Heavy Rebel Weekender

Heavy Rebel Weekender


Three stages, over 70 acts, close to 200 cars and a ridiculous amount of Pabst Blue Ribbon made for a fun weekend on Trade Street in Winston-Salem as the 9 th annual Heavy Rebel Weekender rolled through town. “We still have trouble getting the locals to know about it,” said event promoter Dave Quick. “We have people coming from other countries but still it seems the locals don’t turn out. The businesses do know about us and support us.” With bands — and fans — from France, Israel, Canada and Mexico, HRW has definitely gained international attention. The weekend started at the Garage in downtown Winston on Thursday night then moved to the Millennium center from Friday until Sunday night. “You’ll never see anything like this in your life,” said Brandon Smith a member of car club the Maulers. “Pretty much everybody’s good people.” Guys with tattoos, greased-back hair and cigarettes rolled into sleeves of tight white T-shirts; girls in pink dresses with cherries on them and girls with green hair. The crowd was a mix of vibrancy. “They all look really tough but they’re all just marshmallows,” said Quick. “With a lot of tattoos they look tough but they’re not.” The Maulers from Wilmington and the Saints, who have chapters in North Carolina and South Carolina, are car clubs who helped run Saturday’s car and motorcycle show. The Saints have been with HRW since its first year when a turnout of 20 cars lined down Trade Street It’s the first year for the Maulers. A ford with a Chrysler motor, a Cadillac with a turbo diesel truck motor, an odd-looking exoskeleton frame with a homemade wooden body and a few Volkswagens thrown in, the turnout of cars was a parade of color and induvudual style. The car show called for only pre-1968 cars, nothing was allowed to be tailored and they emphasized “no muscle cars” and “no Mustangs/Camaros.” Thirty minutes before registration a line of cars tried to grab what was left of available space as it the queue ran two long blocks down to Elliott’s Review within minutes of the 9 a.m. start time. On Sunday, after the Nanner Pudding Eating Contest, while burlesque dancers shimmied all day long, Adam Rinn from Coney Island helmed the sideshow. Dressed in a bright plaid suit with a sleeveless white shirt and a very short tie, Rinn breathed fire, tore phone books in half and swallowed swords. He teaches a class in these things back home in Brooklyn. The beauty of HRW is that you can’t put your finger on it. It encompasses cars, fashion, music from heavy metal to ska to punk to hard country to straight-up rock and everything in between, a great deal of attitude and a bit of hedonism. Heavy Rebel is more of a movement than a festival. It’s probably easiest to describe it as a party. Quick is okay with that. “I don’t care what you have planned for your Fourth of July weekend,” he says, “but you’re not going to have as much fun as me.”

The Heavy Rebel Weekender car show is limited to cars made before 1968, and excludes Mustangs, Camaros and anything tailored. (photo by Jesse Kiser)