CADOTT — Rock Fest is about more than the music. It’s a place for making memories and making friends.
Now that the annual three-day festival north of Cadott is celebrating its 25th year, loyal fans who have attended year after year have collected plenty of both.
Take Susan All, for example. The Wisconsinite has been to Rock Fest 21 years out of 25. Over her more than two decades of attendance, she has created some favorite memories, bonded with a growing group of friends and a proved her loyalty to the festival.
All and her husband, Steven, on Thursday were with a group of about a dozen friends who got to know each other through camping at the festival, but their bond goes beyond that.
“We met here throughout the years, and now we go to each other in four different states,” said friend Stacy Scherer from Kansas City, Mo. “We talk all year-round.”
The group looked on as their friends Scott and Daisy Gettel of Lake Park, Minn., tied the knot in red and black outfits. The festival the year before was the couple’s first vacation together, so the event holds significance for them.
Originally, Scott Gettel said he was hoping to propose to Daisy at Rock Fest, but she started dropping hints about a proposal earlier in the year. When he told his festival friends this in their Facebook group chat, someone suggested getting married at the festival instead.
“So I said, ‘Well, why not?’” he said.
Daisy nodded in agreement, saying, “Punk (rock) is kind of our thing, so it fits.”
While even the festival’s general manager, Wade Asher, has a few moments that stand out to him, he said what it always comes down to is the fan base, which he looks forward to interacting with more and more as the years go by.
“Two rockers can come as just two people, and they’ll leave with 10 friends. ... There’s such a culture here, and it’s the fans that are doing that.”
To celebrate Rock Fest’s 25th year, Asher said new additions have been put in place on the grounds, from a walk in the woods to a twice-the-size second stage. He said fans also have a few surprises to anticipate.
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