Blue Ridge Rock Festival a success no matter how you slice it!!
Unfortunately, my five-day weekend for Blue Ridge Rock Festival was cut short due to being ill and receiving unwelcome news from home. However, despite those things, the two days that I was able to cover proved why this is the best weekend festival in the US.
I was extremely impressed with the layout of the Virginia International Raceway. Sure, there was the hill that had to be taken between the two main stages and the URW and Fan Driven stages. But other than that, what a great two days!
Everyone that I met who was working the fest, whether volunteering or being paid, did a tremendous job. An event of such magnitude cannot be pulled off without the help of enthusiastic and passionate people. It started at the media check-in and went from there. The security was outstanding as was the EMT and on-site police. Their reaction time to medical incidents were quick and professional.
As for the entertainment, top notch, upper shelf, and any other adjective you want to use. It was my first-time seeing Ghost and their production was as good as any that I’ve seen in my 45-years of going to concerts.
I’m not sure what I can say of Jelly Roll that hasn’t already been said. Just as Ghost, it was the initial time seeing the man, and he is straight up pure entertainment. You name it, and he can do it. And success is not lost on him. He is one of the most genuinely appreciative performers I have ever witnessed.
By no means am I a huge rap fan, but I am a lover of music, so I have a list that I like. Among that list is several N.W.A. tunes. Even after N.W.A., I have been a fan of Ice Cube, both musically and on the big screen. His set was mesmerizing for this 61-year-old grandfather of eight. If you know any of my kids or grandchildren, keep that to yourself, they may think I’m finally coming around.
Bad Wolves and Spiritbox were the two other bands that I was making my maiden voyage to see and neither let me down. Spiritbox was exceptional. The Canadian rockers fronted by Courtney LaPlante had the fans in a frenzy. Meanwhile Bad Wolves unloaded their playlist of hits and got the crowd going as well.
Headliners galore were among those that played during my time in the pit including Mudvayne, Alice Cooper, Halestorm and Gojira just to name a few. All four were simply amazing and would have made my nine-hour trip worth the while.
Throw the likes of Underoath, In This Moment, Theory of a Deadman, Pop Evil, Candlebox, Kittie (reunion show) and others, you’ll understand exactly what I’m saying. Remember, that’s just the first two days. There were two days to follow that included bands such as Slipknot, Disturbed, Lamb of God. The list is too long to mention them all.
All I can say is I hope we’re invited back next year. Not only was it a fun time, but I also met a ton of great people who were there as music fans, no matter the genre.
Unfortunately, it is impossible for one person to cover this gigantic production. I hope my photos will give you the feel of being there.
Before parting, I would like to thank Jonathan Slye and all of those involved in putting on Blue Ridge Rock Festival. Any undertaking that brings in 140,000 people is going to have their issues. However, they successfully accomplished pulling it off. Kudos to all.
Make sure to check out the photo gallery below and go to http://www.blueridgerockfest.com and put those tickets for next year’s event on layaway. Until next time this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns up and rock on!! \m/ \m/
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