FreedomFest 2021 meets Wednesday July 21 – Saturday July 24 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and Elks Theatre (Anthem Film Festival) in Rapid City, South Dakota. 

We have added several pre and post conference excursions in case you want to take advantage of traveling to this wonderful part of the United States as part of your FreedomFest attendance. Please note that new sign-ups for excursions have been closed.

To attend FreedomFest only, we recommend traveling on Tuesday, July 20 so you can arrive in time for the opening festivities Wednesday afternoon. We will begin conference events at 12pm with a series of stimulating and intellectual sessions designed to “prime the mind.”

We recommend staying at least until Sunday, July 25 so you can attend “Super Charged Saturday” sessions and if you have tickets to our fabulous Farewell Reception & Banquet on Saturday at the Barnett Arena, featuring live entertainment, special guest speakers, the Anthem Film Awards, comedy with Dave Smith, music & dancing and a full three-course gourmet dining experience.

If you wish to add-on the optional excursions, consider traveling between Sunday July 18 and Monday July 26. 

During the conference dates of July 21 through July 24, there will also be multiple evening excursions and social events in the downtown and surrounding areas.

The FreedomFest registration counter will be in North Concourse at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Signs and volunteers will be on hand to direct you. There will also be Self-Registration and Full Registration available. Check in starts Wednesday, July 21 at 10am. We will be sharing additional registration instructions via email as we near the event. You can view a map on the Venues page.

The regular registration (including regular, student, young professional, exhibitor, speaker, filmmaker and media attendees) includes:

  • 3 1/2 days of general sessions & breakout sessions, debates, panels and speeches;
  • Welcome Reception and Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall;
  • All conference materials;
  • Entrance to our Exhibit Hall;
  • Full access to all Anthem Film Festival screenings
  • Complimentary Continental Breakfast and coffee breaks each day.

The One Day Pass includes:

  • 1 day of general sessions & breakout sessions, debates, panels and speeches;
  • All conference materials;
  • Unlimited entrance to our Exhibit Hall;
  • Full access to all Anthem Film Festival screenings;
  • Complimentary Continental Breakfast and coffee break that day.

One-day pass attendees may attend the general session event the evening before their designated day pass.

The Film Lovers Pass includes:

  • 3 1/2 days of Anthem Film Festival screenings and panels;
  • Unlimited Entrance to the Exhibit Hall.
  • Complimentary continental breakfasts and coffee breaks

It does not include any other FreedomFest events.

Film Lovers Day Pass includes:

  • 1 day of Anthem Film Festival screenings and panels;
  • Unlimited Entrance to the Exhibit Hall for that day
  • Complimentary continental breakfast and coffee breaks as offered on that day

Please wear your badge to attend any part of FreedomFest – room monitors will be checking badges throughout the conference. If you lose your badge, there will be a $20 fee to replace it.

FreedomFest will also be providing a circulating shuttle between the Rushmore Plaza and the downtown area on all conference dates.

There is no difference between a guest pass and a regular attendee pass. Both have full registration benefits. The guest pass is simply connected to the regular attendee pass for a lower price. Our regular attendee price is $499 and our guest attendee price is $399. (Our early bird rate is $399 for regular attendees and $299 for guests.)

FreedomFest has room blocks at several hotels within 5 miles of downtown Rapid City, where FreedomFest and Anthem Film Festival will take place. The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center offers free parking, and we will provide a shuttle between the hotels and conference venues for attendees who will not have a car in Rapid City.

We also have RV spaces reserved for FreedomFest attendees at Rapid City KOA. (You can park an RV in the perimeter of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center for free, during the day.)

For our students and young professionals, we reserved dorm rooms at South Dakota School of Mines as a low-cost option.

A map and room rates are posted at

To book your hotel, please visit the Black Hills Vacations booking portal or call Black Hills Vacations at 1-800-400-6194. Do not call the hotel directly. Please note that the deadline to sign up with our room block has passed.

For the most details regarding all transportation, please visit our Transportation Page.

Rapid City Regional Airport is just minutes away from downtown Rapid City. Please contact Black Hills Vacations at 1-800-400-6194 for assistance booking air travel. More flights are available into Rapid City Regional Airport in July.

It’s an easy ride by taxi or Uber/Lyft, or you can arrange a shuttle from your hotel to pick you up and take you to your chosen hotel. You can also rent a car.

There is free parking at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and plenty of it. (RVs can park in the perimeter of the parking lot during the day.)

FreedomFest will provide a shuttle service each morning and evening between the hotels and conference venues. We will also have a circulating shuttle running all day between the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and the Elks Theatre, home of Anthem Film Festival.

Refund Policy A 20% fee of the registration amount paid will apply to all registration cancellations through June 1. After June 1, the cancellation fee is 50% of the registration amount paid. After July 1, there is no refund. 
Transfer Policy You can choose to transfer your registration, rather than cancel, for an equivalent registration at the next FreedomFest at any point before July 18. This is a registration transfer, not a monetary credit.
Special Events Cancellation Special event purchases are 100% refundable through June 1 and 50% refundable between June 2 and July 1. After July 1, there are no refunds for special events.
Excursions Cancellation Excursions are 100% refundable minus a $25 booking fee through June 1. Excursions are 50% refundable from June 2 through July 7. Excursions are not refundable after July 8 and are not eligible for credit or transfer to a future FreedomFest. Changes to excursion reservations must be made through the Black Hills Vacations booking portal.
Hotel Cancellation Hotels can be cancelled without penalty 72 hours before check-in date. A first night’s refundable deposit is taken when the reservation is made. Changes to hotel reservations must be made through the Black Hills Vacations booking portal.
Lost Badge Fee Please note that in the case of a lost or misplaced badge or other ticket, requiring reprinting, will incur a $20 replacement fee.

Use the Official Agenda Guide you will receive when you check-in to read through the full schedule of events, including all the sessions, exhibitors, receptions, lunches and films.

We encourage you to install and use the free app at Once downloaded, search FreedomFest 2021 within the Schedule app.

Use the app or your printed Agenda Guide to highlight which sessions you’d most like to attend each day and see the latest updates. All seating is unreserved, first-come/first-served.

All FreedomFest sessions and the Exhibit Hall will be located at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Evening events will take place at various downtown venues, along with optional evening excursions to Deadwood, Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse.

We also feature the Anthem Film Festival, with films running on Wednesday afternoon starting at 1pm, and our full line-up all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Special screenings at 9pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. All Anthem screenings will take place at the Elks Theatre.

We’ve also included book signings with the authors of 2021’s most important books in the exhibit hall during coffee breaks and during the Welcome Reception – come meet our authors!

Add our special event breakfasts, luncheons, and receptions including the Farewell Banquet on Saturday night.

Don’t miss our “Super-Charged Saturday” sessions! We’ve saved some of the best for last. We’ll get you energized with free energy drinks and snacks (while supplies last) when sessions start Saturday afternoon, and we’ll award randomly selected attendees in sessions and films with special prizes, including silver dollars, merchandise and more!

Lastly, this year we have included some optional excursions to enjoy before, after and during the conference. We hope you’ll take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to explore this part of the country with fellow FreedomFestors and your fariends and family!

We work year-round to add speakers and content to FreedomFest. As each speaker and title is confirmed, we update our website on our Featured Speakers and Complete Lineup pages. The full conference agenda will be posted online in June.

We suggest business or business casual for all conference sessions. The Farewell Banquet is business-formal or cocktail dress.

Please note that the conditions indoors may feel chilly for some, but warm for others – we always get comments that it’s both, at the same time! Please dress with layers so you will be comfortable.

Temperatures outdoors in Rapid City should be in the mid-80s in July, with low humidity. 

Please sign up for your registration pass and any special events (VIP breakfasts, lunches, receptions or the banquet) through FreedomFest.

Please sign up for your accommodations and any area excursions through our booking portal and our expert partners at Black Hills Vacations. They can also help you with additional activities, travel arrangements, car rentals and so forth.

New Attendees: To start your registration process with FreedomFest, click here.

Current Attendees: To access your existing registration with FreedomFest, click here.

All Attendees: To arrange or change any hotel or excursion booking, please click here.

While there is no specific age restriction, FreedomFest is geared toward older students and adults. We do not have any programming for young children. We will have a full track of high school and college aged appropriate programming this year.

There will be youth-oriented programming at FreedomFest that will be appropriate for mature students aged middle school and above.

Choice reigns supreme at FreedomFest, and attendees often face the dilemma of two sessions at the same time that look appealing! If you are attending the conference with a guest, we suggest splitting up and going to the two sessions separately….it gives you great catch-up conversation when you meet back up for coffee, lunch, or dinner at the end of the day!

We also record all sessions at FreedomFest and make those sessions available for purchase – either individually or the entire conference collection. See the audio sales at the Registration counter in the Exhibit Hall or at after the conference concludes.

All conference sessions are unreserved, first-come/first-served seating. Special event breakfasts, lunches, and the Farewell Banquet are restricted to ticket holders, but are still unreserved seating, except for the VIP tables at the banquet.

There will be an attendee breakfast in the Exhibit Hall available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings, as well as coffee breaks throughout each conference day.

There will be a food court at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, as well as several sponsor or VIP lunches available. Additionally, the Gold Bison Restaurant is located next door at the Holiday Inn-Rushmore Plaza. We have also invited several food trucks to come to the civic center for lunch!

In the downtown area, we recommend the following restaurants:

Murphy’s Pub
Tally’s Silver Spoon
Paddy O’Neill’s Irish Pub
Delmonico Grill
Wine Cellar Restaurant
The Bestro
Kathmandu Bistro
Harriet & Oak

Anthem Film Festival screenings take place at the Elks Theatre in downtown Rapid City. It is walking distance from the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and there will also be a circulating shuttle to take you from the Civic Center to the downtown area. All screenings are clearly marked in the Official Program Guide, the App Agenda, the FreedomFest website and with the signs at the Elks Theatre. Films are screened all day long, including coffee breaks and lunch breaks. Full theater concessions will be available.

Access to the Anthem Film Festival is included in all FreedomFest registration passes.

“FreedomFest After Dark” is just as much fun as FreedomFest during the day. Choose from:

Local downtown restaurants (see list above)

Evening Excursions to Deadwood, Mount Rushmore or Crazy Horse

Anthem Movies at 9pm at the Elks Theater

Sponsored and Paid Receptions (see your agenda for details)

Each day starts with a complimentary continental breakfast in the Exhibit Hall at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rushmore Hall.
Then we gather together for main stage sessions in the Barnett Arena (Main Stage 1) and/or Performing Arts Theater (Main Stage 2). 

Breakout sessions are located in the following rooms:

  • Barnett Arena – Main Stage 1
  • Performing Arts Theater – Main Stage 3
  • La Croix A
  • La Croix B
  • La Croix C – Global Financial Summit
  • La Croix D
  • Alpine Room
  • Ponderosa Room
  • Meeting Room 101
  • Meeting Room 102
  • Rushmore E
  • Rushmore F
  • Rushmore G – Student Track
  • Rushmore H – includes Student Debate Showcase
  • Exhibit Hall – roundtables and book signings
  • Elks Theatre – Anthem Film Festival
See your agenda guide, online conference guide or the app for more specific details on the venue for a particular session.

Restrooms are located in the Exhibit Hall and in the main concourses.

There are restrooms in the lobby of the Elks Theater.

We love to hear from our attendees! Please let us know what we are doing well at FreedomFest and what we can do to make it even better. Take the survey at the end of the conference – you will receive an email at the end of the conference.

You can always email us at [email protected] anytime!

The FreedomFest Forum is a blog that shares articles and posts with the insights, thoughts and opinions of FreedomFest speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, experts and even our own staff! It’s a way to get ready for the sessions and experiences coming up at FreedomFest in July, as well as to stay on top of important issues throughout the year – through the FreedomFest perspective!

Read our Latest Post at and sign up for our newsletter email list here.

We also have a weekly FreedomFest Forum LIVE every Friday. Visit our FB page for details.

FreedomFest Fridays are our weekly Zoom chats to discuss liberty and current events, play games, make special announcements, and share stories with fellow freedom lovers. This is your chance to participate in large and small group discussions with the FreedomFest planning team, attendees, and speakers. To receive the Zoom link, email [email protected].

Privacy Policy

FreedomFest, Inc. is deeply committed to protecting the privacy and security of our attendees’ personal and financial information. We do not sell, share or rent the name, billing address, email address, telephone number, credit card or any other information about our attendees to anyone, including other attendees, speakers, sponsors or exhibitors. FreedomFest Inc. maintains this information in-house and uses it solely to contact our attendees directly regarding FreedomFest events, speakers and exhibitors.


FreedomFest, Inc. is a “big tent event” that brings together a diverse range of speakers, in sessions, panels and debates that cover politics, investments, economics, history, philosophy, science & technology, art & literature, and healthy living. All exhibitors and speakers are independent business people or entities and are not directed or controlled by FreedomFest Inc., nor does FreedomFest Inc. sponsor or promote, directly or indirectly, any agenda, idea, product or service offered by speakers or exhibitors. FreedomFest Inc. is not liable or responsible for the advice, offerings, actions or services of exhibitors or sponsors. We encourage all participants to examine information, ask questions, and carefully evaluate and compare advice from our various exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and other attendees. Participants should carefully consider whether material and information they receive is suitable to their personal circumstances before taking any action.

FreedomFest serves as a platform for engaging, thought-provoking conversations and experiences. We encourage freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, free market interchange and voluntary interactions within a civil and productive environment. We also believe in the right to be left alone, and we do not tolerate or condone actions or language that is abusive or invasive, especially sexual harassment. FreedomFest is not a place for behavior that is inappropriate, off-topic, disruptive, abusive, or criminal. 

FreedomFest defines inappropriate behavior as that which undermines the spirit of FreedomFest, including any form of written, verbal or physical abuse or threats; the use of derogatory or discriminatory language, gestures or actions; any form of harassment, including sexual harassment, racism, sexism, or any other targeted comments which may cause harm to another FreedomFest participant before, during or after the FreedomFest events, including via the FreedomFest mobile app, through social media channels, while engaging in any online aspect of the events, or any other method of communication or interaction.

By choosing to attend FreedomFest you acknowledge and accept the risks inherent in being in public places. Participants should carefully consider their personal circumstances before attending. Anyone attending or taking part in the event must use their own good judgment, follow all guidelines/laws, and take reasonable care to avoid injury to their health, person or property.

Contact Valerie Durham, Executive Director, ([email protected]) or Matt Day, Director of Programming, ([email protected]) if you believe you’ve observed or experienced a violation of this Code of Conduct, and FreedomFest will work to assess the situation and to respond as soon as possible. Notifying FreedomFest does not constitute or replace a notification to local law enforcement. All suspected violations of the law should be reported to local law enforcement. For emergencies, immediately dial 9-1-1.

Filming, Photography and Audio Recording in Progress

All sessions at FreedomFest are audio recorded for archival purposes. Sessions that take place in the main ballroom are also video recorded for archiving and livestream purposes. Various photographers are taking photographic images throughout the conference in all meeting spaces. Additionally, various media outlets will be broadcasting FreedomFest activities and events. By attending and participating in FreedomFest, you agree to allow your likeness and voice to be potentially captured and shared by audio and video.

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