Mad Love Music Festival has a new twist this year

Mad Love Rock Boxes feature a variety of merchandise from local vendors, and come in versions to suit all ages of fans. Courtesy image
Kathleen Jodka joined the team at Untold Brewing for a day of fun and hard work. Untold Brewing created a special craft beer for the re-imagined Mad Love Music Festival. Courtesy image

WICKED – The music of the Mad Love Music Festival will play on, albeit in a slightly different manner because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, Mad Love will sell limited-edition Mad Love Rock Boxes to enable rockers everywhere to support the mission of Mad Love and rock out in a way that is meaningful to them, from the safety and comfort of home.

“We’re excited to continue the mission of Mad Love in a new way in response to our current circumstances,” said Kathleen Jodka. “While rocking out together in-person is not an option this year, we can continue to embrace our ability to work hard, be kind, have fun and spread Mad Love, always.”

The music festival celebrates the life, and the love of music, of Dave Jodka, a Scituate resident and Kathleen’s husband, who died from cancer at age 44 in October 2014.

With the desire to create a legacy and to inspire future generations through great rock and roll, Kathleen, along with the couple’s four children, approached South Shore Conservatory (SSC) about establishing a scholarship in Dave’s name.

Most of the Jodka kids had studied at SSC, and so the Jodka family partnered with SSC for the first Dave Jodka Mad Love Music Festival, held in October 2015.

Proceeds from the festival benefit the David Jodka Scholarship for Future Rockers, which funds the now regionally known band, Toast.

The scholarship, open to high school students on the South Shore, covers all expenses associated with performing in the band and pays for a coach and other professionals who will help the students develop as a group. Past scholarship recipients have gone on to pursue their passion for music at Berklee College of Music and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, among others.

“It’s really hard to believe this is the sixth year of the festival,” Kathleen said. “But it’s really exciting. This was something we originally thought was just going to be a onetime thing, and it’s continued to grow and evolve each year.”

She feels that this year especially, people are looking to get back to their normal routines and schedules.

“But the truth is, we’re living in a very unsettled world that is not normal so we’re having to kind of readjust our wiring, but we’re still craving things that make us feel connected and hopeful and familiar. I think Mad Love offers that this year, even though it will look a little different.”

This re-imagined festival includes the Mad Love Rock Boxes, which will be sold in three forms – adult, student and child, and will include Mad Love swag for virtual rockers young and old.

“Some of the things in the boxes will include Mad Love sunglasses, Mad Love temporary tattoos, and limited edition Mad Love masks,” Kathleen said. “In the adult boxes will be a limited release craft beer from Untold Brewing – we’ve partnered with them for this special occasion.”

Untold Brewing, located on Old Country Way in Scituate, became involved with the Mad Love Music Festival through Kathleen, who had been a customer at the brewery for a long time.

Mad Love Rock Boxes feature a variety of merchandise from local vendors, and come in versions to suit all ages of fans. Courtesy image

“We knew her as Kathleen before we knew her as Kathleen from Mad Love,” said Liz Carr, who handles social media and marketing for Untold.

Untold Brewing helped out the Mad Love Music Festival last year, and when they heard about the re-imagined festival this year, they decided to do a little riff off of pale 143, one of Kathleen’s favorites.

“We did a small batch for them last year and held a pre-concert event at the brewery that did super well and sold out fast,” said Matt Elder, co-founder/brewer at Untold. “This year we expanded and have done an IPA full scale batch.”

Untold Brewing is donating $2 from every four-pack sold to the David Jodka Scholarship for Future Rockers. They are hoping to raise $1,200.

Due to COVID-19, the taproom at Untold Brewing is closed, but they do have a walk-up window where beer can be ordered to go, and they have been doing a lot of online business through their website

The Rock Boxes are on sale now and may be purchased at The y will be available for safe pickup from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11, at South Shore Conservatory, One Conservatory Drive in Hingham.

More details will be provided upon purchase.

People driving up to collect their Rock Boxes will be part of a festive environment, Kathleen said.

Mad Love Music Festival graphic art, 2019. Photo by Mark Curreri

“The Mad Love band will be playing in the parking lot so you can boogie from your car after picking up your Rock Box. It will be like a little celebration.”

People are encouraged to take their Rock Boxes home and celebrate the night in a place where they feel comfortable and at peace.

“We want people to spread Mad Love into this wild world we’re living in,” Kathleen said.

She believes Dave would be “happy and proud” that Mad Love is “keeping the music and the vibe going.”

“There is so much excitement around it,” she said. “I feel we’ve grown a little deeper as we move from year to year, and as more people get involved and join the Mad Love family. We are just so grateful that people are willing to embrace us and come along for the ride and the journey.”

To purchase a virtual Rock Box and/or to donate to Mad Love, visit

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By Ruth Thompson

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