Thousands come out for Rocktown Beer and Music Festival

Published: Apr. 16, 2022 at 9:39 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Rocktown Beer and Music Festival went on downtown Saturday afternoon for the first time in two years due to the pandemic, and it’s safe to say people were ready for this event to be back.

“It’s a way to get together as a group of friends, but also be able to establish yourself as someone who’s living here as a student but also interested in the sort of beer and cider community its a great way to get combined with not only your classmates but people who live in Harrisonburg,” Jackie Anderson, who attended the festival said.

Organizers say over 2,000 people were expected to show up throughout the day.

The festival offers 10 four-ounce craft beer flights along with live music and local food vendors.

“She texted me about it and said ‘it seems like fun, it’ll be on a Saturday downtown’ and I was like I’m in,” Erin Davis, who attended the festival said.

As COVID restrictions ease, people say they felt more comfortable coming to the event this year rather than in the last few. The event also had sanitation stations in place along with plenty of open space outdoors for distancing.

“Because of COVID especially, having access to live music, especially as a student at JMU that access, where it was right down the road, was extremely ... extremely in line for what I wanted to see,” Anderson said.

Live music was definitely one of the driving factors for people coming out to the festival, but the other big one was their want to support small businesses.

“The fact that also it helps the businesses downtown so like how a bunch of the breweries, Three Notch’d, Pale Fire, Devil’s Backbone, Bold Rock they all are able to sponsor the event,” Anderson said.

The festival is put on by Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and is sponsored by local businesses like Jack Browns and Ryan Homes.

“As a small business it’s important to integrate yourself and give back ... it’s a way to give back to the community,” Anderson said.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the festival to take off once again. Clear, sunny skies and warm temperatures created the perfect atmosphere for Saturday’s festival.

“A Saturday in late April,” Davis said. “It’s perfect.”

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