LUDROCK not just about music

June 25, 2014

ludrock_1It’s about helping the community.

By Kate Krieger. Senior Correspondent.

LUDINGTON – “Be Part of It” is this year’s tagline for the third annual LUDROCK, a two-day concert event geared towards raising money for different Mason County charities. LUDROCK, Inc. president, Ed Santarelli said the entire event isn’t just about music, it’s something bigger than that.

“Music is just the car getting us to where we want to go,” he said. “We try to be as generous as we can. What we are really just trying to do is make the world a better place and there is so much need in this area.”

ludrock_2The event runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, June 28 and noon to 6 p.m., Sunday, June 29. The entire event is at the Waterfront Park.

This year’s recipients are the Ludington Area Schools Resource Center, Ludington Area Council for the Arts (LACA), St. Simon’s Food Pantry, Ludington Area Visitor and Convention Bureau (CVB) and Helping a (The Eric Lund Fund). Each charity will receive certain fiscal amounts raised at the event. The event boasts 45 acts over the two days and it is free, but a non-perishable food item donation is asked for those attending, which will all be donated to the St. Simon’s Food Pantry. Cash or check donations will also be accepted at the gate.

Santarelli stated that any money donation given to the event will either be split among the charities or anyone looking to donate directly to one of the charities can do so as well and that donation will be given to the specific charity of choice.

Last year, the event raised around $20,000, with around 5,000 people in attendance. They also collected 300 pounds of food items that were donated to the food pantry. Santarelli said he hopes that this year’s event will blow last year’s out of the water.

Some of the musicians performing this year are Fremont John, Tangle Eye, Lou Thunder Band, Awesome Distraction, The Road Less Traveled and Zeek and Wally.

“The musicians have ties to the local community,” Santarelli said. “I’m so amazed there is so much artistic talent in this little town.”

Santarelli said it really broke his heart that he had to turn away other musicians, but the event just didn’t propose enough time to have anymore acts. He is maximizing the amount of time he was already given by having to make slots shorter and really tightening up his tech time between acts. The event will showcase a wide variety of musical genres from rock, county, pop and folk.

“The only thing we are truly missing is jazz,” Santarelli said. “It’s like a huge variety show and without the influx of people who listen to different things we couldn’t really do what we do.”

Santarelli said he continues to be amazed by the outpouring of support the event continues to receive each year.

“People are really starting to get it,” he said. “It’s not just a concert, it’s a sense of community. That’s what we are all about. It’s so much more than people on a stage.”

When Santarelli heard that there was 52 percent of the Ludington Area Schools’ student body on free or reduced lunch, he really wanted to help out and knew that LUDROCK could be a way to give back one way or another. He also said that the Eric Lund Fund fell right into their laps as well and he’s very excited to be able to help out the cause. Every penny from the food vendor tent will be donated to the cause and so will money coming in from certain auction items. The money from the beer tent will be split between the LACA and CVB. There will also be a charity raffle that will benefit the LACA. Santarelli said that the money going towards the LACA will be used to improve the center’s theatre area which is in need of better lighting, sound and other equipment to make it a more state of the art facility for the community and community events.

“There will be a lot of good things going on both days,” Santarelli said. “It’s really a collective effort.”

Santarelli said that he is just one of many who come together to put on LUDROCK each year and without that sense of community it would not be able to continue to grow.

“It’s not just some rock concert,” he said. “There’s really a purpose. It’s so much more than just music. I’m blessed to be a part of it. It just blows me away how many people get involved.”

This week different musicians and volunteers are being featured at 5 p.m. on 94-KROCK with The Boatman to perform and discuss the event.

“A lot of people put on concerts and do a better job,” Santarelli said. “We try to always include the local community. It’s part of the charm. No part of the event is bigger than the next. It truly is a collective effort.”

LUDROCK is a 5013c charitable organization, recognized by the State of Michigan. For more information about the event or ways to still donate, go to or and search for “LUDROCK 2014.”

“We want to be the biggest summer gig in Ludington,” Santarelli said. “Not just a concert though, a way to give back and continue to create that sense of community.”


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