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Rock for Love Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

As member Church Health Center prepares for its move to Crosstown, its top fundraising effort - the Rock for Love music festival - celebrates its 10th anniversary. That's ten years of promoting Memphis music and supporting the Church Health Center's mission to improve and provide healthcare for the working poor in Memphis. You can experience Rock for Love yourself on September 2nd - 4th (check out the lineup here), but for more about the festival, here are its founders - Jeff Hulett, J.D. Reager and Marvin Stockwell - to answer a few questions.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Church Health Center’s Rock for Love festival. For those of us new to Memphis (or who have just been living under a rock – no pun intended), what is the Rock for Love festival?
JEFF HULETT (JH): Rock for Love is a benefit for the Church Health Center. The Church Health Center provides healthcare to countless musicians and artists throughout our city. This is their way to give back and support the cause that cares for them when they are down and out. Rock for Love has grown into a three day affair that features an incredibly diverse line up of newcomers, main stays and up-and-comers. There's something for everyone and it's for a great cause. 
J.D. REAGER (JR): Rock for Love is a multi-headed, fire-breathing hydra spitting flames in the face of poverty and an inadequate and corrupt healthcare industry. The Church Health Center takes care of the working poor in Memphis, and Rock for Love takes care of the Church Health Center.
Ten years is a big milestone! What are some of your favorite moments from the past festivals?
JH: Lucero at the Hi-Tone in year four. Imagine the most packed room ever with everyone singing and dancing in unison. We raised nearly $10,000 that night. Also, Booker T. Jones in year six at the Shell was just beautiful. Al Kapone opened and it was just so Memphis. 
MARVIN STOCKWELL (MS): Oh gosh, it’s hard to pick just one… there have been so many great bands over the years. Lucero drawing 620 people to the Hi Tone at Rock for Love 4 was pretty amazing. It was so hot and sweaty but we all just packed in there and sweat it out together. I remember worrying that the band might pass out, but they were so great and played for at least two hours. Thankfully, no one died. The Al Kapone / Lord T and Eloise co-headlining bill at Rock for Love 2 was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, ever.

JR: There are so, so many to choose from. I can’t remember exactly what year it was, but Ross Johnson’s emcee skills were/are unparalleled – the man should have been a comedian instead of a drummer. (Though, in fairness, he’s a fine drummer.) I nearly laughed my face off. I’ll also second Jeff’s pick of the Lucero show for sheer crowd-insanity.
Who’s on the lineup for this year and where can we see them?
JH: While i'm looking forward to all of it, the gotta-sees include Winchester & the Ammunition at the Hi-Tone on Friday, Sept. 2,  Julien Baker and the Dead Soldiers at Otherlands on Saturday, Sept. 3., and Amy LaVere, Jack O and Star & Micey at the Levitt Shell Sunday, Sept. 4. 
MS: This year’s bill is dynamite. I am really excited about every night, but we have been wanting add an Otherlands show for years, so I’m excited about that especially.
JR: Who isn’t on the line-up?  20 acts at 4 venues in 3 days. We always try to get the best bands in town, and this year we may have damn done it.
What makes Rock for Love a uniquely Memphis event?

JH: It's Memphians (mostly) giving back to Memphis. It's also because of the band pairings that happen. It's rare when you can have a bill comprised of Indie, folk-rock, hip-hop and instrumental stuff all on the same night. I love it! 
MS: People love great Memphis music, of which there is no shortage. They realize that our work helps so many people and they want to support it.

JR: The show was created by Memphians. Nearly every band that has ever played has been from Memphis. The sponsors are local businesses. The show always takes place at venues in the heart of the city. You can’t get more Memphis than this.
Can you tell us a little more about the Church Health Center and what they provide for our community?

JH: Church Heath fills so many gaps for so many people. Dentistry, eye-care, wellness, smoking cessation classes, behavioral health offerings. They do everything and help so many folks who otherwise would have nowhere else to turn. I often here the following refrain: "Church Health saved my life." 
JR: What Jeff said, plus I would add that Church Health’s Memphis Plan – which I was formerly on, and helped me out quite a bit – gives small businesses in Memphis a means to provide healthcare access to employees when traditional methods are simply not an option.

Posted: 8/24/2016 7:30:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Blog, Center, Church, Festival, for, Health, Love, M, Memphis, Music, Rock

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