Recipe For Success

Rocktown Beer And Music Festival Organizers Slate Fall Offering

Posted: September 4, 2014

Daily News-Record

Given the success of the spring Rocktown Beer and Music Festival, this fall, organizers decided to forgo Wine and Dine and instead offer a second round of the hoppy happening. (Photo by Jason Lenhart / DN-R, File)
Rocktown Beer and Music Festival will host its fall installment from 2:30-8 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Turner Pavilion. (Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R, File)

Great beer, good eats and fun music is a great combination any time of the year, right?

That’s what the Rocktown Beer and Music Festival organizers are arguing with the first ever fall edition of the annual event to be held Sept. 20.

The festival, started by local entrepreneurs Tim Brady and Aaron Ludwig in 2011, has taken over the Friendly City one Saturday every spring since.

But with each having sold out to this point, the organizers decided to try something new — with the same popular recipe, of course.

“We try and keep a pretty limited focus, which is beer, music and food,” said Brady, part-owner of a new local brewery set to open this year, Pale Fire Brewing Company. “We try to do those three as well as we can.”

This fall edition is replacing another festival project by Brady and Ludwig, the Rocktown Wine and Dine Festival, which wasn’t gaining the same traction as its hoppy counterpart.


Noteworthy Changes
Though the upcoming festival will still be anchored at Turner Pavilion, guests will pour out into the parking lot instead of the grassy area, which is being used for city construction work.

“We’re going to flip our footprint,” explained Brady.

Also different this time around, Three Brothers Brewing will be the main sponsor. As always, the event is presented by Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, with a host of other sponsors.

Three musical acts are slated to perform: Nashville-based singer Nikki Lane, Charlottesville-based singer Carl Anderson and seven-piece Talking Heads tribute band Start Making Sense.

Other than those changes, the festival will look — and taste — very similar.

As in the spring, at least 60 craft beers from more than 30 breweries will be on tap, and local restaurants will provide food.

It will be harder for this event to sell out, simply because more slots are available.

“We have resources to fit up to 4,000 people if we need to, so we’ll see,” said Ludwig, co-owner of Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint and Billy Jack’s Wing Draft Shack, both in downtown Harrisonburg.

The grassy area where the festival has been confined in the past only allows for 3,000 attendees.

People may not be expecting a second festival this year, and September offers many other competing events in the Valley, but tickets have already started selling well for the event, Ludwig said.

“We’re already seeing a very similar trend through our ticket sales,” he explained.

Full access tickets are $34, with designated driver and underage passes selling for $22. The event will run from 2:30-8 p.m.

For more information, visit

Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or

NDN Video News