Written by Maria Ekaterina.

Photos by Roger Gupta.

Rooster Walk 11 / Photo by Roger Gupta


It’s easy to see why Rooster Walk, one of Virginia’s best music and arts festivals, upholds it’s legendary small fest feel with its many noteworthy moments in its eleventh successful year. Rooster Walk was born out of the tragic death of Edwin “the Rooster” Penn and Walker Shank. The two lost their lives in 2007/2008 to unforeseen circumstances just a few months apart from each other. In memory of Penn and Shank, close friends brought Rooster Walk along with the Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship fund to life. Nigal Davis is the recipient of the 2019 Penn-Shank Memorial Scholarship award, granting him $1,000 per year for up to four years of college.


Cooling down at the Pine Grove Stage / Photo by Roger Gupta

The high amount of positive, uplifting, generous and  community strengthening ripples created by Rooster Walk, make it easy to see why this four-day event continues to feel like home, while reminding weekend participants to live every moment to the fullest. Blossoming into its second decade, Rooster Walk 11 surpassed previous years in every aspect by turning up a well organized and highly positive weekend at Pop’s Farm. High spirited organizers continue to surprise new and returning patrons with visually pleasing aesthetics mixed between uniquely presented musical acts all weekend long. Rooster Walk takes really great care of their supporters by providing free golf card rides, making it easy as pie to get from the campsite to the music. Whether the weekend was spent hidden under the shade in a hammock or refilling the glass with some fresh, cold beer the weekend was positively perfect.

Leslie Caneda (Left), Jaimie Phillips (Right) / Photo by Roger Gupta

Between four days & nights, six stages were packed with bands from across the country. Music rang from between the pine trees all weekend long while magic was made in the moments between. Having a fruit smoothie breakfast in a hammock under a shady tree and listening to Chamomile & Whiskey curated a surreal moment of relaxation. There are numerous festivals but what makes Rooster Walk so very special are the people who help us see more than we sometimes allow ourselves. Leslie Caneda, Jaimie Phillips, Clara Heaton and Samuel Navarre share their visually uniquely, artistic translations of art for us to see blossom throughout the weekend. These live painters have a tremendously vivacious, overall vibe that draws people into a beautifully honest trance while interacting with them. Each with a signature style of their own, they curated a filled Art Gallery with beautiful works of art.

Galactic with Erica Falls / Photo by Roger Gupta

Rooster Walk has accomplished something incredibly difficult in its eleventh year. Keeping a cap on ticket sales allows for big acts to showcase and be heard by a phenomenal collection of individuals in a small, pristine and intimate setting. Here, there is less of a barrier between the artist and lovers of art this weekend curated for people to enjoy.

The Folly / Photo by Roger Gupta

Enthusiastic sets rang throughout the weekend providing kids of all ages with something new to enjoy. With easy lay out of the land, along with complimenting set schedules; seeing Kate Rhudy in the early afternoon at the Eye Level Series stage and making it over to catch Disco Risque at Ballast Point Lake stage is a breeze. Seeing authentically soulful Adar share a piece of her rocking soul with the crowd is exactly the kind of do not miss sets Rooster Walk 11 curates. Along with soulful Rock N’ Roll, Funk, Gospel, Southern Rock and Bluegrass; Jam bands brought on a wide variety of intermingling sets. Big Something delivered an enriching fusion of psychedelic jam during their Friday night set on the Ballast Point Lake Stage. Participating in the warm hospitality of the weekend, Big Something invited multi-talented Issac Hadden to join them on stage before the night was done.

Photo by Roger Gupta

 Uniting with friends amidst passion filled musicians ready to set our souls on fire is what Rooster Walk is about. There is no place like Pop’s farm where people are free to express their raw self, experience serendipitous magic all around and remind people to live each moment to the fullest while generously giving back to the local community. Enriching the atmosphere each night, fire performers lit up the night next to the Bassett Lawn Stage & Ballast Point Lake Stage.  Fire My Spirit Productions and HeadSpin Hoop Troupe brought on phenomenal fire shows during Turkuaz, Marcus King Band, Galactic and the incredibly soulful Sunday night King & Strings Set. With fire performers enticing the audience, the legendary Marcus King & Billy Strings resonating through the field Sunday night and a field full of friends, wrapped the weekend with a nice little bow as a cool shower blessed the heated weekend.

Happy Campers / Rooster Walk 11/ Photo by Roger Gupta

Leslie Caneda / Rooster Walk 11 / Photo by Roger Gupta

Feeling this generous community empower the weekend to carry on the positive legacy of Edwin “the Rooster” Penn and Walker Shank by assisting the futures of the next generation, is one of the remarkably high reasons to put Rooster Walk on the “do not miss list” next year. The small intimate atmosphere, high spirited hospitality for patrons, VIP and GA alike, creates a natural way to be a part of something bigger than self.  We can only imagine the positive impact Rooster Walk will bring forth in its second decade. This highly enthusiastic and truly rewarding weekend continues its ripple effect on the community year around. From true freedoms to the legendary music and memories made on site each year, you won’t want to miss a moment of this magic during Memorial Day weekend in 2020.

Rooster Walk Website: https://roosterwalk.com/

Full photo album by Roger Gupta: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheJamwich/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2267423973347988

Additional Photos from the weekend by Dakota James Craig can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheJamwich/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2249389131818139

Pine Grove Stage / Rooster Walk 11 / Photo by Roger Gupta

See you next year Rooster Walk // Photo by Roger Gupta