News Column

Rebel Revelry: Festival Celebrates 13th Year

July 4, 2013


July 04--The Heavy Rebel Weekender is a teenager now.

The music festival, held on the weekend closest to Fourth of July at the Millennium Center, celebrates its 13th anniversary this year with more than 90 acts, plus the car show, mud wrestling, vendors and burlesque acts. The music includes a mix of rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, country, honky-tonk, garage rock, and more.

In honor of the Lucky 13 anniversary, here are 13 things not to miss at this year's show:

Pre-Party: You can get the party started one day early with Thursday's Pre-Party at the Garage, 110 W. Seventh St., with Skye Paige and Winston-Salem's own The Darnell Woodies scheduled to perform starting at 8 p.m. Admission is $5.

Gojira!: The festival kicks off in earnest at 5 p.m. Sunday on the Main Stage with The Gojira Experiment, formerly known as Gojira-X, a Richmond rock band that has just released a new album. Crump Crumpler, the lead singer, is known for his on-stage banter and a short but filthy song that the crowd sings along to.

Burlesque: The Wiggle Room is a recent addition to Heavy Rebel, with burlesque dancers with such colorful names as Cherry Von Bomb, Brandy Noir, Trashique D'Lamour, Skye Paige, Sasha Von Shtupp and Selia D'Katzmeow performing at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. And this year, there will be a Wiggle Room Queen crowned Saturday at 8 p.m. in a "Wiggle Room Queen Showdown" contest.

Ska Fun: One entertaining addition to the HRW lineup in the past few years has been The Local Skank, a New Orleans band that mixes ska, pop and punk, with four girls, one guy, and plenty of catchy music.

Vendors: A wide variety of fashion and merchandise is available each year, including vintage clothing and household items, candy, T-shirts and work shirts, crafts, jewelry, and even handmade pasties. Another booth will be doing "quick, fun hair-dos" as well. And one booth is offering "accessories for the unusual," but we're afraid to ask what that means.

Artists: Squindo, whose art graces this year's HRW poster, will be back selling art prints and original art in his hot-rod-and-cartoons-inspired style. Other artists with booths at the show will include Laster's Art Shack with outsider art from C.M. and Grace Kelly Laster, screenprint designs from E-Bomb's House of Ill Repute, and more.

The Car Show: One of the highlights of every year's HRW is also a free event that draws a lot of attention downtown. The Custom Car Show has vintage and custom cars lining Trade Street and often trailing down some side streets along the way. Last year's show had more than 500 vehicles. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with car show trophies handed out about 3:30 p.m.

Mud Wrestling: Capping off the car show, there's a free performance behind the Millennium Center by The Buzzards, which is accompanied by the annual mud wrestling pit. Anyone can join in. The fun starts at 3 and goes until everyone crawls out of the mud and wrings out their clothes. Then the action moves inside starting at 5 p.m. with that night's performances for ticket holders.

Wet Wifebeaters: On the Main Stage at 9 p.m. Saturday, there's HRW's version of a wet T-shirt contest, with audience cheers deciding the winner.

Local Favorites: Winston-Salem's the bo-stevens, which just released their latest CD, will perform at 10:30 p.m. Saturday on the Underground Stage, and Greensboro's The Tremors will perform at 11:45 that night on the Jailhouse Stage. And on Sunday, 220 Short, another Winston-Salem band, will perform at 5:30 p.m. on the Underground Stage.

Local Cuisine: Sunday's shows start at 2 p.m. with a Krispy Kreme doughnut eating contest, to see who can eat the most jelly-filled doughnuts in 60 seconds (last year's winner scarfed down six). There's also a Pabst Blue Ribbon drinking contest, also with a 60-second count.

Sword Play: At 3 p.m. Sunday, Adam, the First Real Man -- a carnival performer from Coney Island -- takes the main stage with his annual performance of sideshow antics, including sword swallowing, a bed of nails and other stunts.

Competitions: OK, maybe the doughnuts and PBR aren't for you -- at least, not when it comes to watching others binge. But there are two music competitions on Sunday evening, the Upright Bass Slapdown and the Crossroads Guitar Contest. Watch some of the festival's most talented performers compete against each other.

(336) 727-7371


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