Down County from Great Barrington will perform at Rock the Block 2.0 in North Adams on Sunday.
Update at 1:40 p.m., May 3; Rock the Block will be held inside on Sunday. From the event's Facebook page:
"We will be officially rocking the block in MCLA Venable Gym from 1-10pm ! Participates will receive emails with updated schedules."
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Some sequels can't touch the success of the original.
Think "The Matrix," "Jaws," "Speed" and pretty much any Disney direct-to-video production that have the number two after them.
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students involved with planning "Rock the Block 2.0" hope that the second time around goes better for them. The bar, however, has not been set low: The first event in 2012 drew a couple thousand people to downtown North Adams for a rockin' community party.
Senior Hannah Sterrs, one of the seven MCLA students enrolled in an independent study course titled "Advanced Curatorial Studies in the Performing Arts" who are planning the event, was involved in the 2012 event and remembers its success.
"All of Main Street was packed," she said. "We hope to have a very large crowd. We're working really hard to make that happen."
Hard as in meeting weekly, or more, since January to plan all aspects of a downtown party — a party that inclement weather might force back over to MCLA and indoors. The crew is going to make a decision by noon Saturday and post it on their Facebook page to let people know if Rock the Block will happen from 2 to 8 p.m. on Main Street as planned or from 1 to 10 p.m. in Venable Gym.
"Hopefully we'll be doing it downtown and it will be great," said Sterrs, whose role was marketing the event.
Either way, the event will feature local acts such as Barely Alive, Rebel Alliance and Down County; MCLA students from the student a cappella group, the alumni step team and student performance group Harlequin; and other activities such as Zumba, poetry and flash mobs, food, activities for kids and more.
"It's definitely a family-friendly event," said senior Rachel Nichols, who was in charge of the activities at the event.
Admission is free, which is another way to bridge the MCLA community with the greater North Adams community. That's a goal of the event, particularly right now, with the closure of Northern Berkshire Healthcare casting a dark shadow over the region.
"Spirits are kind of down in the community," Sterrs said, adding that the group hopes the event will make people "forget about their woes."
The students, many of whom are seniors, also see this event as a final goodbye to the community.
"It's one last bang before we go out," Sterrs said.