Fresh off their 2007 expansion to 30 schools, the Paul Green School of Rock—the original performance-based after-school rock music program in the country—will kick off a new chapter in School of Rock history with its first annual music festival. The Paul Green School of Rock Music Festival (SORFest), set for June 23-24, 2007, in Asbury Park, NJ, will feature performances by Ween, the Bad Brains, the Bouncing Souls, the Adrian Belew Trio, the Mike Keneally Band and the School of Rock All-Stars with Vernon Reid and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, among others.
SORFest features two days of the best rock music, Saturday, June 23rd from 11 am to 11 pm and Sunday, June 24th from 11am to 10 pm. Far from a one-venue show, SORFest is taking over the area at 4th Avenue and Kingston in Asbury Park. There’ll be shows at Asbury Lanes, The Fastlane and The Baronet Theater as well as a main, outdoor performance space on 4th Avenue featuring two stages. Tickets are $35 for Saturday and $30 for Sunday. Two-day tickets are also available for purchase for $60. For ticket purchase info and a full schedule, please see information below.
SORFest is the latest opportunity for the students of the School of Rock to hone their performance skills and learn from the masters. “Having our own festival allows us to bring in main stage national acts to inspire our students, get the kids from our schools around the country up on the side stages to play the greatest music ever made and provide slots for original bands comprised of our students and staff, as well as up-and-coming bands we want to support,” says Paul Green. In fact, two members of the Adrian Belew Trio are SOR alums, and School of Rock is known for having its kids play with rock icons including Jon Anderson and Alice Cooper and at such legendary venues as CBGB’s, the Trocadero and the Knitting Factory.
Founded back in 1998 on the discovery that if kids play in rock bands, they’ll be motivated to practice, the Paul Green School of Rock has come far from its garage bands roots in Philadelphia. Now the preeminent school for performance-based music education, The School of Rock takes ordinary kids and turned them into stage-stomping rock ‘n rollers. And there’s nothing quite like seeing a ten year-old belt out Led Zeppelin like he owns it.
The apparent inspiration for the Jack Black comedy hit School of Rock and subject of the Sundance documentary Rock School, the School of Rock sees SORFest as a new way to expand and deepen the musical experience for the next generation of rockers. Says Green, “It’s a chance to celebrate rock music, give our students the weekend of their lives and raise money for the Paul Green School of Rock Music Scholarship Fund, which gives kids in need the chance to learn how to rock.” A percentage of proceeds from SORFest will go to the scholarship fund, founded in 1999.
Among the kids who will converge on Asbury Park for the inaugural SORFest are School of Rock bands from: New York City; Philadelphia; Austin; Bergen County, NJ; Bux County, PA; Downingtown, PA; San Francisco; Red Bank, NJ; Cherry Hill, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Portland, OR; Silver Spring, MD; Baltimore; Salt Lake City and Princeton, NJ. Additional acts include The Weakerthans, The Benevento/Russo Duo, Lucero, Dandelion, Rudy + Blitz, McRad, Stinking Lizaveta, the Roadside Graves, the Chris Harford Band, Crescent Moon and Queen Diamond.