Start your engines: the Power and Sound Revival is coming to the Piedmont Dragway in Julian on May 22.
An inaugural festival presented by the mother-daughter duo, the Rockingham Company, the Revival aims to celebrate roots, Americana, and alt-country artists from across the southeast, along with classic cars, bikes, and vans.
According to 19-year old “Head Honcho” Olivia Williams, “the intention is to revel in the simple act of being together again celebrating music, art, and life.”
For Williams, and her mom, Michelle, it all boils down to the simple love of family and tunes, combined with some complex machinery and sweet custom rides.
Musically, the line-up features Them Dirty Roses, 49 Winchester, Whiskey Foxtrot, Crenshaw Pentecostal, Jive Mother Mary, Downtown Abby and the Echoes, and John Howie, Jr., and the Rosewood Bluff.
“I think the best term for the music at the event is probably Americana, and I think each act has its own spin on the broad genre of Americana,” Williams noted of the bill. “Michelle and I booked some of our favorite local and national acts,” she added. The addition of Whiskey Foxtrot, which features Olivia’s brother and Michelle’s son, Seth, is a given.
It’s a real family affair, as Seth will appear as a performer, art vendor and even painted some of the promotional raffle materials. “He’s also a person I have bounced tons of ideas off of,” Williams said, “and has been a big part of the festival’s development.”
Their dad, Justin, has also been involved. “He welded some of the custom car show trophies and helped with the more technical side of planning,” Williams noted. “Like picking what size generators we’ll need and other ‘dad’ things.”
For Michelle, “the greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories,” with her rock-n-roll family creating a package deal. As Olivia explained, “my brother started playing in clubs at 13, and my whole family would be involved. Our mom booked the gigs, and dad learned how to be the sound guy and roadie real fast. I got into photographing music. Our parents are always very supportive of everything we do, and I’m very grateful for that. It’s really nice to have a support system to bounce ideas off of and help out on the bad days.”
The support system has produced a unit befitting a formal talent agency, the Rockingham Company, with its major festival debut combining the love of music and vehicles the family shares.
“I had always wanted to do an event and incorporate all the things I love, like music and cars,” Williams explained of their motivation for getting off the ground. “Seth is very into vannin’ and the custom culture. So I wanted to help shine a light on the custom culture in and around North Carolina.”
They’ve been getting geared up through Instagram, highlighting specialty vans as “rad rides of the week.” The family itself has a fleet of their own rad rides. “We’ve got too many to name,” Williams said. Her personal daily is a fairly cherry ’95 Chevy Shorty.
Drawing a few influences from Winston-Salem’s annual Heavy Rebel Weekender, the Power and Sound Revival goes beyond music, incorporating a car, van, and bike show open to attendees who register. Overnight camping is also available for registrants.
To judge the bike show, they’ve wrangled Ross from Stunt Army, Jason from Chillbillys, and Gorgeous George from Smut Butt Magazine, who’ll all have booths during the festival. The public will judge the car and van show. Awards include custom trophies and goodies from various vendors, including Gnarly Magazine, Ton Magazine, and Sketch Van Montana.
Beyond tunes and rides, on-site activities will include a bike burnout pit, ax throwing from the Flying Hatchet, live-inking from Black Dog Tattoo, glitter hair and braiding by Boho Salon, and more than 35 vendors from across the southeast. Booze will flow from Four Saints, Hell on Horsecreek, and Little Brother Brewing. Food options include Short Sugar’s BBQ, the Blissful Palette, and other area eateries.
As for protocols, “Safety is a top priority,” Williams said. “Guests are encouraged to social distance and wear masks when moving about the festival.”
Looking ahead, the Rockingham Company hopes to host another, smaller festival in the fall, with the goal of hosting two festivals a year. For now, the pair’s plans for Mother’s Day are straightforward, “we’ll probably be working on the festival,” Olivia said. “We hope to have a great day and have a safe event for people to come and enjoy music and the show.”