Rooster Walk 6 Features Diverse Lineup
May 22-25, 2014
Martinsville, VA
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the Infamous Stringdusters, singer-songwriters Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott and Anders Osborne among the headliners.
 By Lisa Snedeker
MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Think Rooster Walk is for the birds? Then you’ve never attended the best “Underground Festival” in the Southeast as it’s been branded by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.
The annual four-day Memorial Day weekend event set just north of Martinsville, Va., off U.S. 220 in the heart of the Piedmont foothills is for anyone who enjoys listening to live music with a lot of new friends.
For the uninitiated, Rooster Walk is a bit of a misnomer because it has nothing to do with chickens nor is it an official walk.  You may, however, spot the occasional rooster tail or crown sprouting from a festival goer’s head and there is a bit of walking from one stage to the other between sets.
“Rooster Walk 6 is going to be an amazing little music festival,” says co-founder and organizer Johnny Buck. “We’ve sold out of VIP tickets for the first time, and we’re really proud of the band lineup. Most of the headliners are playing two-hour sets, and we’ve got the Tuff Strutter 5K trail race returning. This year’s festival is going to be the best one yet.”
Among the impressive acts Buck and William Baptist, the other co-founder of Rooster Walk, have put together for the May 22-25 Rooster Walk 6 Music and Arts Festival are Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the Infamous Stringdusters, singer-songwriters Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott, Anders Osborne, the Pimps of Joytime, Particle, Yarn, The Lee Boys, Stephane Wrembel & His Band, James Justin & Co., the Kings of Belmont, Sanctum Sully, After Jack, the Jon Stickley Trio, Hotel de Ville, Urth, Mason Via & Friends and many more.
The family-friendly fest, which features on-site camping, food vendors, music workshops and kids’ activities, is like going to a backyard cookout with your friends with music, according to Jessica Beverage of Charlottesville, who attended Rooster Walk 5.  “It’s down to earth,” she said. “It’s not pretentious. We just dig it.”
Imagine Bonnaroo without the crowds or MerleFest with craft beer.
Located at the Blue Mountain Festival Grounds, the festival was started six years ago to celebrate the lives of two close friends who died too young — Edwin “The Rooster” Penn and Walker Shank. The first two years, Rooster Walk drew fewer than 1,000 people. Organizers estimate that 3,500 people attended the 2013 festival. A portion of the proceeds goes to a scholarship fund for Martinsville High School seniors. More than $30,000 has been donated to the Penn Shank Memorial Scholarship Fund since 2009.
Rooster Walk Inc., is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to music, arts and education in the Martinsville/Henry County area.
Single-day tickets, multi-day passes and camping passes are available. Prices go up May 1. For more information, including ticket prices, visit
Lisa Snedeker is a freelance entertainment writer who lives in Madison, N.C..