Camp rockers debut on the River City Roots Festival stage

MISSOULA- A batch of freshly minted rock stars helped kick off the start of the River City Roots Festival.

Friday marked the start of the weekend festival that's been running in Missoula for the past 14-years.

The Zootown Arts Community Center hosted a week-long all-boys rock camp, where young dreamers gathered to learn, sing, and perform at the River City Roots Festival. It's part of the ZACC's routine series of rock camps for boys and girls.

"They show up on Monday, they get to know each other, they practice song writing, and they try out all the instruments. Then we put them in a band based on what they say they'd like to play and then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, they practice and write a song with their band,” Education Director for ZACC, Lukas Phelan said.

After a week of training, and a dress rehearsal yesterday in front of their families, the musicians in the making say this was the only music camp that let them have an opportunity to be on the big stage.

"This is the only rock camp out of all the summer that gets to play up on a big stage," says Garrett Hinderman, who joined the camp and played for a band dubbed Lethal RV. "The other ones are in a nightclub or something so I think it's really nice we get to play up on a big stage in front of a crowd."

After performing in front of family, friends and a large Garden city Crowd, band singer Merlin Parsons says the main goal is to always entertain.

"I just think about trying to make them entertained the most, just trying to entertain them to keep them interested in the band,” Parsons said.

The ZACC says this boys rock camp gives these rock stars in the making a chance to express themselves-- learn new skills-- and make new friends, all while doing what they love.

The ZACC also offers rock camps for girls and co-ed camps throughout the year. Check out more of what they do here.

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