Rock, ribs return to Cleveland

The 22nd Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival opens Friday at the Jacob Pavilion at Nautica Entertainment Complex in Cleveland.

The annual Memorial Day weekend festival features nationally touring rib vendors on the midway and nationally touring music acts on the main stage.

On the meat side, Porky ‘N’ Beans of Florida, which swept best ribs, best sauce and people’s choice at last year’s event, will return to defend its titles against nine other vendors – Pigfoot BBQ and Stutz’s Jack on the Bone, both from Ohio; Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ, New Jersey.; Carolina Rib King, South Carolina.; Chicago BBQ Company and Uncle Bub’s BBQ, both from Illinois; Famous Dave’s BBQ, Minnesota; Johnson’s BBQ, Virginia; and Texas Thunder.

On the music side, main stage headliners include ’80s pop star Rick Springfield (who can be seen in the recent Dave Grohl-directed documentary ”Sound City”) at 9 p.m. Saturday, blues legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Buddy Guy at 9 p.m. Sunday and Poison frontman (and ”Celebrity Apprentice” competitor) Bret Michaels at 6 p.m. Monday. Reserved seats are available through Live Nation, and general admission to the concerts is free with admission to the festival.

The second stage will showcase regional musicians. In conjunction with the opening of a Rolling Stones exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, an all-star lineup of Cleveland musicians will pay tribute to the band starting at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by the cover band Mega ’80s.

Other acts on the House of Blues Emerging Artist Stage include Physical Rockett, Vernon Jones Blues Cartel, Rob Duskey, Chardon Polka Band and London Flatts on Saturday; The Winter Brave, Red Sun Rising, Fusebox Poet, Burning River Ramblers, Simpler Times, The Modern Electric, Bethesda and Tim Moon on Sunday; and DJ Alex Angelo, The Michael Weber Show, Winslow and Noize from the Basement on Monday.

The 22nd Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival runs from noon to 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. Monday at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, located at 2014 Sycamore St. on the west bank of The Flats. Admission is $8 for adults and free for children ages 12 and younger, and discount coupons are available at Marc’s that lowers general admission to $5.