Rock N Roll Resort: Anarchy in Upstate NY

HT columnist Wade “Wyllys” Wilby performed at Rock N Roll Resort over Thanksgiving Weekend and has filed this report about what he saw…

Walking into the lobby of the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa on any weekend of the year, you would find a dated but somewhat elegant lobby, spacious in stature, with a welcoming staff smiling and ready to accommodate. On the weekend of Rock N Roll Resort, you would not only find these lovely attributes, but a full blown lot scene replete with vending of all types and dogs, dogs and more dogs, giving the event an immediate vibe all of its own, separating it from any event where I’ve performed at or attended.

The event, like all festivals, had multiple venues each with their own unique atmosphere sealed within the hotel walls, meaning you never had to go outside of the event to see the bands you wanted to check out. This works two ways, which was really the theme of the event. The convenience factor of not having to go outside is amazing, especially being held in November, where the weather could be terrible. However, not having to leave the hotel means also not having to leave your big comfy hotel room either, which rendered attendance at some of the festival’s biggest acts to astonishingly low numbers. Zach Deputy, arguably one of the biggest draws of the festival, had a mere smattering of fans in the main room on Saturday night. His performance was amazing, I just wish more people were there to see it.

As I had mentioned, the underlying theme of the weekend was two sides to every story and that story begins and ends with anarchy. The lawlessness of the event was palpable; you really felt comfortable raging there because the staff was so nice and security was lax but helped control the flow of traffic and booze in the venues. The hippies jumped all over this relaxed attitude and took it to the extreme, with floor hockey games at 7AM in the hotel hallways, breaking down doors with fire extinguishers and really disregarding any respect whatsoever toward the people they were staying around. While chaos can be fun for a while, in the end its still chaos and hard to embrace fully.

Shannon Plaquet at Wicked Cool Productions has a diamond in the rough that is teeming with potential. The talent buying was spot on for the size of the resort and the two main rooms are perfect music venues. If they can figure out how to program those two rooms for an entire weekend of music, they have really got a unique and magical event that can be profitable for years to come. Notable performance awards go to American Babies, Brothers Past, Jeff Bujak, Zach Deputy, and Deep Banana Blackout, who sounded the best I have heard them in many years.

I wish Shannon and the entire production team the best of luch moving forward and thank them from the bottom of my heart for having me out to perform. It truly was an honor and the event is going to blow some minds in the coming years. When this comes around in the spring, book a room and embrace the chaos.

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3 Responses

  1. Please repost: In search of…one misappropriated painting from the Rock N Roll Resort on Sunday. 30 x 40 with a lot of white line overlay on it. Very psychedelic. I believe the young man who took it had dark brown/black hair, about 5’10”-6′ and had lip rings (I think)…around 20 years old. I hope he made an honest mistake. If anyone got pictures of the final product in the Zildjian room, please send them to me. Thanks. Reward possibility. Contact

    [email protected]

  2. my boy Steed posted that vid from R-n-R. He shared Wade’s sentiments and said the music was outstanding. He’s got a ton of pics/vids from the weekend he has yet to post.

    He also bought a CRB (Crazy Red Beard) print that CRB did live during a Ryan Montbleau show last year. It’s pretty dope.

    Lookin fwd. to see what R-n-R does next time. Cheers.

  3. Tge weekend was awesome. Each act was terrific and I was pumped to meet all the artists and buy them a beard. Also I think the redbeard print I bought was from a 2007 show. Peace

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