Rooster Walk is a four-day music festival that takes place in Martinsville, Virginia every year. It was started as a way to honor two childhood friends of the organizers, Edwin "the Rooster" Penn and Walker Shank who both died tragically when they were in their 20s. A college scholarship fund was started at Martinsville High School, their Alma mater, and the proceeds from the event go towards this every year.
The event started as nothing more than a small gathering in a field with a couple of bands playing. Since its inception, it has grown in strength and is now one of the premier music festivals in the region.
More than forty musical acts bring the stages alive every year. Artists who have performed at Rooster Walk in the past include Yonder Mountain String Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Sam Bush Band, Cabinet, The Revivalists, Greensky Bluegrass, The Marcus King Band, Anderson East, The Wood Brothers, The Dustbowl Revival, Erin & the Wildfire, and The Southern Belles.
In addition to world-class music, guests can enjoy delicious food, craft beers, and a range of fun activities like hula-hoop and tie-dye workshops, face painting, dance parties, and parades. There is even a Healing Arts Area offering yoga and several hiking trails. There's something for everyone at Rooster walk.
For Rooster Walk, you can choose from General Admission or VIP tickets. Tickets are available for individual days as well as all four days of the event. They range in price from $60 (Single-Day General Admission) to $550 (Four-Day VIP Full Strut). The VIP Full Strut passes include access to exclusive viewing areas, beer tickets, meal vouchers, and many other perks.
Camping and RV passes can also be purchased on the website. Kids under the age of 12 can enter for free as long as they are with a ticket holding adult. Check out the official festival website for more information on tickets and pricing.
If your route includes any of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the west, you are in for a treat with the views, but do be sure to note the height of your rig and compare it to any tunnels that may be present along the way. Arrangements are in place to accommodate large RVs at the Rooster Walk festival site. Detailed driving directions can be found on Google Maps or your GPS app of choice, often with a link available via the festival's website. US-58 is likely to be part of your route for at least a bit as you approach Rooster Walk.
Onsite paid parking is available for your car or RV. There are different pass options on offer, which you can purchase through the website. You also have the option of parking your vehicle offsite, a short distance away from the venue. Shuttles are available to get patrons from the offsite parking lots to Rooster Walk.
Since the venue is located away from the city center, buses or trains that will get you directly to the site may be hard to find. Shuttles will be ferrying festival attendees to Rooster Walk from different parts of the city on the days of the event. Your best bet is to book your ride in advance and hop on one of these if you will need transportation.
There are a couple of camping options available, including tent camping and RV camping. Depending on the size of your RV, you can choose between a small RV pass and a large RV pass. Passes include room for one companion vehicle as long as it fits within your space. An RV pass must be purchased in addition to your entry ticket.
If you'd like to mix up your adventure or would prefer to camp outside the festival grounds, there are several affordable options within a 20 to 45-minute drive of Rooster Walk. These come with hookups and facilities that are not offered at the event site. You'll also be able to get right in the midst of nature and enjoy activities like fishing and hiking.
Within the venue, free golf cart shuttles will be available to get patrons from one point to the next. Guests are also welcome to walk around and enjoy some of the scenic hiking trails. Most parts of the venue are accessible by wheelchair and measures will be in place to cater to patrons with disabilities.
Most attendees will be dressed for warm, summer weather. Stay cool and comfortable by wearing clothing in lightweight, breathable fabrics. You can't go wrong with shorts or jeans and a t-shirt. You can also support the cause behind the event by sporting official merchandise. Bring some warm clothing in case it gets cold at night, but you can likely leave it in your camper during the day.
Sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, sunglasses, a portable charger, and a first aid kit are a few things that can come in handy. Glass containers and aerosol sprays will not be allowed, so make sure your products like sunscreen are packed in plastic bottles. Don't forget your favorite rooster-shaped headgear if you want to get some laughs.
Free water refill stations will be present in the viewing areas and the campgrounds. Carry a refillable water bottle and top it off frequently at one of the water stations. If you plan on drinking alcohol, be responsible, and stay hydrated. Take frequent breaks to get off your feet and sit in the shade.
You can prepare meals at your campsite on the stove associated with your RV. Campfires on elevated fire bowls are allowed, but other open fires of any kind are strictly prohibited. Food and non-alcoholic beverages can be brought into the camping and performance viewing areas, but outside alcohol is not allowed in concert areas.
There are several great restaurants a 10-15 minute drive away from the festival venue and in the Martinsville area. Apart from traditional American cuisine, you'll also get the chance to try some delicious Spanish, Chinese, Italian, and French food. Enjoy a great meal and head to one of the local-favorite bars for a drink.
Rooster Walk draws in vendors with delicious food and beverages for every set of taste buds. The organizers work with the best local chefs, restaurants, and caterers to bring the unique flavors of the region to the event. Guests can also indulge in a great selection of wines and craft beers.
Security professionals will be present at the performance staging areas and campsites at all times for Rooster Walk. They will be checking bags at the entrances and also be making rounds. Patrons are requested to follow the rules of the event and avoid carrying prohibited items to the venue. Not doing so can get your escorted out of the grounds.
In May, the weather is likely to be warm and sunny in Virginia. It's a good idea to make sure that all your camping equipment is waterproof and carry some rain gear in case sudden showers do occur. In the rare event of severe weather, evacuation measures are in place to get guests to safety. Remember to check for spring storms along your route before departing for the event.
Trained medical professionals will be available on site to provide first aid to anyone who needs it. They will be able to step in and take over if a medical emergency does occur. Patrons with medical conditions or disabilities are requested to bring along any medications or materials they may need and get these cleared at the first-aid tent.