The Rock and Roll Rendezvous was born out of the need for an event for 'modern' vehicles not eligible for the Bay to Birdwood Run at the time. It was felt that a rock and roll themed event that incorporated the vehicles of the 50s and 60s would fill this gap and provide entertainment for car owners and enthusiasts from that era. The team at the National Motor Museum including Jon Chittleborough and John Cashen took the concept and made it a reality with the first Rock and Roll Rendezvous taking place on Sunday 27 October 1991. The Rendezvous quickly became more than just a car event, with music, dancing and fashion becoming equally strong components of the event's identity.
Over the history of the event the Rendezvous has featured some of Australia's leading rock and roll performers, including:
The Delltones, Frankie J Holden, Normie Rowe, Marcie Jones, Glen Shorrock, Little Pattie and Vicki O'Keefe.
The event today
In partnership with the South Australian rock and roll community and its clubs, and the classic car movement, the event continued to grow into the the state's largest annual rock and roll event. Today it is as strong as ever, with a new generation of rock and roll enthusiasts adding to the tradition. The National Motor Museum is always looking for ways to improve the event and ensure its ongoing success, and if the event Facebook page is anything to go by, the enthusiasm for the genre is still growing.
The staff and organisers thank everyone that has participated and contributed to make the Rendezvous the most loved rock and roll event of its type in South Australia.
2017 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Automotive
For the first time we encountered showers all day which marred the event but didn't dampen the spirits of those who braved the wet, cool conditions. The Buddy Holly Show performed by Scott 'Buddy' Cameron was a crowd pleaser and the Fashions in the Field with a new photo booth proved successful.
2016 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Automotive
This was the 25th anniversary event and featured a 'rock chick' theme with headline act The Dusty Springfield Show performed by Sheena Crouch. For the first time a female compere, Julie Reynolds kept the crowd entertained between band sets. Melbourne band Itchy Fingers proved to be a real crowd pleaser.
2015 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Automotive
This was the most successful Rendezvous in terms of both vehicle entries and total crowd since 2011. The feature act was the Elvis and Roy show performed by Sydney artists Paul Fenech and Aaron Mansfield. The Mini Kroozers again won the Best Club award as judged by the general public. A financial donation to the favorite club was tallied with highest amount declared the winner. All proceeds went to the Down Syndrome Society of SA.
2014 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Automotive
A Beatles tribute this year by The Twilight Zone to commemorate 50 years since the Beatles visit to Adelaide. We welcomed 395 entrant vehicles and introduced an award for Best Club Display. Three clubs participated with the Mini Kroozers taking out the inaugural award.
2013 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Automotive
The crowds again rocked up for a full day of stage entertainment featuring Vicki O'Keefe, Melbourne Band 'The Speedsters' and some of Adelaide's best rock & roll bands. Fashions in the Field continues to grow as a feature of the event. We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Down Syndrome Society of SA through their fabulous dance troupe, now known as the Dance Down Performance Team.
2012 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Automotive
Little Pattie was the featured artist and what a great show she performed - all of the old favourites and more. 395 vehicle entrants made their way to the beautiful Museum grounds. The weather threatened but the rain only fell at the end of the day.
2011 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Automotive
The 20th anniversary Rendezvous was a brilliant event with 464 vehicle entrants and a total crowd just over 5,500. We were blessed with beautiful weather and great South Australian bands keeping the dance floor packed. Glenn Shorrock showed that he still appreciates his birth place and the music he grew up with and performed a great set of classic rock and roll hits.
2010 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Automotive
The 2010 Rock & Roll Rendezvous surpassed all expectations with the largest number of vehicle entrants since 1996. Normie Rowe and Marcie Jones wowed the audience and the local bands had the dance floor packed. We introduced a CRUISE from the Torrens Parade Grounds for entrants who chose to meet and breakfast together before crusing to Birdwood. In excess of 100 entrants took this option.
2009 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Automotive
The early showers didn’t keep the vehicle entrants or general public away. We had 390 entrant vehicles – the most since way back in 1997 and the total crowd was the biggest since 2005. The 18th Rendezvous again saw a packed dance floor with a great line-up of South Australian rock & roll bands and “The Wild One” – a tribute to JOK performed by Greg Hart – had everyone on their feet.
2008 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Performance and Dyno Centre
Around 5000 people made their way to Birdwood on Sunday 13 April to rock & roll the day away at the 17th Rock & Roll Rendezvous. “Let it be Beatles” added a different dimension with their great repertoire of Beatles songs. Some 360 pre 1977 vehicle entrants supported the event this year. Two new vehicle categories – Best American and Best Australian Muscle cars - really added to the spectacle of vehicles parked in the shady grounds of the National Motor Museum.
2007 Rock & Roll Rendezvous presented by Eastside Performance and Dyno Centre
Close to 4000 people rock & rolled the day away on Sunday 25 February in the grounds of the National Motor Museum at the 16th Rock & Roll Rendezvous. Ingo’s Vegas Tribute to Elvis (commemorating 30 years since the legend’s death) had the crowd on their feet and women clamouring at the front of the stage. Perhaps the standout performance was Rockin’ Sox – 3 young lads (all under 13) who powered through their rock & roll songs and had the dance floor packed. Some 320 pre 1976 vehicle entrants supported the event ranging from the chrome and fins of the American makes to the Australian offerings of the period and the Custom & Rod machines. Vehicles were judged in the categories of Best Original, Best Custom or Rod and Best Spirit of the Day, which is awarded for the best combination of vehicle and occupants. The SA Cruiser Club and Trike Association added to the spectacle as display clubs.