After a Supreme Court draft that would drop Roe v. Wade was leaked, musicians Nicky Tredenick and Alice Hansen wanted to mobilize. “A lot of us were feeling really angry and powerless about something really important,” Tredenick says. “I [felt] Like me too [needed] to drive to DC to protest for the rest of my life, or do a useful concert.” Within a week, the Rock ‘N’ Roe concept was created.
The Reproductive Rights Concert will take place on Sunday, June 12, at the Woods Boss Brewing Company. Musicians and poets will be on stage from noon to 7 pm, and various food trucks will be available outside. The event itself is free, but donations are encouraged, and $2 of each full casting will be donated to the Yellowhammer Fund, an abortion fund and reproductive justice organization serving Alabama, Mississippi, and the Deep South.
Rock ‘N’ Roe is about “finding an outlet to bring people together,” Hansen says. “To make something fruitful out of something so annoying and so shocking.”
In addition to being a Denver musician for fifteen years, Hansen worked for Planned Parenthood from 2011 to 2018, and is deeply committed to addressing issues related to reproductive care. Tredenick is a multi-instrumentalist who leads Dollhouse Thieves, and says her activism is largely driven by her daughter’s future. “I refuse that she and her generation will grow up with fewer reproductive rights and health care than I had,” she explains.
After deciding that they wanted to stage Rock ‘N’ Roe, Hansen and Tredenick immediately reached out to Woods Boss. Tredinnick and her husband Luke have hosted an open mic at the brewery for years and appreciate the owners and staff’s focus on the community. Woods Boss hosts fundraisers and often donates portions of their proceeds to various causes.
Sonrisa MacDonald, who has been the director of Woods Boss taproom for more than four years, says she was excited about the opportunity to host the concert. She was also outraged by the draft Supreme Court ruling, fearing it would affect her and her wife’s ability to have a child through in vitro fertilization. MacDonald says she told one of the owners that the concert would happen whether he liked it or not. But everyone was on board.
The organizers decided to raise funds for the Yellowhammer Fund due to its geographical location. “Here we are in Colorado, where Governor Polis codified our right to abortion care,” Hansen says. “We are very fortunate to live here. And although Colorado is going to be dealing with a huge influx of people who need care, we wanted to focus on one area where women would have less access to reproductive care.”
The Yellowhammer Fund specifically focuses on providing financial assistance to those in need of an abortion. This money can cover the procedure itself, as well as necessary travel, accommodation and food expenses. Yellowhammer writes on its website that “providing financial support to marginalized communities is an act of justice and dignity. As such, we focus our work around the pregnant person seeking assistance in any form.”
Although this was one of the first instrumental concerts that Hansen and Tredenick led, they found widespread community support in Denver. They estimate that over fifty individuals have contributed time to create the event, as well as put on a performance or donate merchandise for the silent auction.
The music lineup includes Sarah Mount, Katie Kwikband, Teresa Swidam, Michelle Bailey, Nina de Freitas, Andrea Pars, Biden Widener (formerly Avenhart), and Lila Yanir. The Dollhouse Thieves will also host the show. “We strive to engage the people who define women. All of our teams are women,” Tridenk says.
Several local breweries, including River North Brewery, Our Mutual Friend Brewery, Cerebral Brewery, Baere Brewing Company, and Lady Justice Brewing, are helping to promote the event, and some (not yet announced) will donate items for the silent auction, such as We Will. The auction will also include items such as two tickets to a show of your choice from Swallow Hill Music, free music lessons from Kayleen Patrick and Tredinnick, and two escape rooms for up to six people from Escapology.
Food will be available during the event from the Solutions Lounge and the Saucy Chops food truck. And after Rock ‘N’ Roe is over, the adjacent Pairadice pub will host a post-party donating $1 of every drink sold from 7 p.m. to midnight to Yellowhammer.
“Rock ‘N’ Roe is about unification,” Hansen explains. “What is the best power and what are the best means of music to help heal together?”
“It’s a very dreary subject, but music always makes things better,” Tredenick adds. “It excites. It is gloomy. It is terrifying. But when we are together, we are unstoppable.”
It would also be “a lot of fun,” MacDonald adds.
Rock ‘N’ Roe, 2-7 p.m. Sunday, June 12, Woods Boss Brewing Company, 2210 California Street. Entry is free, but donations are encouraged. Find out more about the event on Facebook or follow Woods Boss on social media. Learn more about the Yellowhammer Fund on their website.