The Rooster Walk Arts & Music Festival, situated in Martinsville, Virginia, has established itself as a prominent platform for hosting acclaimed bands from across the nation every Memorial Day weekend for the past 13 years. Showcasing a fusion of rock, blues, bluegrass, funk, and folk, Rooster Walk caters to a diverse range of musical preferences. One of its remarkable qualities is its family-friendly atmosphere, welcoming music enthusiasts of all ages. For tickets, camping reservations, and the lineup of performing bands, head over to their website.
Johnny, a former high school classmate of the Rooster Walk founders in Martinsville, has played a crucial role in shaping the event's branding and marketing materials since its inception. In true collaboration with Jay Frank, Ryan Grice, Chad Bassett, and other talented designers from the local community, they have dedicated their efforts to ensure the event's growth and success over the years. Their collective contributions have made a lasting impact on Rooster Walk, establishing it as a beloved cultural event in Martinsville and beyond. Together, they have worked to capture the essence of Rooster Walk's spirit, resonating with both the local community and music enthusiasts alike.
The Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival was established as a heartfelt tribute to two cherished childhood friends, Edwin "the Rooster" Penn and Walker Shank, who tragically passed away in their twenties. This event stands as a celebration of life and a powerful reminder to seize every moment with purpose. In November 2007, Edwin's life was cut short due to a dirt-bike accident, while Walker, suffering from an undiagnosed heart issue, passed away in his sleep in December 2008. Moved by their untimely losses, close friends of Edwin and Walker came together and envisioned a music festival as a fitting and meaningful way to honor their memory. The Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of these remarkable individuals and a profound invitation for all to embrace the precious gift of life.
The Rooster Walk festival was established with the aim of supporting a college scholarship fund at Martinsville High School, the alma mater of the founders. Over the course of 13 festivals, they have raised more than $270,000 for local and regional charities. A new charitable initiative by Rooster Walk Inc., called the Music Instrument Program, collects used band instruments from the public, refurbishes them, and donates them to entry-level band programs in the Martinsville City and Henry County public school systems. The festival has gained recognition for its positive impact on tourism and the local community, contributing to the area's social fabric and enhancing its quality of life.
Katie King Rumford