Rockin’ at the drive Inn Barn

Posted by Dee-Ann On October - 19 - 20103,584 views

Rockin’ at the Drive-In Barn is an annual Rock and roll festival in Belgium. Last year in august was the 5th edition of this successful event. We have the dates for next years festival. It will be on August 20 and 21, 2011. Music, car and bike show, dj’s, Pinup photoshoot, rock and roll market, jive lessons. It’s like a small village in rockabilly land. Tony and Marcel are the two men behind Rockin’ at the Drive-In Barn.

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Tony and Marcel, how are the preperations of the 6th Rockin’ at the Drive-In Barn going?
Tony: By the end of november all the bands should be booked. We can’t say to much about it yet. But one thing is sure, we have to go on like we’re doing now! We’ve build up a good name.That has to stay like that! By the end of 2010 we want our pre-flyers to be ready!
Marcel:we are also working on attrackting more cars and bikes to our festival. So the needs of everyone is going to be met.  

How did you start with the first Rockin’ at the Drive-In Barn?

Tony: I worked for an other event for two years. After the second year I quit. I’m happy I made that decision. In 2006 I started my own event. The first year Herwig and I lost money with it. Herwig decided to quit. I didn’t give up. You don’t build up a name in one year! And I’m glad I did, things went better after that. Especially after year three, when our golden hearted Marcel decided to join me! Marcel already helped since the first year. But since 2008 we work together. 

Marcel:Well yes. From the start I helped finding sponsors, and dowhatever what was necessary. Let’s say I just rolled in it!!   

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The 5th edition of the festival was this year. What’s the difference between the last one and the first?Tony:From the start I wanted to book bands who didn’t play here yet,or not in a few years.And certainly not all the time the same bands you can see every month! But you’ve got to build this up.This year we had Luis Wildfire + Santos. To me that was something really special. The first year we had Jack Rabbit Slim. It was their first gig on the main land.Look where they have been now. Of course this has nothing to do with the fact that they also played at the DIB. But it means that we always look out to discover bands.

Marcel: That we still learn and that Rockin’ at the Drive-In Barn is now every year on a lot of people their calendars!

With such an huge event you have to arrange meetings with local government, fire department, and what else?
The first year is the most difficult. You’ve got to start everything up.Now we have to change things a bit,as you already know how to do it! This year we had some problems with parking.A lot of people parked where they we’re not allowed to park.So in the next meeting with the police they will tell us to look out for a solution.But we already talked about this with our team! From the local government we had to create a rescueplan.In the beginning you don’t like that.But now we see the benefits of it!

How do you choose the bands for the festival?
Tony: We mainly book bands we like.

Marcel: Tony is the man for the bands.We talked about it with the two of us, but he decides who we will take. I’m more the technical person! 


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You divide bands in three levels. Tell us about that?

Tony: Yes,we do! The first group are bands who are friends of us,or bands we think that they deserve to play at our event to get some attention.Several other organizers,or people who run a bar come to our event.So if they do well, they might be able to get some extra gigs for in the future.

The second group are bands who already have a name.

And the last group are bands who get the attention from people.

But still it isn’t easy to decide who you will book.You might think that if you book somebody that people will know .But it isn’t a surprise to me anymore that there are a lot of people in the scene who don’t know to much about who’s around.It’s like I said before,we try to book the bands we like! 

What band was your best choice and why?
Tony:There is no best choise! What’s important to me is that people like the bands.And there will always be bands you like more than others.But that doesn’t mean the are not good! We book bands we believe in! No regrets so far!!

Marcel: Indeed,we can like certain bands, but others have to like them too.Looks like we made good choices, as every year we get more visitors.

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What kind of bands are not suited for these kind of events? Why not?

Tony: We tried different styles and we are happy with that.It’s boring if all bands play in the same way! To me it is important that bands bring something special. Too many bands play the same songs all the time.I know not everybody has the skills to write their own songs.But if you bring covers,choose some people won’t recognize directly. 

Marcel: Variation is good thing to bring!

Any stories about what went terribly wrong?

Tony: There are always things that go wrong. We are not perfect. We do our best to improve everything. And when you would compair the first year with the fifth I can say that things became a lot better! You know, we are still learning!!!

Marcel: Several things, but luckely the visitors don’t always see it. Shit happens!

 Stories about what was absolutely great?

Tony: I can be short about this.I’m really proud of what we’ve build up.And that we still make progress! Every year in the last weeks you want it to be over.And when it is going on you’re really proud of it.And than finally after the good comments from the people who had a great time at the event you have enough energy to start for the next one!

Marcel: What I like the most is that after flyerering that you see thepeople you gave a flyer at your event and that they are having a greattime!  

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Do you have other passions?

Tony: Other passions? My girlfriend! hahaha We try to do other things as well.She has a Chihuahua, so we go out with him a lot for a walk. That’s a good thing. Soon we are going to live together. So hopefully that will give me some time to do some sports again!

Marcel: My other hobby’s? Working on my car projects or my collections.Or doing things with my son! Sometimes I would like to clone myself!   

How did your love for rock and roll start?
Tony: Wow,difficult to answer! I know I was already interested in it since the 80’s when I still went to school.In the beginning it all started with the american cars of the 40’s and 50’s. Later the music became more important. I just like meetings with old cars,bikes and great bands!

Marcel: A long time ago.Am already a long time in the custom car world, but later the music became inportant as well. And now I’ve got the two things together in our event! 

What are your plans for next years’ festival?
Tony: Every year we try to do something extra.Or something else.It’s not easy to decide what to do.There are already a lot of events. The easiest way is to invite a lot of cars and bikes and give less about the bands. It’s the way to make money.So say that we do it wrong.We don’t mind! We just wanna do in what we believe in!

Marcel: Just make sure that people that the visitors still have a good time!

With thanks to Marc ‘eyeshootphotographs’ Van Wolvelaer.

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