Show Review + Photos: Bearstock 2011

Mercer University’s annual free music festival Bearstock has come and passed and this year’s event was clearly the most successful in the school’s history. QuadWorks has estimated that over 3500 people from around the school, city and South East attended the event. Headliners 30h3! and Roscoe Dash were clearly crowd pleasers but some of the day’s best shows came from earlier acts. Local acts and alumni Stribling & Jubee and the Morning got attendees up and on their feet early in the afternoon with a slew of favorites as well as new songs from both bands. The Morning After was joined onstage by a horn section that reversed any doubt I had in saxophone working with  a rock/hip-hop group. Ocean is Theory impressed as always with a set loaded with new songs from their upcoming full-length due out later this year on Razor & Tie Records. The band has built up a very impressive fan base in Macon with shows over the past three years and received a dynamic response from the crowd. Americana-rock group The Dirty Guv’nah’s stood out playing through a near hour long set of slide guitar and organ laden rock and roll that had their entire crowd jumping about and getting down to their distinct southern sound. The return of Nashville, Tennessee band Parachute Musical was easily one of the most responsive shows of the night. The band has played in Macon multiple times before at Presents, Macon Venue Project, and Hummingbird shows, most recently with a performance at The 567. Local photographer Dylan York (Trashed&Stashed) captured the bands performance along with a quick photo shoot for at a nearby house that involved a crowd of local residents. Before the two headlining acts went on the mainstay, Macon’s own DJ Pharmer (Alden Bennett – Mercer University student) blew away the crowd with a set that eventually turned into a giant dance party with Jubee MC’ing and concert goers storming the stage to get down alongside DSEL Promotions & staff and other local musicians.

I spent some time chatting with Quadworks staff and festival organizers Brittany McGarity and Rachel Brooks and the two were both clearly overjoyed with the outcome of the event. Both in their second year of working with the event, the pair spent the past six months preparing for the festival.

Next year, the festival will be taken over by Annie Biggs and John Jenkins but both McGarity and Brooks promise that the only changes that will be made will be positive ones. “As we continue on into our 5th year of Bearstock, the lineup will continue to improve, with a more diverse group of bands, more vendors, and more activities throughout the day”, said McGarity

Check out more photos from the entire event at :