By Lora Scripps
Those who like to rock will get the opportunity this weekend in Elkmont. It’s an event more than a year in the making by organizers of the Hilltop Arts Society.
The Red Devil Rock Show, named for the Elkmont High School mascot, is slated for noon until 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Elkmont baseball fields on Vaughn Street.
The one-day music and art festival will feature some fresh faces in rock, funk, reggae and more on two stages.
Hilltop Arts Society founder Preston Pylant, an Elkmont native, said the upcoming show was an idea talked about last year when the organization was founded. It’s the second event sponsored by the society in Elkmont. Last November, the nonprofit organization — aimed at revitalizing the arts — hosted the Hilltop Arts Festival, which included a variety of artisans, musicians and more.
“It is as much for the community as it is for the bands that are playing,” Pylant said. “The Banditos (the festival headliner) have played with the Alabama Shakes, but some of these other bands are waiting to heard. Waiting for that break.”
The Banditos are an Americana/Rock collective. Many know the band as being famously eclectic as members recall the sounds of Creedence Clearwater Revival and perform a tribute to Aretha Franklin. The band is comprised of Timothy Parsons on guitar and vocals, Steven Pierce II on vocals and banjo, Mary Richardson on vocals and tambourine, Randy Wade on the drums, Jeffery Vines on the upright bass, and Jeffery Salter on the electric guitar and lap steel.
Other bands include Sol Cat, Spiral Down South, Poanna, Roots of a Rebellion, Riley Downing, John and the Conners and more.
The mission of the Red Devil Rock Show is threefold. “It’s to bring people into the community,” Pylant said. “It’s to get the bands heard. Plus, ticket sales will be used to hopefully obtain a place to use for art and music classes.”
Pylant said the goal is for the Hilltop Arts Society to obtain a place to hold art events and classes in Elkmont. Although the organization would love to be downtown, he said the focus right now is finding a place in the city limits. Pylant and Hilltop Arts Marketing Director Chris Hagood said the purpose is to help Elkmont grow while focusing on the arts and to help the city become even more of a weekend destination.
“We don’t want to change a thing,” Pylant said about Elkmont. “We want to help Elkmont survive and thrive and keep going. We want more community involvement and we want the arts to be a part of it.”
Hagood pointed to great events happening in Elkmont like the Lion’s Club 10K run and barbecue, Bean Day and others. “There are a lot of great things happening in Elkmont,” Pylant said. “We would love to see it grow.”
Organizers want to make the Red Devil Rock Show an annual event. Pylant and Hagood are excited to introduce the bands to the area. “There are some really good bands,” Hagood said. “Some are really close to getting signed.”
Nine bands are slated to play Saturday and there is room to grow. Artisans, vendors and concessions will also be available on-site.
Pylant said festival attendees would have the opportunity to come out and forget about everyday worries. Hagood agreed. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Tickets to the Red Devil Rock Show are $15 from noon until 5 p.m. and $25 all day. Military discounts are available.
To find out more, visit www.reddevilrockshow.org or find Red Devil Rock Show on Facebook.