Every July for the past eight years, the punks, metal-heads and ska-loving skaters descend on downtown Maple Ridge.
Just for a day, Memorial Peace Park swells into one giant mosh pit, throbbing to loud guitars, booming bass and clashing drums.
When Adam Rayburn threw a free concert in his parents’ backyard for his 18th birthday in 2005, he didn’t plan on kick-starting one of the most anticipated youth events in Maple Ridge.
He called it Adstock – a play on his own name and Woodstock, the most famous concert in history, and which featured legendary performances by Jimi Hendrix, Credence Clearwater Revival, and Joe Cocker, among others.
Eight years later, Rayburn is ready to hang up his hat. But instead of ending the event that bears his name, he’s just passing the torch on to others who know a free rock concert is an immediate panacea to suburban boredom.
“I like the idea of Adstock continuing well past my own involvement so that there will always be a place for alternative music in Maple Ridge, as well as the opportunity for youth to get involved with it, whether they are performing, helping with the promotion or even running the event itself,” says Rayburn, who teaches drums at the Bergthorson Academy of Musical Arts.
Polina Erovjenets, whose been helping organize Adstock for the past few years, and Matt Salvesen are the forces behind this year’s event.
“We have all kinds of artists sprawling across several very different alternative genres,” says Salvensen.
Headlining the festival are local ska legends Los Furios, known for their uncanny ability to make large groups of people bounce up and down with their power-driven reggae sound.
For the metal heads, there’s Vancouver’s Nylithia and Maple Ridge’s Neon Terror.
Vancouver hard-core band Anchoress, which just released a full length album titled Crime & Compass, is also playing the show, along with swing rockers Rags To Radio, a band that Salvesen says never plays a single show without starting a larger-than-life conga line.
The line-up is rounded out with local bands, including The Jen Huangs, North Hill, Cornshed and the reunited Second Rate Rejects.
As the bassist for The Jen Huangs, Salvesen knows how important an all-ages show is in the suburbs.
He also knows organizing a concert is hard work.
“I try to put on an entertaining concert for $5 at least every three months in order to keep interest up,” he says.
“The bands’ expenses are covered, Hammond Hall is rented, and we usually barely cover costs.”
With Adstock, though, lately things have been turning around.
Interest in helping the festival succeed and several fundraisers (and another donation from the Bergthorson Academy) have allowed the organizers to get closer to their goal of raising $1,300.
Even local bands such as The Bone Daddies stepped up to save the festival by donating $100, followed by a challenge to other local bands to pitch in and help.
“All-ages music is a rare thing out in the suburbs,” says Salvesen.
“A music scene is a delicate being that must be fed regularly in order for it to stay alive, and a couple years ago it was nearly dead.”
• Adstock 2012 rocks Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge on Sunday, July 8.
Secondrate Rejects and guests play a fundraiser for Adstock 2012 at 7 p.m. Friday, June 15 at Hammond United Church Hall, 11391 Dartford Avenue in Maple Ridge. Advance tickets are available for $5 at Outer Limits Clothing Company in Haney Place Mall.
You can also donate to Adstock through Indiegogo.