Year after year, the most anticipated rock event delivers a festival that not only expresses, but also embodies what rock music is all about. This year, World Gone kicked off Welcome to Rockville Fest followed by some of the biggest names in rock like Korn, The Devil wears Prada, and Slipknot. Each year the lineup seems to get better, the venue larger, and the energy more powerful as it surges through the crowd. The event is open to all ages and has food ranging from local to regional cuisine. It was just business as usual for Welcome to Rockville Fest—just another wildly successful year filled with outrageous performances by some of the biggest rock bands in history—you know, the status quo.
Here’s Slipknot’s performance, a close 5th.
The Four Must-Sees
Korn, originally from Bakersfield, CA and formed in 1993 delivered a creepy cool performance. Again, just business as usual.
Marilyn Manson was another standout. He’s originally from Fort Lauderdale, FL and formed his band in 199, originally under the name of Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids.
The Devil Wears Prada, the American metalcore band from Dayton, Ohio formed in 2005, not the movie where Meryl Streep is a bitch.
Slayer was awesome, too. Kerry King, Dave Lombardo, and Jeff Hanneman still got it. Slayer was formed in 1981 in Huntington Park, CA.
The Line up
Saturday began with World Gone, who recently spoke out about their break-up. The band says they remain close friends, but have decided to go their separate ways. Like a Storm followed the opening act and played their hit single “Love the Way You Hate Me.” The group of New Zealanders worked hard for their strong fan base, which makes their shows so incredible. The crowd’s loving it and you can tell. Red Sun Rising came on stage right before noon. The band stands firm on teamwork and constructive building in order to make state-of-the-art rock.
Stars in Stereo and Sangre graced the stage with Sons of Texas, Nonpoint, Upon a Burning Body, Hollywood Undead, Fozzy, Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, Beartooth, Of Mice and Men, Exodus, Periphery, and Queensryche taking the stage into the late afternoon. While moving swiftly from stage to stage trying to catch the next show is when you really felt the energy. Everybody was moving fast because everybody wanted to be there first. Despite the long day, no one seemed tire during Saturday’s headliner Korn performance.
Sunday started at 11:00 AM sharp with The Sweet Escape. Dennis Walsh, the band’s vocalist gets the crowd so involved it is impossible not to rock. The American Rock Duo, ’68 completed the morning, a fairly newcomer on the rock scene since their formation in 2013.
The performances of Shattered Son, We Are Harlot, Islander, Young Guns, Starset, Vamps, Motionless, Butcher Babies, In This Moment, Tremonti, Breaking Benjamin, Hatebreed, The Pretty Reckless, In Flames, and All That Remains are pretty blur-ish. Everything was moving so fast and the crowds’ vibes felt so good, I was dazed in mid head-rock most of the day. The music speaks to your soul and shakes your spirit, coming together for two days.
The location of the radical event was at Metropolitan Park – 1410 Gator Bowl Blvd. Jacksonville, Florida. Parking is conveniently located right outside the festival grounds. After walking in, you noticed two main stages where the headliners performed and major crowds gathered. Metropolitan Park sits on 27 acres of what has turned into the ideal place to enjoy rock music and unite fellow rock enthusiasts.
The Best Grub
Welcome to Rockville festival made it a point to supply top-notch food options to all attendees. With food ranging from seafood, barbeque, Asian and Greek, to soul food, pizza, and options for vegans, this festival had it all. And the variety of food trucks all being supplied through local vendors was just unreal. I walked around aimlessly just trying to make a decision. The BBQ sliders or the veggie pizza? Ehhh, I’ll take a snow cone.
There are many exciting exhibits surrounding Metropolitan Park. One of the lot is The Friendship Fountain located off of Museum Circle. At night, the running water playing off the lights is soothing and rejuvenating. It’s definitely worth visiting. Jacksonville is the biggest city in Florida and has tons to offer.
Bold City Brewery is a friendly family owned brewery in filled with a warm and inviting atmosphere. It’s a great place to stop in and enjoy a craft beer.
Tip: Order the flight and I guarantee you’ll find your new favorite beer.
Although it was hard to contain myself from playing air guitar while inside, The Veterans Memorial Wall, located off of East Adams Street is really remarkable and a great place to roll away from all the rock for a while. Taking a walk along the memorial gives such a humbling feeling of tranquility. Reading the names along the wall connected me a little more with the city of Jacksonville.
Maybe it’s the beachy breeze or the lights of the city or the friendly rock heads buying beers for each other, but Welcome to Rockville can’t see to let its fans down. Well, there’s always next year.
Festpop Staff Writer: Amanda Merril