This autumn’s On The Rocks preview event, On The Pebbles, dotted the town this past Saturday with pop-up events led by various art communities across town. The events, which offered both hands on and hands off creativity, brought the town well into the winter’s coming festive season with lights, food, drinks, and plenty of live music. If you read our previewyou’ve got a pretty good idea of how busy my schedule was during the events, stuffing embroidery in my bag as I hurried to Tesco for some a Capella, snacking at Combini Café before rushing to Janetta’s for gelato and live tunes. Needless to say, the day was a blast. Here’s a rundown of everything Saturday’s fest had to offer:
My day began in the Barron theatre, embroidering a daisy (by far the worst in the group) on a complimentary On The Rocks tote bag with Sustainable Style. The vibe was very relaxed, which was perfect given its early-day time slot, and people were scattered in their stitching, or drawing, or patch repair. A clothes rail of vintage and repurposed dresses, shirts, and jackets hung awaited creative minds to sew in patches, though for the most part everyone seemed content with their own personal projects. As for mine, I am now the proud owner of one extraordinarily disfigured daisy tote bag. And I love it.
My embroidery kept me caught up in the Barron, and though I ran to Tesco I narrowly missed hearing the Bells a Capella group perform. I did manage to catch a couple glimpses of their set in off a video, and from everything I heard it went incredibly well.
I then moved on to Combini Café, which featured artists from around the town, including photo, print, and painting. Nature and culture motifs came across through explorations of race, gender, and mythos, with sizeable collections from some, such as print design artist Maya Marie, watercolorist Hanabi Blackmoor, and photographer Britton Struthers. The gallery brought color and vibrancy to the Combini Café’s bookshelves, which a smart student shopfront would welcome regularly. The mood was also perfectly calming following the Tesco run, and the sandwich perfectly filling before my journey to Janetta’s.
Despite sadly missing two STAR favorites musicians, Annabel Grace and Liana Flores, I came in just in time to listen to the relaxed acoustics of Kai Chek Ng. I grabbed a season-appropriate scoop of gingerbread gelato (iconic) and fell into step behind the bustle of fellow listeners. The daylight had given way to a downpour by this point, and everyone huddled around the oddly warm ice cream parlour, comforted by the sounds of rain and guitar picking. I stayed well past the final bites in my cup, but sadly had to run off for a meeting before the night’s festivities continued in Sandys.
The Jazz performance in Sandys was well packed when I arrived, with just enough seats for everyone to gather around and chat. Many that I met had come early and would stay for the Stand Up later in the night, happily enjoying pints to Jazzwork’sTake Five and Dream a Little Dream of Me. Their renditions were classical favorites, but with the timing twists one could expect of classic jazz covers. Jazzworks always brings the best musical vibes, making it ever the more difficult to drag myself away, but I had one more stop before the final Sandys event of the night.
All day, pictures of Adamson cocktails and watercolor palettes had floated around my mind. Artsoc’s Watercolor Workshop in Next Door proved a wild success, with custom drinks (I had the Get Michaelangelow, and I want more) and, in keeping with the rest of the day’s themes, live musicians taking turns with their soft strumming. Seats were, however, limited, and for the entirety of my stay there was not a single empty space. Coordinators assured me that the next venue would hold a larger capacity, which seems smart, given how many people enjoyed huddling around flowers and playing with color. If the only fault to an event is it’s over popularity, the takeaway must be of success.
Having lost my opportunity to match my ridiculous daisy embroidery with a talentless daisy painting, I made my way back to Sandys just in time for the night’s stand up. Classic staple acts of ComSoc took stage, bringing with them the staple controversy, edge, and hilarity. With topics ranging from tomato squishing to Applebees, each act brought something fresh to the stage, and though I may never again hear the words “coat hanger” without shuddering, the event brought a perfect end to a day of art, music, open mics, and good food and drink.
On the Rocks year after year demonstrates impressive creative planning, organization, and execution of their events. Should this November’s preview be any indication of what’s in store for On the Rocks 2020, we can expect the town to be glowing with music, laughter, and expressions of sustainability this spring.