Meadville Tribune

Local News

September 11, 2013

Bands 'Rock 2 Rebuild' Beach Club this weekend

SUMMIT TOWNSHIP — More than 30 bands joining forces beside the charred remains of the Beach Club will make a statement starting Friday, according to Jason Hetrick, one of the musical minds behind “Rock 2 Rebuild,” an upcoming benefit concert.

And what’s their statement?

“The Beach Club will be rebuilt, one way or another,” said Jason Stolarz, Rock 2 Rebuild co-organizer. “This just shows how many people want to see it happen.”

The concert is not only about raising money to restore the club’s former glory, Hetrick said, but also a means of channeling the Beach Club’s spirit for a weekend of musical variety.

“The Beach Club was built to entertain,” Hetrick said. “We’re molding this event into one big, multifaceted, diverse show and that’s what the Beach Club was.”

More than 80 bands volunteered for the concert initially, but only so many acts can fit into a single weekend, Stolarz said.

The concert will be split into two stages on the Hotel Conneaut lawn and an indoor venue in Elizabeth’s restaurant in the hotel.

“The point is to have music on all corners,” Stolarz said. “Elizabeth’s will have mostly acoustic bands inside, but you can have music while you eat and walk around. It’s going to be like a local Woodstock.”

Music styles are expected to include classic rock, country, bluegrass, dance, alternative and just about everything in between, Stolarz added.

“These people either played or visited the Beach Club at one point,” he said. “They all wanted to give back. All their different styles epitomize the Beach Club.”

The concert is a chance for Beach Club-lovers to come together and pay tribute to more than 70 years of entertainment, including comedy shows and, of course, local bands.

“We can’t express enough thanks to these guys and all the bands for what they’ve done for us here,” said Steve Popovich of Park Restoration LLC, which leases the Beach Club and Dockside, both of which burned down on Aug. 1. “The response was incredible. It blew up overnight.”

The Beach Club’s followers considered it such an icon, in fact, they had the benefit concert in the works mere hours after the incident.

“We started bringing all this together the day of the fire, really,” Stolarz said. “It happened immediately once the news broke.”

By the time Thunder in the City rolled around about a day later, Hetrick said, the basic concept solidified.

“We just really wanted to do something for this cause,” he said. “To see (Park Restoration) lose something like that was the biggest heartbreaker.”

“The Beach Club was the heart of the park,” Stolarz said, emphasizing the positive impact made by Park Restoration.

Also referenced were previous fires, including one that ravaged the Dreamland Ballroom in Conneaut Lake Park.

“They’ve had so much bad luck with fires,” Stolarz said. “And they’re just left with the skeletons of former buildings. No one wants to see that happen with the Beach Club.”

“If you don’t put that icon back, nothing is left, really,” Hetrick said. “The Beach Club was a shining example that things that can be brought back up.”

You can go

Rock 2 Rebuild will run from Friday to Sunday at the former site of the Beach Club at Conneaut Lake Park. The first act will play at 6 p.m. with the final act playing at 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at the Berry Basket and Anchor Beer in Conneaut Lake or online at and Single day tickets are $11 in advance and $14 at the gate. Weekend passes are $31 in advance and $34 at the gate.

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