After hearing that Shamrock The Block would be moving from its longtime location in Shockoe Bottom to the Boulevard this year, quite a few business owners in Shockoe Bottom were upset. Instead of sitting around and complaining, though, they’ve organized an event of their own to take place at 17th Street Farmer’s Market this Saturday.
After hearing that Shamrock The Block would be moving from its longtime location in Shockoe Bottom to the Boulevard this year, quite a few business owners in Shockoe Bottom were upset. Instead of sitting around and complaining, though, they’ve organized an event of their own to take place at 17th Street Farmer’s Market this Saturday. Shockoe Fest, aka Shamrock The Bottom–a temporary and unofficial name that has nonetheless stuck–will feature participation from nearly 30 different local restaurants, and a lineup of local musicians performing all afternoon. The event will start at 11 AM on Saturday, March 15.
As a result of the relatively short time between when the Shamrock The Block change of venue was made public and when the event is due to take place, Shockoe shopkeepers have had to organize in a hurry. However, support from the general public and from the business community has been strong for the idea. Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association organized the event in partnership with Summit Media Group [Hot100.9, Classic Rock 96.5 & 103.7 Play], and at this point, nearly 30 Shockoe area restaurants, including Sine Irish Pub, River City Diner, Bottoms Up Pizza, McCormack’s Irish Pub, Rosie Connolly’s Pub, Cha Cha’s Cantina, and Southern Railway Taphouse, have banded together to participate in the event. As Heather Dixon of FlipMarketing pointed out to Richmond.com: “This is the first time all of the Shockoe Valley restaurant owners have come together to create this huge event where they can really highlight what Shockoe is and why people should want to come down here.”
With permits still pending as of earlier this week, it’s not certain whether 17th St will be closed to traffic. However, events will be occurring both indoors at participating venues, and outdoors in the Farmer’s Market area. Musical groups scheduled to perform include Exebelle & the Rusted Cavalcade, Travis Elliot, Matt Conner, Jimmy Catlett group, Bucket, The Lucky Stiffs, an Irish dance group, Drum and Fife corp, and a bagpipe exhibition. Speaking of the musical lineup, McCormack’s Irish Pub owner William McCormack said: “Everyone is extremely professional, and should appeal across all age groups.”
Meanwhile, for the adults in the audience, Shockoe Fest will be followed by an offical after party at The Canal Club, beginning at 8 PM. This evening of dance music will feature performances by Baltimore-based quartet ELM (Electric Love Machine), who mix live instrumentation with EDM-style dance grooves for a musical fusion they call “space disco.” Also on the bill will be producer trio DELTAnine, who also hail from Baltimore, and NoVA jamtronica ensemble Definition Of One. For more info on the after party, click here.
Also on tap for the evening, Elliott Yamin will be making his return to official live performance here in RVA with an appearance at the Shockoe Bottom location of F.W. Sullivan’s, at 1001 Haxall Point along the Canal. Yamin’s backing band will be members of Kid Is Qual, and we imagine he’ll have a horn section as well. Having seen a very similar live performance by Yamin at an RVA Magazine Fourth Of July event a couple years ago, we can guarantee that this will be a funky good time.
Shockoe business owners have emphasized in their statements about the event that it was put together not as competition with Shamrock The Block but because the departure of that longtime event would put a serious damper on their business. “This is their biggest sale day of the year,” Dixon explained to Richmond.com. Preserving as much of their expected income for the day as possible is extremely important to keeping the Shockoe business community afloat. “We’re not looking to compete with Shamrock the Block. But we are hoping to make this a successful, annual event,” Dixon continued.