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Rockabilly on the Route




“ROCKABILLY ON THE ROUTE” 2015   (Video Link)


The largest rockabilly event in New Mexico returns at twice its size.



Tucumcari, NM: The classic car, vintage bike show and music festival that took New Mexico by storm in 2013 and 2014,15 returned June , 2016, to historic Tucumcari, along the iconic blacktop roadway of Route 66. Four action-packed days with over 20 Rockabilly, Americana and Honky Tonk bands performing from all over the map including Japan, Canada and Columbia!


    Event producers Simon Cantlon and Ungelbah Davila, creators of Pink Flamingo Productions, say their goal is to celebrate the unique heritage of America’s Mother Road in New Mexico, as well as the country’s definitive musical legacy. The event is a fundraiser for the New Mexico Route 66 Museum in Tucumcari, the western Route 66 gateway city. 


    To extend on last year’s success, Cantlon and Davila have extended the festival activities to include a pop-up drive-in, tattoo contests – including one for kids with an airbrush artist –  and a swap meet. Thursday, June 4th will kicked off the festival with a park and show of classic cars and vintage motorcycles at the Convention Center and into the night with a Rockin’ Bowl Event at Mountain View Bowling where there will be a live performance by Skinny Jim & the Number 9, from Illinois.


    On Friday, June 6, events included a swap meet, a classic car cruise down Route 66, a pop-up drive-in at the Roadrunner Lodge with a classic movie screening and music from Molly Sue Gonzalez & The Mean Mean Men, of Tennessee.


    Friday at the Convention Center headline bands/acts included The Gilded Cage Burlesk & Varieté review, Hard Fall Hearts, of California, and Reno Divorce, of Colorado, with the Midnight Madness after-party featuring more live music.


    Saturday commenced with a parade down Route 66, ending at the Convention Center where the classic car & vintage bike show, hosted by Albuquerque Voodoo Creeps C.C. and Duke City Rockers, will last through the day, accompanied by music on an outside stage, beer garden, a wide variety of vendors, pinup and tattoo contests, kids' activities, and car show awards. 


    Following the car show, an old school burnout took place at the Alco parking lot. The evening brought headline acts Wayne “The Train” Hancock, of Texas, The Gretsch Brothers, from Japan, and The Creepshow, of Canada, at the Convention Center. The night ended with another Midnight Madness after-party with more live music at the Tri Star Express. 


    Sunday closed the weekend events with a Rockin’ Gospel Brunch at Joe’s Back n’ The Day Diner, and a Tiki Pool Party with live music, colorful cocktails and a pool to lounge or take a dip in at the Tri Star Express.


    “We continued our international tradition this year,” says Davila. “We are thrilled to be bringing in a band from Tokyo, Japan. It’s really exciting to see such an interest in classic American rock’n’roll around the world.”


    But this event isn’t just a great excuse to put on your blue suede shoes and bobby socks. “I feel that this event has a huge tourism and economical impact on Tucumcari, as well as the state of New Mexico,” says Jessica Elebario, former Convention Center director. “Rockabilly has a huge following around the world and this is our way to bring them to the state of New Mexico via historic Route 66.”


    Cantlon, owner of Charleston-based Vive le Rock Productions, and Davila, owner of Albuquerque-based “La Loca Magazine,” launched Rockabilly on the Route in 2013 with an impressive headline performance by the rockabilly queen and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Wanda Jackson.  In it’s inaugural year, the festival drew approximately 1,000 attendees from the local community, state and surrounding area. In 2014 the producers raised the gamut bringing in the “Ultimate Elvis” Justin Shandor, the rockabilly teen sensations Mad Max & the Wild One, and The Lucky Bullets from Oslo, Norway. The event drew over 2,000 attendees from all over the United States and world.


    With events for all ages and a little something for everyone, from hot rods to swing dancing to classic pinup girls, Rockabilly on the Route is the only event of its kind in the state.  Get ready for Rockabilly 2016. So pack your dancing shoes, grab the kiddos, load up the classic car and spend the weekend at one of Tucumcari’s historic mid-century motels this June for the biggest dance party of Route 66.