What is Friends of the Cheat?  

Friends of the Cheat is an environmental non-profit organization based in Kingwood, West Virginia. Our mission is to restore, preserve, and promote the outstanding qualities of the Cheat River Watershed. Our day to day work includes: acid mine drainage clean-up, education & outreach, coordination of a citizen scientist program called CAPABLE, and recreation and river access initiatives.

What is the Cheat River Festival?

Cheat Fest is the annual celebration hosted by Friends of the Cheat on the banks of the Cheat River. Boaters, music lovers, and families enjoy a day full of live music, dancing, art, vendors, and fun. For athletes, we hold a 5K foot race and a Down River Race through the Cheat Canyon. Many fest goers make a weekend out of it and stay in the adjacent campgrounds. Cheat Fest serves as FOC’s primary fundraiser, and supports our work throughout the year.

How can I get tickets? 

Preorder your tickets online to ensure your experience and save money!  Tickets will be available in early March. Presale Combo tickets are $40/ticket for Friday and Saturday entry.  Day-of tickets for Friday and Saturday are only sold at the gate for $20(Friday) and $30(Saturday).  Cheat Fest has a limited space that has reached capacity in the past.

What is the deal with parking?

The main public parking is adjacent to the festival grounds; please follow signs off Route 26.  Parking is donation based and the funds go towards improvements at the Festival Site.  The Front Gate and Festival entrance is accessed from this parking area.

This year we are asking festival goers to bring a non perishable food item to contribute to our Cheat Fest Food Drive .  You can drop your donation at the Info Booth.

 Where can I camp?

Festival tickets do not include camping, but there are nearby primitive campgrounds within walking distance of the festival grounds  Click here for detailed lodging information. Onsite primitive camping is only available to VIPs, volunteers, vendors, and bands.

I bring my RV/camper?

The Festival grounds and  the Friends of the Cheat Campground are not set up for RV/campers. We do not have pads or hookups. Primitive camping is allowed on the Fest Grounds and the FOC Campground.   Teter’s Campground will not be open on the Festival weekend and Cheat Canyon Campground does not have RV hookups.  Please plan on car/ primitive camping.

Will there be food?

Cheat Fest boasts an array of delicious food vendors with something for everyone, vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. In the past we’ve enjoyed BBQ, wood fired pizza, paninis, salads, smoothies, popcorn, sweets, and more.

Is Glass Allowed?

No! Glass is not allowed, this includes bottles & growlers (spectacles are okay!) please do not bring it. We are unable to recycle glass and it is dangerous to barefoot children and people walking in the dark. Be thoughtful. Don’t bring it.

Can I bring my dog?

No, No, NO. Friends of the Cheat loves dogs just as much as you, just not at Cheat Fest (ADA assistants excepted). For those who must travel with Fido, the reputable Mountain Laurel Kennels in nearby Cheat Lake or Britton Barkery in Independence offer great accommodations.

Is the festival handicap accessible?

Yes. Anyone needing special assistance may enter through the back gate; follow the signs to Friends of the Cheat Campground entrance at Beech Run Road. Direct advance special requests to cheatfest@cheat.org. Beware that Cheat Fest is known for muddy conditions.

But, what should I wear?

Comfortable boots or shoes that can handle mud in case of rain.  Bring a rain jacket.

Can I volunteer?

Yes! Besides the satisfaction of helping a great cause, volunteers earn free entry,  onsite camping privileges, and free food and drinks at the Volunteer Cafe.  Check out the Volunteer page for more info.

Who should I contact for more information?  

Please direct all questions to Festival Coordinator at cheatfest@cheat.org or 304.329.3621.