U20 Rockfest a smash hit

None Such Luck were among the bands to play the inaugural U20 Rockfest, a free outdoor concert held in Conservation Park on June 28. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Napanee’s inaugural U20 Rockfest in Conservation Park was a great success. The festival brought together five of the region’s best under-20 bands for a free, non-competitive afternoon of music. Organizers estimate about 250 people attended the festival throughout the five-hour program.

“We couldn’t have had a better day weather-wise,” says Michelle Hauser, Creative Director of the Harmony Lounge & Music Club who co-organized the Rockfest with the Town of Greater Napanee’s Arts & Culture Advisory Committee. “So many of the performers commented on the beautiful riverside pavilion location. Everyone had a great time and really appreciated all the friends and fans who came out to support the festival.”

Zen rocks the stage. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Hauser says the real “superstars” of the day were the many sponsors who helped keep the festival free and accessible to the community. “We are so grateful to Cowle Law, Jimmi’s Italian Kitchen, the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF), the Union of Professional Musicians, Local 518, Queen’s Players, L&A Mutual Insurance Co. and  myFM 88.7 for making this event happen.”

Featured bands included Zen (Kingston), Nonesuch Luck (Kingston), Nate the Nobody (Napanee), Interrobang (Kingston), and Third Time’s a Charm (Belleville-Napanee). “All together, including the early bird set by Harmony’s Junior Band, we had 22 performers, drawn from 2 elementary schools, 8 area high schools and 1 college,” says Hauser. “All the bands stayed for the whole festival to support one another and that was really encouraging to see.”


A Rockfest highlight was the Megaband finale, which featured a collaboration between Kingston’s

The event was capped with a megaband collab finale featuring Interrobang and Harmony’s mentors’ band, Third Time’s a Charm. Submitted photo.

. “Harmony has been partnering with Interrobang on youth rock showcases for just over a year now,” says Hauser, “and when I approached their front man, Talyn Brown, about leading both bands, and the crowd, in a cover of Champagne Supernova to close the show he said ‘Yes!’ right away. Together they captured the spirit of community and collaboration we were trying to achieve with the U20 Rockfest. I’ve never been so proud of a group of young men in my entire life.”

Hauser says that there is a strong foundation from which to build a new signature event. “I talked to a couple who were leaving at the end of the night, with their lawn chairs under their arms, and asked them if they had a family member in one of the bands. They were like, ‘No, we just thought it was a great idea and hope to see another one.’”

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