BeardStock is making some changes in its second year, but most of them won’t be noticed by attendees at the alcohol-free three-day music festival.
Jeff Gargas, one of the promoters of the event at Newton Falls Community Center, said, “We made a lot of little changes to make it more professional, to make it run smoother for the bands.
“We have much stronger contact and communication with the bands. When you’re dealing with a large number of bands, some are going to break up or the drummer is going to book the gig and forget to tell the rest of the band. Last year we had a lot of bands drop out and got blindsided by it. This year, we’re making sure they’re aware of everything that is going on.”
Promoters also made it possible for bands to submit themselves for consideration online through Sonic Bids, which expanded the number of submissions and broadened the talent pool.
While the festival still provides a strong showcase for local talent, this year’s lineup features more national and regional acts. Sunday’s lineup will include New York’s Patent Pending, which performed on the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, played the Vans Warped Tour and been heard on MTV’s “The Real World,” and Freshman 15, an Atlanta band that also are Warped Tour veterans.
Saturday’s roster will include Kridiaz, a metal band led by former Mushroomhead guitar player Dave Felton.
“We knew we wanted to bring in slightly bigger bands this time,” Gargas said.
Kriadiaz and Kitchen Knife Conspiracy top a Saturday bill filled with heavy metal acts, while Sunday’s lineup is dedicated primarily to pop punk and punk bands. The opening day of the festival is more eclectic with everything from rock to hip hop to the soul rock sound of headliner Winslow.
“We tried to keep them as close as possible,” Gargas said. “Saturday is as all metal as possible, and Sunday just worked out that way with more pop, rock, pop punk and punk.”
Organizers decided to scale back from three stages to two to try to avoid overlapping performances.
“The third stage was more of an acoustic stage,” Gargas said. “It wasn’t bad, but there was some overlap with acoustics acts going on at the same time as the main stage. It was just a little bit too loud and didn’t work out as well.”
The first BeardStock drew about 1,500 people over three days. With bigger bands and better promotion, organizers are expecting at least 2,000 concertgoers this weekend.