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At MACROCK XXVII, a beloved community presence expands its horizons

A five-person rock band performs onstage at Clementine in Harrisonburg.
Annie Parnell
VPM Music
The Washington, D.C.-based indie band Pretty Bitter performed at Clementine in Harrisonburg as part of MACROCK on Saturday, April 6.

The 27th anniversary of the long-running DIY festival was held in Harrisonburg earlier this month.

Earlier this month, artists and fans from all over the East Coast flocked to Harrisonburg for MACROCK, a long-running DIY music festival that’s become a pillar of the community.

MACROCK began as the Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference, in association with James Madison University’s college radio station WXJM. Since its founding in 1996, the festival has seen sets from renowned indie and DIY acts, including Sufjan Stevens, Dashboard Confessional and Fugazi.

Now, MACROCK is an independent, volunteer-run nonprofit that provides East Coast musicians and labels an important chance to connect. Annie Parnell, writer for VPM Music and host of The Undertow, spoke with festival organizers and featured artists about how MACROCK brings the music community together – and their efforts to expand their horizons.

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