BrattRock youth rock festival amps up for third year

BRATTLEBORO — Planning has begun for this year's BrattRock - The Brattleboro Youth Rock Festival.

Now in its third year, BrattRock's mission is to provide a venue for musical youth from Southern Vermont and the surrounding region to connect, learn, perform, inspire, and be inspired. Participation is free and open to youth under age 20 who are musicians or who have an interest in music or the music industry.

BrattRock programs emphasize both educational and performance opportunities. The organization partners with local music professionals to offer tuition-free workshops for area youth throughout the year. Workshop topics focus on developing practical skills both for playing and performing music and for managing support systems for musical performance, such as sound engineering and stage lighting.

Past workshop instructors have included Aaron Chesley, Samirah Evans, Kevin Parry, Peter Seigel, Molly Steinmark, Eugene Uman. These opportunities are made possible through financial support from sponsors such as Youth Services, Guilford Sound, Vermont Jazz Center, Oak Meadow, 118 Elliot, The Brattleboro Retreat, and Hilltop Montessori School, as well as by grants from the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance and the Vermont Arts Council.

Planned events for the 2018 season include bi-monthly gatherings and open-mics for youth held at the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club, as well as the annual main event, The Brattleboro Youth Rock Festival, an all-day event in late September featuring live performances by area youth bands on two different stages at 118 Elliot in downtown Brattleboro.

Last year's event featured 14 bands from around New England and drew an audience of more than 500 spectators. Performer registration for this year's main event begins in April.

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