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Rock Around the Block's future remains unknown

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Marcia Nelesen
May 29, 2013

— Plans for Rock Around the Block, a popular summer downtown music event in Janesville, are on hold, according to an organizer.

Rumors that the event, which has been held on Main Street for eight years, had been cancelled surfaced last weekend.

Part of the problem appears to be an event that became too popular too quickly.

Matt Schreier, a member of the event's planning committee, said his group is doing "whatever we can to bring this great event back.

"There's some dynamics that need to be sorted out before we move on."

That discussion could include a redefinition of the event to become smaller and be held at a different time. In the past, it has been held the last Sunday in August.

"Quite simply, we experienced a lot of growth," Schreier said. "It was explosive. We got too big, too fast. We lost support from within."

In addition, last year's rain "put a ding" in the group's finances.

"We didn't have the start-up cushion we've had in past years," Schreier added.

"Some dynamics need to be worked through from a committee board standpoint," he said. "That's pretty much what's going on right now. I hope by the end of the week we'll have something to put forth, one way or the other.

"Possibly, we're looking at an evolving event, and we'll hang in there," Schreier said.

Rock Around the Block, which evolved from a former downtown event called Rendezvous on the River, was first staged in 2005 and attracted about 2,000 people. The event enjoyed its largest crowd in 2011, when an estimated 15,000 people attended.

In the past, Schreier has said costs to stage Rock Around the Block range between $35,000 to $50,000. Downtown bars contribute a large amount of the money, he said.



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