESE VANLIFE GATHERINGS IN 2021?
Vanlife gatherings are spread out all across the United States and they take place at different months of the year. If you’re a vanlifer or nomad living life on the road then you’ll want to check out this list of vanlife gatherings in 2021.
1. Descend on Bend
The state of Oregon banned all gatherings through October of 2020 but it looks as though there are big plans for the 2021 Descend on Bend gathering. Descend on Bend is scheduled to take place from September 2nd – 6th, 2021 and there are 3 different tickets available for purchase. Ticket prices range from $99.99 to $199.99 so hurry before they sell out.
Registration at this event includes:
- Private land access for five days and four nights in the Oregon outback.
- Amenities such as porta potties, spring water, and level ground for parking
- Potlucks, chili contests, musical performances, dancing, swap meets, raffles, cocktail hour, pancake breakfast, and BBQ dinners.
- Morning yoga, cooking, sewing, knitting, nature observation, and leatherworks.
2. Smoky Mountain Overland Rally
This rally style event is held in the shadows of the The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Cosby, TN. This 3 day event consists of rally style trail rides, a raffle, and a Sunday cook-out. The Smoky Mountain Overland Rally (SMOR) takes place April 30th to May 2nd, 2021. Check out their website for more information. Keep in mind that 5th wheels and RV’s are not allowed.
Vanfest gathers off-grid vehicles to share the freedom to adventure in the state of Utah. The event begins on May 8th, 2021 at Legacy Park, Hurricane, Utah. At this event there will be van touring, live music, workshops, vendors, food trucks, and more.
This is a paid event so you’ll have to visit their website and order tickets. Ticket prices range from $24 to $500 depending on whether you want to vender or just have general admission access.
4. Adventure Van Expo
There are currently 7 different Adventure Van Expo events taking place from June to October, 2021 in different areas of the United States. All events are free and open to the public.
You can expect to see the following at these events:
- Product demonstrations and workshops
- Check out gear, rooftop tents, racks, and accessories
- Food, beer, and wine
- Meet professional van builders
- Network with like-minded people
You can become an exhibitor as well so you can showcase your vehicle build. Check out their website for all the info.
Skooliepalooza is a free annual event more tailored toward Skoolies (converted school buses) but all vehicle dwellers and tenters are welcome. It is scheduled for February 1st – 10th, 2021 in Ehrenberg, AZ on BLM land. Check out this video to see what Skooliepalooza is all about.
At Skooliepalooza you’ll see live bands, potlucks, children activities, games, dancing, bonfires, and much more. People giving tours of their rigs are pretty common and you’ll even see people building out their vehicles.
ParTR is a relatively new nomad gathering that takes place yearly. This year it is taking place at Scaddan Wash BLM in Arizona from January 10th – 20th, 2021. ParTR was actually created as a subsidiary of RTR (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous) for the “partyers”.
The festivities at this event include:
- Pot Lucks
- Movie Nights
- Music and karaoke
ParTR has no official website but you can find their event pages on Facebook. This event is open to nomads of all kinds.
Vanchella is a brand new event tailored to vanlifers. On their Facebook group page they state that they’ll have multiple events planned for the 2021 year. To keep things from getting out of control there will be a limit to the amount of people that can come. Join the Vanchella Facebook group to keep yourself updated.
8. Asheville Van Life Rally
This year will mark the 7th annual Asheville Van Life Rally in Fletcher, NC on September 16th – 19th, 2021. This event celebrates the #vanlife community by connecting vanlifers with one another.
WRAPPING UP VANLIFE GATHERINGS IN 2021?
Vanlife gatherings are becoming increasingly popular these days so if you have a vanlife gathering that isn’t on this list feel free to contact me and I’ll get it up. I’ll be adding to this list throughout the months and who knows, maybe I’ll see you at one of them.