Last year, Springfield and Lakemore Township, two little towns on opposite banks of Summit County’s Springfield Lake, joined forces to present Rock the Docks — a powerboat-racing event sanctioned by the American Powerboat Racing Association — which they turned into a full-blown music festival.
Now, Rock the Docks is back for a second year this weekend, with more than 30 local acts performing on two stages from 3-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. The range of participating artists is vast — from soul-groove singer-songwriter Robin Stone (who will perform at 5 Friday, and also kick off the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday), punk-rockers Ellen DeGenerate, rockabilly trio Rumble Daddy, country singer Cheyenne West, soul/funk-rockers Winslow, new-age instrumental group Rare Blend, southern-style rock bands the Dallas Marks Band and Last Stone Cast, psychedelic rockers Simeon Soul Charger, reggae and hip-hip-influenced Tropidelic, the self-explanatory LT and the Blues Express, and hard rockers such as Drenalin, Nemesis 3 and Mad Crush. There will also be an air-guitar contest between bands with a real Fender guitar and B.C. Rich amp awarded to the winner.
Not only does the festival focus on local artists — with a majority from the immediate Akron/Summit County area — it’s one of the few such family-friendly, community summertime festivals to offer a lineup that performs almost entirely original music. Says Lori Strittmatter, who organized the music end of Rock the Docks, “We could have gone with tribute bands like so many other festivals, but we figured those bands have enough places to play. We wanted to show people how many good original bands there are around here.”
A free pontoon boat will shut festivalgoers from one side of the lake to the other. The event will also include food vendors, rides, craft booths and fireworks. Oh, and it’s free. Go here or call 330.794.1739 for more information. —Anastasia Pantsios