Rock House Center for the Arts in Reeds Spring, MO presents the 13th Annual Rock House Outdoor Music Festival Saturday June 3rd starting at 2:00pm at Flavie Field, 22601 Main Street in Reeds Spring. Gates open at 1:30—“11:00pm is when the city shuts us down,” says Jeannette Baird of Rock House. She says the soccer field is about two blocks—“walking distance”—from the Rock House.
When the festival started 13 years ago, says Baird, “we started out small, with 50 people in our back yard. It became too big for our back yard about three years ago, so we moved it the city’s municipal soccer field, Flavie Field right next to City Hall and the WPA building. And that can hold a couple thousand.” The house-concert series in Reeds Spring has been going on for nearly 30 years, says Baird. “When we moved to the Rock House we wanted to do an outdoor barbeque in the early summer, late spring. And I think Mark Bilyeu and Cindy Woolf were our first (performers). We had corn on the cob, chicken on the grill, and like I said, about 50 people. And we thought, ‘Oh, that was successful!’ So we did it again. And it just built from there.”
The daylong festival starts with the third annual Rock House Singer-Songwriter Competition. “We have an online competition, three finalists. They come and perform in front of three judges tomorrow. Then our last year’s winner, singer-songwriter Allison Neil, will do the opening set. From there we kind of graduate to Medicine Man Show, a three-piece kind of fun folk-rock band. Then we go to National Park Radio, a fun band out of Harrison, Arkansas. Then we’ll get into the blues with Nathan Bryce and Loaded Dice. And then we kick it off into full speed with the Nace Brothers and the Rainmakers. And rumor is that at the end of the night, those two bands will be onstage together. So it’ll be a big grand finale.”
Parking will be available pretty much anywhere in downtown Reeds Spring, says Jeannette Baird—“at the field itself, by the spring, in the parking lot across from the Rock House, across from Pop’s Dairy Dell. Lots of parking—just a two or three-block walk.”
If there’s severe weather they would have to close down the festival—but Baird says they aren’t expecting that for Saturday. “We do have tent backup—a big shade OR rain tent. The bandstand, the stage, is all covered. So if there’s a little shower in the middle of the day, people can get under the tent. But I’d say bring rain gear just in case. Come prepared for sun or rain.”
In addition to all the musical acts, the festival will include various food and drink vendors (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) on-site all day. Drink vendors include Springfield Brewing Company, Will Fischer Distributors, Vino Cellars, and Copper Run. Among the food items available at the festival: FireLight Pizza with their wood-burning pizza oven; crepes; egg rolls; and the usual festival fare of hot dogs and burgers. And, Baird reminds us, Pop’s Dairy Dell is just around the corner for anyone needing “an ice cream cone fix.”
Among the arts and crafts displays and vendors at the festival will be a puppeteer from Kansas City, sporting 14- to 15-foot-high puppets made out of balloon latex—“so they’re ultra-light, and the kids get to march around with them.” Also, the Springfield Art Museum’s art-education outreach, Placeworks, will have a booth with hands-on activities for kids.
Tickets are $25 in advance, and will be $30 at the gate. Admission is free for kids age 12 and younger. No smoking on the festival grounds. No alcohol or glass containers will be permitted to be brought onto the festival grounds. For advance tickets or more information visit www.rockhousecenterforthearts.org or call (417) 272-8386.