Over the weekend, Monster Energy hosted the fourth Welcome to Rockville festival in Jacksonville, FL. 40,000 fans gathered in scenic Metropolitan Park along the St. John’s River to jam to the massive all-star rock lineup with headliners like A Day To Remember, Five Finger Death Punch, and Rob Zombie. The sold out event housed rock legends along with breaking bands such as Twelve Foot Ninja, The Pretty Reckless and many more. Thousands turned out for the event that featured four stages and more than 40 bands. The stages were set up so viewers could watch different bands perform without them interfering with each other’s sound quality. This allowed this festival to host an impressive array of bands across the two-day span. FestPop was there to cover as much as the action as we could. Take a look at who rocked out at this year’s event.
Pop Evil Lead Singer Leigh Kakaty
Festival-goers moshed on the various gourmet local food truck options, visited the Crazy Dave’s Music Experience interactive rock star exhibit, or maybe even got a tattoo from the one of the tattoo set ups. There was a myriad of eccentric colors, hairstyles, and costumes, including a live snake and a unicorn ninja! Monster Energy entertained VIP guests with beverage sampling, finger foods, and a sick-viewing area where you could see the sweat on Jonathan Davis’s forehead. Water taxis shuffled guests to and from hotels to the festival and patrons could buy an all day pass for $6 for easy travel.
The Crazy Dave’s Music Experience: Crazy Dave’s features all the elements that are involved in making music in a professional music setting. This interactive exhibit features tons of musical instruments like basses, guitars, drums that are used by today’s most popular bands. The exhibit allows fans to lay their hands on the hottest equipment available and even gave them the chance to meet some of the members from their favorite bands. Band members were found lounging around Crazy Dave’s.
Not only did Welcome To Rockville have some of the best fries I’ve tasted from a food truck, but they had all types of food for any eater. Vegan and gluten-free fare in addition to Asian cuisine and fresh seafood were a favorite with fans.
The F.Y.E tent allowed fans to meet some of their favorite artists and sign autographs and merchandise. The artists were very integrated throughout the festival and you could see artists rocking to fellow performers just as hard as the crowd.
Some Jacksonville residents are far from pleased about increasingly popularity of Welcome to Rockville but the business it brings to the area is undeniable! Danny Wimmer, producer of Welcome to Rockville is ecstatic about the increase in attendance and business this epic rock fest brings to the city. “We are proud to report, that for the second year in a row, downtown hotels were sold out during the festival weekend and business was dramatically increased in the area. “The fact that we’ve increased attendance at the festival by 60% in one year shows that there’s a demand in the market and that we have room to keep expanding. We’ll continue to do everything we can to keep rock alive at Met Park and build Jacksonville as a destination music city not only for rock music fans, but for the artists themselves.”
Danny Wimmer, Promoter of Welcome to Rockville
Whether fans were crowd surfing to Avenge Seven Fold’s “Fiction,” or sitting on the boardwalk drinking Heinekens and watching the sunset, there was always something entertaining going on. The essence was carefree and above all strictly rock and roll. Fans were free to roam around the scenic 27-acre Metropolitan Park or explore the dock along St. John’s River flowing adjacent to the main stage. Doors opened at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday with bands like Cathercist, Gemini Syndrome, and Digital Summer kicking off the festival. Show-goers throughout the day bounced to and from the four stages, with majority of the crowd gathering around the East Stage for The Cult around 8 p.m, before migrating to the West Stage for an amazing, pyro filled close to the evening set from Avenged Seven Fold. A performance from Korn concluded the weekend. The World’s Loudest Month will continue this coming weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina with Carolina Rebellion.
By Sarah Kelleher
FestPop Staff Writer