(When I say 'proper' I mean one that involves sleeping/eating etc onsite)
Rockstock is hosted by the digital radio station Planet Rock the soundtrack to my day, every day.
On days when the Dog has the upper hand, Planet Rock plays me through, supports me... lets me exist in the music.
The Festival is held on a holiday park called Trecco Bay,in Porthcawl, South Wales, and this year was it's 4th year. It runs for 3 days, there's 2 stages, and over 30 rock bands... it's safe to say that both Beast and I were in music *heaven*
We met some truly awesome people, mainly through what Beast and I call 'the tribal power of the band t-shirt' ... (it's a very similar feeling to the power of the Woolly community actually...) you make an *instant* connection with someone based on what is written on their t-shirt. At rock events like this, (especially indoor ones where you don't have to wear a coat ...teehee) your t-shirt is worn like a badge of honour, it tells people who you are, & who you are proud to affiliate yourself with. When you see someone wearing a t-shirt of a band you love it's a conversation starter & you have a brother/sister in music right there.
I met this beautiful lady and her husbeast in London earlier this year before my Beast and I went to see Heart... she remembered me because of my red boots :)
The absolute highlight though, was the DiY Band. You turn up, put your name on a really official looking clipboard, audition, and get put into the band. There's about maybe an hour to two hours to rehearse, then you play in front of the Rockstock crowd a few hours later.
Darren Redick (who is the very sexy voice of my afternoons) organises it, and he chooses four songs in the run up to the event... so you could be really geeky and practice loads beforehand if you wanted to *chuckles
I didn't audition, but Beast, who is a drummer, got to perform 3 songs with the band... including this one, Van Halens 'Jump'... which incidentally they only practiced once...
It never ceases to amaze me how people can get up and perform, and bring people together in their absolute love of music.
It's a really powerful gift to have.
A very special mention has to go to Wyatt though, who is my morning radio voice, that's not quite as sexy as Darren's, but in all fairness he has long hair, so that kinda makes up for it ... *chuckles
But, in all seriousness, he has a very good personal reason to have made this journey, and he's a living, breathing push bike riding legend... and you can read his about his motivations here
In the week before Rockstock kicked off, Wyatt cycled all the way from London, to Glasgow, and then all the way back down the country to Porthcawl to raise money for a charity called The Campaign Against Living Miserably Last year he rode the 180~ish miles from London to Rockstock in 18 hrs.
CALM, is a registered charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, and they state that last year 4,623 men in the UK took their own life.
That's 12 fellas per day losing their lives
As you all know, the Black Dog is my daily companion, so I have all the feels for what Wyatt and his epic bike-ride has achieved... so far over £70,000 has been raised for this tremendous cause... that is going to help so many men and their families repair what's broken.
So, you can see now why I listen to this fantastic radio station.
Why it's part of my self-care routine...
It's like a huge musical family.
They help upcoming bands get an audience, they support the needs of their listeners and facilitate such great get togethers like Rockstock.
I can safely say, both Beast & I are already talking about next year, and what t-shirts we need to find to wear, so we can make a few more friends :)
I followed his progress, and he really put himself through a fair amount of pain to make this difference. His physical/mental struggles during the week really helped to illustrate just how damn hard it is to live with a mental illness, and what he was willing to do to help. If any of you reading this feel the need to reach out, to me or to a helpline, because you are struggling, please do.
Reach out and get help, please.
It is totally okay to talk about how you feel, it's not a weakness.... in fact allowing yourself to verbalise your feelings makes you strong.
Don't *ever* forget how awesome you are.