Written by Elise Olmstead
There are some festivals that we often describe as “doing it right,” and Rooster Walk is one of those festivals. Rooster Walk Inc. is a non-profit dedicated to promoting music, art, and education in Martinsville-Henry County. Festivals with charitable initiatives and community support are successful because the attendees can feel good about their participation and the locals get involved as well. “The Festival celebrates life and the notion that you shouldn’t waste a moment of it.” The great thing about Rooster Walk Festival, is not only the cause behind it, but the stellar quality of music they bring every year and the family friendly vibes.
Started by William Baptist and Johnny Buck in memory of their friends Edwin “the Rooster” Penn and Walker Shank, Rooster Walk Inc., has multiple charitable projects including the “Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship Fund” and the “Rooster Walk Music Instrument Program.” They also donate to other local charities, playing a role in the betterment of Martinsville through education and positive life values.
The Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship Fund gives an award of $4,000 each year to an outstanding senior at Martinsville High School, and their newest initiative Rooster Walk Music Instrument Program donates instruments and funds to band programs in Martinsville City and Henry County. By collecting old band instruments from the public and repairing and refurbishing them, they are able to give students who may not be able to afford to rent or buy an instrument, the chance to play music in their school’s band.
Rooster Walk is now in it’s 10th year and showing no signs of slowing down, in fact the company is growing – organizing Brewster Walk in uptown Martinsville, VA with craft beers and live music. The musical lineup is always getting bigger and better, while still representing up and coming talent. This year their headliners include The Wood Brothers, JJ Grey & Mofro, Billy Strings, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, TAUK, Zach Deputy, The Mantras, and many more, plus a special King & Strings performance with Billy Strings and Marcus King of Marcus King Band.
The event takes place May 24-27, 2018 at Pop’s Farm in Martinsville, VA. There is music Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and 4 day tickets are currently $175. VIP tickets are currently sold out, but you can still spring for extras like a “Basecamp Package” that includes a tent set up and ready for you. Buy your tickets now to save money off the gate price!