The timeless blend of music, partying and Volkswagens is not only back, but figures to end a quiet car show season on a classic high note.
VolkStock will return to Peoria the weekend of Nov. 13-15 to fire up the loyal fan base of Volkswagen cars and culture. The event will be pared down from previous weekends to keep in line with coronavirus precautions, but the spirit will definitely be there while spanning all generations.
“There’s a lot of love for Volkswagens,” Chris Buffington, one of the festival’s founders, said Sept. 22. “A lot of people have had them for a long time. A lot of people have ridden in them when they were young, so they’re nostalgic. And then the new guys come in and they’re trying to customize them.”
Mr. Buffington owns the car restoration company Vintage Resto of AZ along with Mark Miller and Nathaniel Fraley, and heads up the German Toyz club. All are guiding lights not only in the festival, which dates back to 2013, but especially for keeping the light burning in an otherwise challenging 2020.
VolkStock generally closes the car show season with the year’s biggest party, complete with live music, food vendors, a huge car show, and camping along Lake Pleasant. The on-site swap meet includes vendors selling VW parts from all over the country and Canada.
With virtually every car show canceled this year out of safety precautions, VolkStock this time around is the first of the season of sorts.
“Instead of just a car show, we made it an event,” Mr. Buffington explained. “We have live music, we have big stages, we have lights on the stages, we get great bands, and we have a bunch of Volkswagens out there. We make it a big event.”
It wasn’t always that way.
VolkStock got its start, as he says, with guys standing around thinking “we need a better car show than just meeting up in a parking lot.” That first year took place at Fear Farm in Phoenix before the team eventually made way their way to Lake Pleasant, where the festival has been ever since.
Campers are expected to arrive around noon Friday, Nov. 13. The weekend motors on to include a full car show 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, and another night of camping for those who want to sleep under the stars alongside the shores of Lake Pleasant.
Because of coronavirus precautions, the usual VIP tents won’t be around this year. Social distancing protocols will be in effect, and while live music usually takes place Friday and Saturday nights, this year’s event will feature live music only on Saturday day and night.
The event is obviously outdoors, which helps with safety measures.
The BYOB event features food vendors all weekend.
Visit pleasantharbor.com/rv-resort to reserve a camping spot or call 623-235-6140. Festival admission without camping is $20, and tickets are available at volkstock.com.
“Peace, music and lots of Volkswagens,” Mr. Buffington said.