Pocock Rocks returning to Bristol this weekend

BRISTOL — Join friends old and new in downtown Bristol this Saturday as Main Street is turned into a showcase for Vermont’s funkiest tunes, food, drinks and fun at the seventh Pocock Rocks Music Festival and Street Fair.
After a hiatus last year, Pocock Rocks is back from 3 to 8 p.m. and open to all who want to kick off the summer with style and a little groove. Local bands will be rocking all day with back-to-back performances on two stages at either end of the street.
Additionally, regional eateries, brewers, distillers and vendors will occupy the center of the street, and Bristol’s own restaurants and shops will be open for festivalgoers to enjoy all day. 
The line-up for musical performances includes some of Vermont’s best-known acts: Daddy Long Legs, the Michele Fay Band, Aaron Flinn, Richard Ruane and Beth Duquette, Rick Redington with Heather Lynne and Becca Kodis, the Starline Rhythm Boys and the Big Basin Band. If you don’t get enough music during the day, Hatch 31 (31 Main St.) will host an after party featuring Lowell Thompson and Waylon Speed’s Kelly Ravin.
Danny Coane, who plays acoustic rhythm guitar for the Starline Rhythm Boys, is looking forward to returning to Bristol, where the band has played the July Fourth Festival in the past. This drummerless “Tennessee Trio” includes Coane, Al Lemery on electric lead guitar and Billy Bratcher on acoustic upright “slap” bass.
“We know a bunch of these performers … we have connections throughout Addison County and so it will be way cool to play this festival,” Coane said.
The Boys, who play a mix of vintage country, honky-tonk and rockabilly, are celebrating 18 years of bringing their unique sound to stages throughout Vermont.
New to the scene in Pocock (the original, 18th-century name of Bristol) is the acoustic trio of Rick Redington, Heather Lynne and Becca Kodis. Although familiar to music lovers in Bristol separately, the three will be playing as a trio for the first time, and at an outside festival for the first time.
“We’re looking forward to a great reception up there,” said Redington. “Any of these small-town things are great because people can come out, it’s not in a bar or anything, so they can bring their kids and enjoy the music in an open, community setting.”
Listeners can expect a mix of blues, folk, rock and reggae from the trio, who will be performing a number of originals by Redington.
The event, free and rain-or-shine, will also feature a number of activities for kids, making it a perfect destination for everyone. The Vermont National Guard climbing wall, a bounce house and VW PhotoBus, plus a number of jewelry, craft, clothing and book vendors will be the perfect excuse to peel away from the food and drinks, if even for a moment.
BristolCORE, a nonprofit organization focused on helping Bristol remain one of Vermont’s 24 “designated downtowns,” plans the event and is determined to bring Bristol and Main Street to life with a balance of outside and local vendors and entertainment.
“The idea is to keep Bristol an interesting, dynamic and fun community, and place to live, work, shop and dine,” said Ian Albinson, a member of BristolCORE since 2011 and executive director for the past year.
Albinson has been working with a committee of 10 to organize Pocock Rocks this year. The event began in 2009 as a festival that educates people about Bristol. Over the years, the event has morphed and become much more focused on exhibiting local food, drinks and music.
This year, Albinson and the committee are hoping to cultivate a more hip vibe and attract a wide range of Vermonters.
“If you know Bristol and you live here, it’s fun to have vendors who you don’t usually see. If you’re from out of town and you’ve never been to Bristol, hopefully it’s an exciting thing to get you here,” he said.
For the first time, the committee hand-picked vendors based on personal preference, according to Albinson. He stressed that vendors were chosen to complement those businesses already in Bristol.
“Because we’re limited to the amount of booths and vendors we can put on Main Street, the idea, at least this year, was to choose as many vendors as possible so that, when you left the festival this year, it would be memorable. Visitors will hopefully remember the festival, remember the town and want to come back to it,” he said.
Albinson also revealed that, new this year, the event will feature two alcoholic areas instead of the one it has had in the past. The roped-in areas next to each stage will feature brewers and distillers popular around Vermont.
“We’re trying to get a good flow … there will be a reason to walk down the street and then come back,” he said.
For more information, go online to facebook.com/pocockrocks.

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