Fall on the Outer Banks is known locally as "festival season." The leaves are changing color, and there’s a little chill in the air — but the music scene remains hot. For example, on Oct. 19-20, the 2nd annual Mustang Rock & Roast brings 14 nationally known touring bands to the Banks.
The festival is the brain child of Mike Dianna, a former restauranteur and current Outer Banks music promoter, who had founded the wildly successful annual Mustang Spring Jam.
Last year, Dianna, in conjunction with Currituck Travel & Tourism, decided that the success of his spring shows warranted taking a chance at giving us an opportunity to hear and see quality music during the autumn season. Hence, the inaugural Mustang Rock & Roast. Dianna decided to couple great music with great food by incorporating a BBQ cook-off and an oyster roast into two days of top-drawer music.
Although Mustang Rock and Roast is a new event in the Mustang family of productions, according to Mike Dianna, “It’s a more ‘food centric’ event. There will be seven different live, local, and regional and nationally touring bands taking the stage each day.”
This year, the first day of the Mustang Rock and Roast will feature a barbecue cook off, pitting some of the OBX’s best chefs against each other with their individual takes of North Carolina barbecue. Festival attendees will be able to sample each of the BBQ entries and vote for their favorite.
While that’s happening, a full day of music will kick off with the Mustang Outreach Program Student bands. Saturday’s musical offerings will also feature Aaron Kamm and the One Drops, Urban Soil, The Judy Chops, Galaxy Dynamite, Big Daddy Love, Wild Adriatic and the headliners, (and in my opinion, this year’s “must see” act), the ever-so-funky, The Motet.
On Sunday, there will be a good old-fashioned, all you can eat Outer Banks oyster roast.
Sunday’s sounds will be provided by Manday Huge, Dr. Bacon, South Hill Banks, Lord Nelson, Bennet Wales and the Relief, Polyrhythmics, and Sunday’s headliners Turkuaz, hailing from Brooklyn, New York.
As an added attraction, “artist-at-large" Lee Ross will bring his New Orleans funk, (infused with reggae), to the stage and will be sitting in with multiple bands on the schedule throughout the weekend.
All food is included in the general admission and VIP ticket prices. They’ve also upped the game in the culinary room by including brunch and dinner inside the restaurant as part of the VIP package.
Tickets are $60 in advance, $70 at the door, single-day tickets are $35 in advance, and $40 the day of the show.
All tickets include unlimited food at the BBQ Cook-off and Oyster Roast and free access to the festival’s after-parties at Sundogs.
There will be a limited number of the VIP weekend tickets priced at $199. VIP status includes a brunch and dinner provided by local celebrity chefs, access to Mike Dianna’s Grill Room, three beverage tickets per day, a private bar, a commemorative poster, the BBQ & Oyster Roast food, and “priority access” to the Sundogs after-parties.
A weekend shuttle pass serving all paved roads in Corolla will also be available for $20 for those who would like to party responsibly and not drink and drive. Conversely, there is plenty of free parking at the Tim Buck II Shopping Center, where the venue is located.
One of the best things about all of the Mustang Festivals is that a portion of the proceeds will benefit two worthy OBX nonprofits — The Corolla Wild Horse Fund and the Mustang Outreach Program, the latter of which will showcase some of its student bands at the Mustang Rock & Roast.