The Story Behind Kids Really Rock

  • Kids Really Rock 2016

Kids Really Rock has its roots in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. Needing to do something to help heal the city in the wake of the tragic events, Karen Kalafatas (Karen K and the Jitterbugs), with the help of countless willing volunteers, brought together a group of performers, local businesses and other supporters for the One Family Music Festival – a spectacular day of music and entertainment that also collected over $23,000 in donations for the One Fund.

The festival drew thousands of kids and families and was a time for people to celebrate Boston as the safe, vibrant place families have always enjoyed, and to reclaim the city for our children.

And so a tradition was born. In 2014, the name was changed to Kids Really Rock, and the festival was moved to The Lawn on D, thanks to generous sponsorship by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.  But the mission remained the same: offer Boston families a FREE all-day festival, featuring the country’s top family bands, plus hands-on art activities focused on kindness, community and creativity.

Each year, Kids Really Rock spotlights a deserving community organization with a special project. In 2014, kids donated hundreds of pairs of socks for the Cradles to Crayons Sock Drive. 2015 featured a Books and Bibs Drive benefiting event partner Room to Grow, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty through their third year. 2016 featured a Food and Funds Drive to benefit event partner The Greater Boston Food Bank, whose mission is to end hunger in Eastern Massachusetts.