The Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off, a four-day grilling showdown and music festival, is the official kick off to grilling season and has become Northeast Ohio’s biggest and most popular backyard BBQ. Live Nation is the producer of this festive feast on Cleveland’s West Bank of the Flats where the ribs are sweeter and the bands are hotter!
Without a doubt, competition is at the heart of this annual barbecue bash. Ten professional grilling teams from across the country will engage in a fierce culinary battle for “Greatest Ribs in America,” “Butch Lupinetti Greatest Sauce in America” and the coveted “People's Choice” awards. The sauce slinging really heats up Saturday, May 25 when five rookie barbecue chefs participate in the annual Marc’s Amateur Grilling Competition. New this year is the opportunity to become an Official Rib Cook-Off Judge! Simply download the FREE Live Nation mobile app by texting “LNAPP’ to 404040. Prior to the cook-off, one random person will be selected and contacted through the Live Nation app about this cool gastronomic prize!
Want some ear candy to go with your ribs? There’s an incredible array of tasty entertainment this year. On Friday, May 24, the cook-off weekend opens with the Cleveland debut of Rocktopia, a unique live concert experience starring five world class lead vocalists and a five-piece rock band, backed by two of Cleveland’s treasured performing arts institutions, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra under the direction of Liza Grossman and Cleveland School of the Arts Choir led by choir-master Dr. William Woods. Rocktopia is co-created by Rob Evan and Maestro Randall Craig Fleischer. Evan is lead-vocalist with Trans-Siberian Orchestra and has had leading roles in a number of Broadway musicals including the original cast of Jekyll & Hyde and Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors and Disney’s Tarzan. Fleischer is guest conductor at the Boston Pops and National Symphony Orchestra, as well as Artistic Director of the Youngstown Symphony. The performance will be enhanced with state-of-the-art video production, providing a magical backdrop for one-of-a-kind musical arrangements that fuse the worlds of rock, classical music and opera. This evening will create a tour-de-force for the students performing with Rocktopia and audience alike.
Rounding out the weekend will be pop rock sensation Rick Springfield on Saturday, May 25; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2005 inductee and legendary bluesman Buddy Guy on Sunday, May 26; and lead-singer from Poison, the incomparable Bret Michaels, who will close the weekend’s music festivities on Memorial Day Monday, May 27. A complete entertainment schedule with additional bands and performance times will be announced soon.