Watermelon Park Rock Fest

Welcome to the website for the Watermelon Park Rock Fest, sponsored by the School of Rock of Greater Washington DC. Watermelon Park Rock Fest is a family-friendly rock music festival featuring the music of the finest teen and pre-teen musicians. These musicians are students from three School of Rock locations (Ashburn, VA, Silver Spring, MD and Vienna, VA).

Activities include rock music on the main stage, camping, cookouts, river-tubing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, bonfire and much more. Great music, beautiful river, fresh air, nice people and the smell of your favorite foods on the grill – that’s what the Watermelon Park Rock Fest is about.

Here’s what some of the attendees at Watermelon Park Rock Fest 2010 had to say:
“This event was AWESOME! In fact it was sooo awesome that we are hoping to do this again. Again this summer, or again next year as a yearly event. You guys did a great job orchestrating the whole thing.”

We had a BLAST at Watermelon Park! Great Music, Great People and what a great place to spend some time in nature! Thanks to all who came! Let’s do it again next year!!

We had SO MUCH FUN! Thanks to everyone who was part of the planning and part of the partying! Our DC area SOR kids and families are the best… it was so nice to connect with folks from the other schools. ROCK ON!!!!! And we WILL BE THERE next year!

You guys know how to rock a camping trip! Thanks for letting us camp with you Saturday night.

So, so much fun! I can’t wait till next year!

Watermelon Park is a well-maintained campground nestled up along the Shenandoah River and the Blue Ridge Mountains just east of Berryville, Virginia in Clarke County. The tranquility of the calm river along with the backdrop of the Appalachian wilderness is something to see! Watermelon Park gets it’s name from the fact that in the 1940’s the compound was a thriving Watermelon field.

The music tradition runs deep at Watermelon Park. The park began hosting single day music events around 1943. As just about any current Bluegrass or Country artists could tell you, the park was the site of the first multi-day bluegrass festival in history, happening first sometime in the early 1960?s. Since then Watermelon Park has been host to a staggering lineup of now legendary performers including The Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Flat & Scruggs, Patsy Cline, and The Stanley Brothers, to name but a few. Today, the annual Watermelon Park Fest continues the tradition of bluegrass music at Watermelon Park (see sample YouTube video below).

The park features tent camping next to the river, RV camping with water and electric hook-up, a large bath/shower house for both men and women, a fully supplied Camp Store for all those things you may have forgotten to bring and plenty of “must have” items like ice cream, hot coffee, various snacks, camp gear etc…

Watermelon Park Campground also offers everyone’s favorite seasonal pastime…Tubing down the river! You can also rent a canoe or kayak with specified trips for your day! Watermelon Park takes pride in the on-going tradition of low rates and a “laid back” friendly staff that is always willing to help out with any of your needs. Please come visit us soon!! Once you have…… you will be back…. again and again!

You can’t beat a family camping event on the Shenandoah River. Whether you’re an experienced camper or a complete beginner, you’ll find camping at the Rock Fest to be easy and fun. Why? Because this is car-camping. You’ll park your vehicle adjacent to your campsite so you can load up with everything you might possibly need and have it within easy reach. No backpacking, no cooking on tiny little stoves! Bring your big rig! It’s like tailgating with a tent nearby. Bring a cooler with your favorite beverages (ice is available at the Camp Store). Bring your grill and your favorite foods. If you forget something there’s a good chance the Camp Store will have it.

RV camping areas with water and electric hookups are available for an additional fee. Contact Watermelon Park for more information or to reserve space for your RV.

Telephone: (703) 850-2100
Fax: (703) 232-1048
Email: nova@schoolofrock.com

Telephone: (540) 955-4803

Watermelon Park is located just South of Berryville off of Route 7 East on Lockes Mill Rd.

The official address is:

Watermelon Park, 3322 Lockes Mill Rd. Berryville, VA 22611

From Berryville:

Follow Rt. 7 East to Parshall Rd. Turn Right. Follow 3 or 4 miles until you reach a gravel intersection along the River. Turn Left and go about 1 mile. You will see the gate to Watermelon Park on your Right.

From Leesburg:

Follow Rt. 7 West to Chilly Hollow Rd. Turn Left at Nall’s Farm Market. Follow about 3 or 4 miles until you reach a gravel road. Follow until you see the gate to Watermelon Park on your Left.

Click Here to Enter Your Starting Address Into Mapquest

What is the Watermelon Park Rock Fest?
The Rock Fest is a family-friendly rock music festival sponsored by the School of Rock (SOR) – Greater Washington DC. The performers are students from our three local SOR locations in Ashburn, Silver Spring and Vienna. We describe the event as “family-friendly” because there will be many activities for all members of the family to enjoy in addition to the music being played throughout the fest.

What type of music will be performed?
All genres of rock & roll will be included. Our students will draw from three primary sources:

  • Our Spring Season of Shows – from just completed (at fest time) shows including The Beatles, Van Halen, 70s FM Radio Classic Hits, Pop Punk, Metal, U2, The Who and The Doors
  • Our Summer Season of Shows – to be announced
  • Special Projects & Interests – our students will perform other material of special interest to them.

What else will be happening during the festival?
A big part of the event is camping and the enjoyment of the outdoors, especially the beautiful Shenandoah River. Other specific activities include:

  • River-Tubing – Imagine being driven up-river and then dropped off with your inner-tube to have an hour of lazy floating down the river, back to the shores of the Rock Fest. Best of all, river-tubing is included for free in your two-day Rock Fest pass (though we are expected to tip the van driver who takes you up river, $2+ per person is the recommended tip). A Liability Waiver needs to be filled out and signed for each participant in river-tubing. You can save some time at the event by downloading it here and bringing it with you.
  • Canoeing & Kayaking – A limited supply of canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the Camp Store. A Liability Waiver is also needed.
  • Fishing – Enjoy fishing in the Shenandoah. Tackle & bait are available at the Camp Store.
  • Swimming & Wading – We’re right on the shore of the Shenandoah.
  • Children’s Playground
  • Soccer, Frisbee, Football – there is room to run, kick and throw your favorite sports device so bring it!
  • Cookouts – Bring your favorite food and grill and prove to us that you’re the best outdoor chef.
  • Bonfire – We’ll have a community bonfire Saturday evening once the sun has gone down. Bring your ingredients to toast marshmallows and make s’mores.
  • Wine-Tasting – We’ll bring the cups, you bring a box or bottle of your favorite budget wine, or some cheese and crackers to share.
  • Drum-Circle – Get in touch with your inner-Neanderthal through community drumming. While a real drum (bongo, conga, djembe) is ideal, you can bring any percussion instrument (cowbell, wood block, tambourine, shaker etc.) Many inexpensive percussion devices are available at local music stores such as Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center or Guitar Center. Check out this drum circle video to get an idea of the drum circle experience.

What should we bring?
It will obviously depend on your family needs & wants but here are some suggestions:

  • Your E-Tickets – just a reminder to bring them.
  • Folding Chair – for everyone in your group.
  • Camping Gear – tent, sleeping bags, flashlights
  • Cooking & Eating – A small grill of some kind, favorite foods for two lunches, a breakfast and dinner, a cooler for drinks
  • Toiletries
  • Clothing – Totally casual clothing and bathing suit, flip-flops to walk in river
  • Drum or Percussion Instrument – bring something to participate in the drum circle.
  • Soccer, Frisbee, Football – there is room to run, kick and throw your favorite sports device so bring it!
  • Marshmallows and S’more ingredients
  • Acoustic Instrument – To help sing around the campfire
  • Wine – Bring a box to share at our wine tasting.
  • Media – Camera, video, etc.
  • Leash – for your pet, if you are bringing one.

Do I need to bring food? Will there be a concession stand selling food & drinks?
We think most camper families will want to bring their own favorite foods and way to cook them. Yes, there will be a concession stand selling hamburgers, hotdogs, steak sandwiches, soft drinks and the like. The Camp Store also carries snacks and drinks.

What if I can only come for one day?
Great! Please join us for the day. A two-day pass will still be required, and is still a great deal with the included free-tubing.

How will I know when my child is performing?
We will do our best to have a performance plan prior to the event, but these plans are always subject to change, as we need to deal with factors beyond our control. We don’t recommend trying to just show up for a small-slice of time when your child is scheduled to play, as you may end up missing the performance.

My child is in a band with other SOR students – can they perform?
Yes, as long as all of the band members are currently enrolled SOR students. Students should discuss the performance with their music director.

My child is in a band with kids who are not SOR students – can they perform?
Sorry, no. All stage time is reserved for our currently enrolled students.

I’m not much of a camper, do I have to stay overnight?
No, but please consider camping overnight as it will increase the fun for everyone. This is the easy kind of camping. You can have your vehicle parked right next to your campsite, so you can bring everything you might possibly need. Even first-time campers will have no difficulty with a successful overnight stay.

Can our friends and neighbors attend, or is this only for SOR families?
Yes, please invite your neighbors and friends, and anyone else who would enjoy this event.

What facilities does the campground have? Showers, toilets?
Watermelon Park has a bath house with sinks, toilets and coin-op showers. Please keep in mind that this is not the Four Seasons. There will also be Porta-Johns in the reserved Rock Fest area.

Who is eligible to perform?
All currently enrolled or recently graduated SOR students are eligible and encouraged to perform in this show.

My kid is dying to play a specific song – can he do it?
We are encouraging the students to prepare their own solo, duet or other group performances in addition to music rehearsed by the music director. This is a great opportunity for our students to perform something that they’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t yet had the opportunity. Please discuss ideas with your music director.

Can we bring our pets?
Yes, however park rules are that they must be kept on a leash.

Can we purchase tickets at our local School of Rock?
No. Tickets must be purchased online through TicketLeap.

Can we purchase free tickets online?
Yes, the free ticket types (SOR students, under 12 years) can be ordered through TicketLeap.

What is a drum circle?
A drum circle, most simply put, is a group of people gathered into a circle for the purpose of making music with percussion instruments. It can be as simple as three friends in a living room, or as involved as a thousand music industry workers jamming outside the Civic Center in Anaheim after the NAMM show closes. Check out this drum circle video to get an idea of the drum circle experience.

Drum Circles nowadays take many forms, and are used for many purposes, but at the most basic level, the idea is to play music on drums & other percussion instruments as a group. beginning in the nineteen sixties, here in the U.S., purely recreational drumming jam sessions became gradually more common in public places in the bigger cities, often very loosely organized, usually without a designated leader, consisting of a group of friends simply improvising together, and letting the music emerge as it will.

A community drum circle is often a fun, multicultural, mixed level, group music making event, with freely improvised rhythms, and the music is created on the spot, in the moment. There is no ‘audience’; everyone is welcome to play, dance, or listen as the mood strikes them. Bring a drum if you have one. It’s a jam session, an exploration. The language of rhythm transcends normal communication boundaries, so one sometimes finds folks interacting who would normally have trouble doing so.

Are there universal principles that apply to the physical act of drumming?
Yes. Posturally, you should try to keep your head, heart, and hips in a straight vertical line. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and breathe calmly. if you experience pain, STOP doing whatever is causing the pain. It isn’t supposed to hurt. When you catch your shoulders tensing up, simply relax them, let them down. Consciously tell your muscles to relax.

The qualities of relaxation and simple awareness [listening to others, paying attention]greatly enhance the experience. Drums respond to changes in where the instrument is struck, rubbed or shaken, how hard, with what shape (which part of your hand or a stick or mallet touches which part of the instrument, in what way). in the case of a shaker, the position of the shaker and the direction speed and size of the movement all produce different results. It is fascinating to manipulate these parameters for musical effect. Keep eye contact with the other players, and use all the audio AND visual information to find a part that fits and supports.

What’s a snipe hunt?
The hunt and capture of the elusive snipe is an adventure that no camper should miss. The experienced campers will assist the uninitiated in the proper techniques for snipe hunting.

Click poster image to download in pdf

9:00AM Check-In Opens
10:30AM Main Stage Sound Check
12 Noon School of Rock – Vienna
2:00PM School of Rock – DC/Silver Spring
4:00PM School of Rock – Ashburn
6:00PM Band Rotation / Wine-Tasting @ Tent
9:00PM Unplugged Rock / Bonfire / Campfire Sing-Along
10:00PM Snipe Hunt
8:00AM Unplugged Rock
10:00AM Drum Circle
11:00AM School of Rock – Ashburn
12 Noon School of Rock – DC/Silver Spring
1:00PM School of Rock – Vienna
2:00PM Band Rotation
4:00PM Event Close

Our Two-Day Rock Fest ticket is a fantastic deal! Your ticket includes all music, activities, two days & nights of camping, river-tubing and fun! Tickets must be purchased online through TicketLeap by clicking the the Get Tickets button below, or by phone to (877) 849-5327 and ask for event “Watermelon Park Rock Fest.”

After purchasing tickets from TicketLeap you will be able to download your E-Tickets and you will also receive them by e-mail. BRING YOUR E-TICKETS to the Rock Fest ticket booth to get your wrist-band for entrance.