The venue north of Grand Rapids hasn’t hosted regular concerts since early 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The back story at Local Spins.
It’s been a long break thanks to a pesky pandemic, but Rockford Brewing Co. officially starts hosting live music again this week.
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The Flatland Grip acoustic duo kicks things off at 7 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) with a $5 cover charge, followed by the award-winning Full Cord bluegrass band gracing the upstairs stage at the Rockford brewery on Nov. 2.
Tickets for the Full Cord show are $10 and available online here. Full Cord not only won the top prize in the Telluride bluegrass contest earlier this year, but also recently won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Band of the Year.
“We’re kind of in a trial phase and very limited shows at first, hoping we grow into structured regular shows again,” said Rockford Brewing co-owner Seth Rivard.
Rockford Brewing hopes to host live music a few times a month, though there’s currently “no set schedule” for when the shows will take place moving forward.
With the exception of a couple of random shows over the past two months – singer-songwriter Izubel’s album-release in late August and Overdrive Orchestra’s performance during Harvest Festival in late September – Rockford Brewing hasn’t staged indoor concerts since the COVID-19 pandemic derailed live music in spring 2020.
“The pandemic affects and most others still to this day,” said Taylor Price, events and music manager for Rockford Brewing, noting that the brewpub hasn’t resumed live music until now due to “the labor shortage we are all experiencing. It’s very real.”
Rivard and Price added that cover charges and ticket sales have been instituted because it’s “the only sustainable method” to support performances.
“While we loved the free live shows, they were often not attended well enough to cover costs. Cover charges and tickets remove the financial risk and allow us to focus on shows that are more sought after in our little neck of the woods, which can be tough with so many great venues in Grand Rapids as well as a few notable ones in Rockford,” Price said.
“Moving forward we will have a mix of both, along with free shows.”
The upstairs venue at Rockford Brewing has a capacity of 90. “We hope to pack the room,” Price said.
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