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5 things to know about Gettysburg Rocks

Have a case of the winter blues?

Head to the Gettysburg area Feb. 5 and 6 where bands from all over the country will converge to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer.

Gettysburg Rocks, a music festival that benefits the Four Diamonds Fund, in care of the Penn State Mont Alto's THON organization, will host 172 bands at a dozen venues in the York-Adams region. The event, which takes place in February and August, has raised more than $45,000 for the organization since its inception in 2014.

Here are five things to know if you go:

1. At least half of this year's bands have never performed at Gettysburg Rocks. 

Director Rob Simon personally handpicks every band, and this year, many of those acts are new to the festival.

"Nobody is going to know most of these bands," he said. "They're the cream of the crop. We pick extremely talented musicians from all over the country. We have one from Hawaii playing."

Though the festival officially takes place Feb. 5 and 6, it kicks off Feb. 4 at Battlefield Brew Works with Jared Draheim and Han.

2. The number of participating venues has grown. 

Eagle & the Owl at the Liberty Mountain Resort and the McSherrystown Moose Lodge are two of this year's new performance locations. Many of the venues are concentrated in Gettysburg, Simon said, but there are also some in New Oxford, Bonneauville, Hanover, Fairfield and McSherrystown.

Admission is free at all venues, he said, but donations for the Four Diamonds Fund are greatly appreciated.

3. There's something for everyone. 

"(Gettysburg Rocks) has always been our name, but it's not a rock festival," Simon said.

All types of genres are represented, he said. Folk, country, blues, American, ska, punk, metal, pop and classic rock are among the styles of music attendees will enjoy.

4. Food!

Every venue serves up a different type of food, from Cajun to Italian fare, Simon said. Learn more about the venues here.

5. The donations make a difference.

The Four Diamonds Fund, based out of Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, provides emotional and financial support to families dealing with pediatric cancer. The organization pays for travel expenses, helps families find housing near the hospital and "takes away all of the woes of your everyday life, so that all you have to concentrate on is being with your child," Simon said.

As childhood cancer becomes more common, entities like the Four Diamonds Fund continue to need funding, he said.

"That's why we have events like this," Simon said.

"All the bands we work with are very passionate about the cause," he said.

Trenton Wright, a sophomore at Penn State Mont Alto, said the organization is very thankful to Simon for putting the festival together.

"It's just a good time for everybody," Wright said.

For a full list of venues, bands, performance schedules and more information, visit