The 8th annual Rockstock and Barrels Festival 2014 went off with a bang yesterday. There were blue skies and plenty of sunshine. The only missing element were waves. But what are you going to do? The East Coast isn’t known for pumping surf in the summer. Yet despite the flat conditions, that didn’t stop people from coming. It was a bona fide event, with 17 bands spread across two stages, a skating contest, surfing contest, big name sponsors like Red Bull and a unique collection of vendors.
The Rockstock and Barrels festival was founded by Jimmy Dowd of St. James Clothing, Walker Hornung of Invisible Sun Booking Agency and Into the Whip Records and Steve Stathis of Boarders Surf Shop. Local musician/surfer Matthew Kiss and his band kicked off the festival on the main stage.
The festival featured over 30 booths from a wide variety of vendors and sponsors, like Matador Surfboards, Rockaway Pop Up Shop, Skudin Surf School, St. James Clothing, artist Kelly Meagher, Rockaway Militia, and Draugsvold Jewelry just to name a few.
Red Bull showed up with the ultimate beach party mobile. Not only can this badass all-terrain vehicle blaze a path across practically any beach on the planet, it comes equipped with an extended roof, four booming speakers and a slamming sound system.
The crowd grew by the hour. Here’s a shot of the main stage, the famed surfing jetty in the background, and the intruding pipeline that some mistook for the controversial Rockaway Pipeline. But the pipeline in the photo isn’t being used to transport radioactive natural gas, it’s actually being used for the sand replenishment project that’s currently underway along the peninsula.
Some call me a shameless self-promoter. I have no idea why. Here’s a shot of my booth where I not only sold my novel, Waiting For The Bomb, but also some of my wife’s photography. If you didn’t get a chance to grab a copy of my book, you can get one here.
The guys from Locals surf school not only know how to surf (and teach), but they also know how to throw a party. Their summer kick off party at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club a couple of weeks ago was of epic proportions. Here’s a shot of co-owner Michael Kololyan giving an Indo Board demo.
One band that really caught my eye (or rather, ear) was The King’s Heartbeat. The band features Rockstock co-founder Walker Hornung, and it’s just one of Hornung’s many musical projects, including Q-South, Soca, and The Brotherhood of The Grape.
There was a lot of interesting art for sale along vendor’s row, but one standout was a dual exhibit by Tracey Greene and Katherine McNamme. Greene showcased here work on canvas while, McNamme had a school of copper and fiberglass fish floating from the support beams of their tent.
* All photos by Michelle Jesipaz.