Rooster Walk Preview

May 26-29, 2016, Martinsville, VA

Written by Matthew Wickstrom

Buy tickets here!

For festival-goers, Memorial Day weekend is like a buffet — so many tantalizing options, and never enough time to get a taste of them all. One of the weekend’s most appetizing dishes will be Rooster Walk, held on Pop’s Farm in Martinsville, Virginia. Local favorites Wild Ponies will make their return to town for the festival, riding the momentum of their new album “Radiant”, which released May 13.

The topical content in the husband and wife duo’s music is like a smorgageboard, touching on everything from dying small towns to tarot cards to Catwaba trees. One song in particular off of “Radiant” titled “Unplug the Machine” manages to touch on everything from the islamic state and Sandy Hook to Penn State and cat memes, playing off many themes and similarities in Billy Joel’s hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.

“It feels like the 2016 version”, said Telisha Williams. “I don’t think Billy Joel was thinking about social media. Social media has had such an impact on our culture and how we consume and perpetuate news.”

Rooster Walk kicks off next Thursday, May 26, at 6pm with music from the Truckstop Preachers, followed by the Fernandez Sisters, Cabinet, and Virginia rockers People’s Blues of Richmond. Wild Ponies will perform on the Radial main stage on festival Friday from 5:45-7:15pm, and will be accompanied by a Foothills Brewing special tapping. New Belgium, Founder’s, and Lagunitas breweries will also have special tappings throughout the weekend.

On Saturday morning, Wild Ponies will perform with Larry Keel and Lizzy Ross at a brunch benefitting the Rooster Walk Music Instrument Program. Tickets have already sold out for the brunch.

Other acts throughout the holiday weekend include Lettuce, Sam Bush, The Revivalists, Tab Benoit, The Motet, Jon Stickley Trio, and many more.

Aside from the stellar music and tasty craft brews, there will be healing arts sessions and kid’s activities a plenty, including yoga, massages, all-natural facials, slip-n-slide, kids’ open mic, tye dye workshop, and much more.

If Memorial Day weekend is like a buffet for music fans, then Rooster Walk is like a four-course meal, providing the best in local, regional, and national talent in a hidden oasis that only grows stronger as a community with each passing year. Pull up a chair and get your utensils ready — Rooster Walk will leave you stuffed to the gills and your appetite for music satisfied. To view the full lineup of bands and activities at the festival or to purchase tickets, visit

“We’re so proud of what they’re doing with that festival”, said Telisha Williams. “Those are guys we went to high school and grew up with. Johnny Buck (Rooster Walk organizer) and I went to the same church. It’s great to see something like (Rooster Walk) start and continue to grow. They have great artists coming in, and we love to make it home. A lot of our friends still live in the (Martinsville) area and others come back for Rooster Walk, so it’s like a bit of a reunion.”