Volunteers pull off three-day Rockstock without a hitch

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– PHOTOS BY JEANNE VOLLMER

By Cynthia Price

It would be hard to overestimate the role of Brandon Baskin in putting on the Rockstock music festival which includes the July 4 fireworks and this year expanded to three days.

Like the Coast West Festival before it, Rockstock has never had any intention of taking the place of Muskegon Summer Celebration, which lasted 10 days and was preceded by the Great Lumbertown Music Festival, which in turn was preceded by the Seaway Festival.

But Baskin says he was very pleased that this year they were able to bring in national bands. As noted in last week’s Examiner, they also managed to host a midway carnival.

“We were pleased with everything this year,” Baskin said. “We brought in national bands with multiple number one hits, and we brought the carnival back to town with no public safety issues.

“We’ve been planning on this stuff for years, so we’ve had plenty of time to think about getring it right,” he added.

Perhaps most gratifying to Baskin, who is a social worker by day, is what the festival has been able to give to No More Sidelines, the local organization which offers sports and social opportunities for people with disabilities. “This is all about benefiting people with disabilities. This event is for the community,” he says.

No More Sidelines also supplies some of the 135 or so volunteers it takes to run the festival, though Baskin through his B. Baskin Enterprises has a core crew of 10 to 12. (B Baskin Enterprises also puts on other nearby festivals, including the new Muskegon County Latino Festival coming  September 7).

Rockstock started out in 2008 in conjunction with Taste of Muskegon at Hackley Park Since 2013 when they moved to Heritage Landing, it has grown to two and now three days, but Baskin says that was primarily due to the placement of July 4 this year.

He estimates that crowds were larger this year but has to wait for Star Tickets Plus to get final numbers. “I do know, though, that we gave out 2800 tickets for free to veterans. We’re very proud of that,” Baskin says.

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