Rockstock and Barrels Rolls Through on Saturday

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Get ready to hang ten, catch some air and rock out to some tunes. The 11th Annual Rockstock and Barrels Surf/Skate and Music Festival is Saturday, June 24.

Head down to Beach 92nd and the boardwalk on Saturday for an all day funfest celebrating surfing, skateboarding, live music and the Rockaway community. The surf action starts around 8 a.m., with the full festival kicking off at 10 a.m. and going to when the beaches close at 6 p.m., but there will be even more fun taking place with an after party to follow at Low Tide bar.

Back in 2006, Jimmy Dowd of St. James Clothing, Walker Hornung of Into the Whip Records and Steve Stathis of Boarders Surf Shop, collaborated to bring the first ever Rockstock and Barrels festival to celebrate the Parks Department designating Beach 90th Street as a surf beach and bringing a skate park to the area. Now in its 11th year, Rockstock and Barrels is a successful event that continues to get bigger and bigger, with more than 8,000 people attending last year’s festival. The Parks Department, which also hosts the event, calls it one of the biggest events on the boardwalk. This year will be no different.

The Eastern Surfing Association surf contests kicks off at 8 a.m. The contest includes shortboard, longboard and bodyboard contests for both males and females of all different age groups. There is an entry fee of $30 to $40 depending on the event. For more information about the contest, head to ny.surfesa.org.

Details about the skate contest were not available by press time, as the Beach 91st Street skate park has been undergoing some work, but all skateboarders are encouraged to stop by as there will be cash prizes available for those with the best tricks.

Don’t forget to bring your wallet, as there will be plenty of goodies to buy, with as many as 50 vendors expected. St. James Clothing and Boarders, both sponsors of the event, will be among them. Visitors won’t go hungry either. Local food vendors like Caracas, Beach Bistro 96, Uncle Louie G’s and ByTheBeach Coconuts will be on hand, plus Bubba’s Clams. “A majority of the vendors on the boardwalk are from the neighborhood. Come shop and support your local businesses,” Dowd said. The Red Bull MTK truck featuring a DJ booth and the Queens Library bus will also be on hand, giving people even more options for the day.

Besides surfing, skating and shopping, one of the biggest draws of Rockstock and Barrels is the music, and there will be plenty of it this year. A new band based out of Long Island, Baked Shrimp, will open up the show at 10 a.m. They’ll be followed by Wolkoff, an electronic music artist at 11 a.m. Hip hop/ funk band Grim Pickens will play at noon. Coming all the way from Puerto Rico, the Disfunction will play at 1 p.m. “They’re like the Indaculture of Rincon,” Hornung says. Speaking of Indaculture, they’ll be playing this year as Rockstock doesn’t clash with the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Indaculture is a beloved local favorite. They’ll be on at 2 p.m. Walker himself, along with The Brotherhood of the Grape, will be performing at 3 p.m., and with a new rock album out last November and an electronic album out this past February, they’ll have plenty of new tunes along with their old favorites. The Hop City Hellcats may be coming from upstate, but they know how to honky tonk and will be keeping it country at 4 p.m. Topping off the event at 5 p.m. is the John Scarpulla Band. Hornung calls this blues, soul and rock and roll band a not-to-miss act.

While all of the bands comes from different areas and bring a different vibe and sound, Hornung says they all have something in common. “We do this event for the love of it, and I do the music portion to help get new bands exposed. All of the bands that are playing and that have played Rockstock over the years are bands that play original music. We don’t have cover bands because it’s hard enough for bands that play original music to get gigs, so we do this so original bands can break through and get noticed. There’s an influx of cover bands and tribute bands and it’s difficult for young musicians to find that place to play in front of a large crowd like this. I was in their position,” Hornung said. “When I look back at where my music career was, I realize that I couldn’t have been where I am now without certain people making decisions and believing in me. This is my way of paying that forward to the new, original bands of today. We need original music. Without it, there wouldn’t be any tribute bands.”

The John Scarpulla Band may end at 6 p.m., but the excitement continues at the Beach 97th Concession, where the after party will be held. HoneyChrome will open the show starting at 6 p.m., followed by Exit Verona, who will play until 10 p.m.

Rockstock and Barrels will go on, rain or shine. The organizers encourage everyone to come out for this free event that is fun for the whole family. “If you enjoy the beach, shopping, live music and good food, you should come out. There’s something for the whole family and it doesn’t cost a thing,” Dowd said.

“We welcome everyone, not just people who are into surfing and skateboarding. There are plenty of things to do for the family and we want everyone from the neighborhood to come out and support it and have fun. Without Rockaway, these businesses and bands are nothing. We know this and this is our way of giving back so that everybody can have something fun to do to kick off the summer,” Hornung said.

For more information about the festival and vending opportunities, check out www.rockstocknyc.net

 

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