Rockin’ the Shores returns with a 2-day event

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published September 19, 2017

 Local band Sponge will headline Sept. 22 at the 2017 Rockin’ the Shores Beer and Music Festival.

Local band Sponge will headline Sept. 22 at the 2017 Rockin’ the Shores Beer and Music Festival.

Photo provided by Julie Law


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Ready to rock?

The first Rockin’ the Shores Beer and Music Festival was such a hit in 2016 that it’s been extended to a two-day event with 11 bands, local brews and more.

Co-organizer Julie Law said that more than 1,000 people turned out for the inaugural event.

“We decided, hey, let’s take this to a two-day event,” she said. 

Sponsored by Roy O’Brien Ford and held at the dealership, at 22201 E. Nine Mile Road, the original intent was to highlight the city, and this year’s event, to be held Sept. 22-23 aims to do that.

Vinnie Dombroski, the lead singer of Sponge, got the event started in 2016.

Dombroski has lived in St. Clair Shores for about 13 years and has an office in the city. Driving around St. Clair Shores’ downtown area at Nine Mile Road and Mack Avenue, he said he thought, “How many times have you done a festival in a downtown area? I’ve done this dozens of times in areas just like St. Clair Shores. I thought ... why wouldn’t we try doing it here?”

When he approached the Nine-Mack Merchants Association with the idea in 2016, Mark O’Brien offered up the dealership for the venue.

In addition to great local bands, the city is a booming home of craft brewers, so it only seemed right to highlight some local beer, Dombroski said.

Sponge will be the headline act Sept. 22, with four other bands playing from 5 to 11 p.m. On Sept. 23, country acts join in the mix of six bands playing 1-11 p.m., with country music legend Waylon Jennings’ son, Shooter Jennings, headlining.

Tickets for the Rockin’ the Shores Beer and Music Festival cost $35 for one day or $60 for both days of the event, including entry into the festival and 15 sampling tickets per day.

“It’s a great deal because you can’t go see a concert and get approximately three beers for $35,” Law said. 

The full lineup of musical acts is available at

Baffin Brewing Co. of St. Clair Shores will be bringing a specially brewed beer named Cherry Underwood to the event, Law said. And Kuhnhenn Brewery is bringing a Sponge Chai Tea Latte specialty brew as well. 

There will also be beer and brewers from Dark Horse, Motor City Brewing Co., Right Brain, Rochester Mills and Roak.

“The uniqueness of this, too, we actually have the brewers themselves or representatives from each brewery there,” Law said. “For craft beer enthusiasts, they’ll be able to talk to them about how they brew their beer.” 

For those who don’t enjoy beer, Tito’s Handmade Vodka Bar and the Wine Garden of St. Clair Shores will also be at the event. Sampling tickets can also be exchanged for full-sized drinks. 

Dombroski said that Friday night’s performances will be more rock and roll, while Saturday is “like the outlaw country night”; he’s excited for Shooter Jennings to perform.

“He’s got a great career and a great touring band, so we thought we’d talk to Shooter and bring him out here,” Dombroski said. “We’re pulling from all the local resources we can: just a ton of Michigan food, local beer, local vendors, local bands.”

Along with the brews and bands, there will be food available from Firehouse Pub, Little Z’s BBQ, Motor City Hotel and Casino’s High-Octane Food Truck and Billy Sim’s Barbeque. 

Bicycle riders have a chance to come join the fun with a special Nautical Ride to the event Sept. 22, and motorcyclists can sign up with sponsor Wolverine Harley-Davidson for a special ride to the event Sept. 23. 

Proceeds from both rides will benefit the Rainbow Connection, which helps dreams come true for Michigan children with life-threatening illnesses and provides support services for their families.

“We had a great event last year, and it’s an awful lot of stuff to set up for one day,” Dombroski said. 

For tickets and more information, visit