Rock N Brews Festival in Manchester

Rock N Brews Festival in Manchester

Rock N Brews Festival in Manchester

Billy Wylder is one of the bands playing at Rock N Brews.

Billy Wylder is one of the bands playing at Rock N Brews.

The Rock N Brews Concert Series, a series of musical events presented by the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Anchored Media and Hopridge Farms, will be making its debut in Manchester this spring.

The second concert of the series will be held at the Northshire Civic Center at Riley Rink on Sunday, May 20. The event will coincide with the Shires of Vermont Marathon taking place that same day. The marathon, starting at Bennington College at 8 a.m., will finish at the Riley Rink as the concert series kicks off around noon, and will feature four regional musical acts this time around.

“The first concert focused more on punk and emo styles of music. This one will have a much different feel as we focus on bluegrass, country and alternative,’” explains Joe Frey of Anchored Media, musical director of the event. “We were excited to partner with Jon Larson and the Northshire Civic Center to bring this to the community.”

Opening up the day is the local outlaw country/cow-punk band, Bubba Lou Tugget. Next up is the Boston-based Billy Wylder, bringing sounds from around the globe to meld with their American roots, taking the listener on a journey from bayou to borough, desert to dreamland, followed by the sweet harmonies of the progressive folk and singer/songwriter Honeysuckle. Last but not least, local favorites Luminous Crush, fronted by Laura Molinelli and Ben Campbell, joined by Christian Heins, Brad Waugaman and Paul Carroccio, offering their original dreamlike pop and rock vignettes.

Another twist during the event will be the focus on one brewery in the Shires – Madison Brewing Company will be featuring the recent release of their canned brews.

“We’re always looking at ways to create something new and fresh,” says Will Gardner of Hopridge Farm. “We just had a very successful event with our homebrewers at the sold-out Wings and Winter Homebrew Festival in Bennington. When we were discussing options for the Rock N Brews series, we thought highlighting the success of Madison’s new canning process would be a great concept.”

The brew portion of the event is managed by Hopridge Farms, organizers of the Four Corners North Homebrew Festival and the award-winning Southern Vermont Wings and Winter Homebrew Festival.

Spirits of Old Bennington will also be there pouring samples of their signature spirits, and Hound Dogs and Lulu Pouf organic cotton candy will be the featured food vendors.

Tickets are available at for $15; they be $20 at the door. Racers in the marathon are encouraged to attend and receive a discount on tickets.

“This is an important event to us, as it’s our first opportunity in the Northshire,” says Matt Harrington, executive director of the Chamber. “As we look to regionalize the Chamber, along with our services and events, we wanted to make sure we spread our events from both Shires. We have a couple other event partnerships that we’ve been working on that we’re excited to roll out in the Northshire as well. Whether a resident or a visitor, you will be able to celebrate the great things that make this region so unique.”  You can find out more at


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