Massive music festivals are commonplace now, but they were far and few between fifty years ago. They are hard to produce well, but can be great moments in time for fans and musical artists. For every Lollapalooza, Wacken, and Ozzfest, we have Altamont, Woodstock 1999, and Fyre Fest as well. No festival sets out to fail or do harm and hurt the trust of fans, but sometimes that happens. Blue Ridge Rock Fest, as it turns out, became a perfect storm of too many fans, too small a town, to support those fans. Purpose Driven events had put on severa
Quickly shaping up to be the biggest music festival in the USA this year, Blue Ridge Rock festival has announced their full line-up of 180 bands. Headlining the massive 4 day festival are Five Finger Death Punch, Rob Zombie, Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, and Limp Bizkit. There is a special club warm up show which includes headliner Ludacris, T-Pain, and Lil Jon. Also on tap: the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue, a vaudeville freak show of wonder by Hellzapoppin’s Ringleader and Producer, Mr. Bryce “The Govna” Graves. In addition, excitingly, the festival will be hosted by Steve-O (MTV’s Jackass); and special guest Lou Brutus (SiriusXM). The fest takes place September 9th – 12th at Blue Ridge Amphitheater, a long-awaited large-scale concert venue in Southwest Virginia. Tickets are on sale now at the link below and here is the full lineup:
CKY has shared a brand new video for their track ‘Wiping Off The Dead’. The track comes from their 2017 release The Phoenix (eOne). Directed by Dave Causa, you can watch it below.Continue reading
Riot Fest was started a few years back in the grand spirit of the old school one-off festivals of lore. It was intended to be special from the get-go and they have done a reasonable job of sandwiching themselves into a busy summer of Lollapalooza, Chicago Open Air, and many other destination festival shows. Having a mix of alternative rock, metal, Hip-Hop, indie rock, and more has helped carve out its own niche, and between special performances, varied food and beer options, late-night after parties, and basically the cool factor Chicago offers as one of the best cities in America, it’s no wonder fans flocked to the event from all over the world.Continue reading
Riot Fest is coming next month in Chicago with headliners, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and Jawbreaker. The festival has announced the full set times and stages for the event, as well as the late night concert series. All times and ticket link details can be found below.Continue reading
Chaos ensued earlier today in Nuremberg, Germany at the legendary Rock Am Ring Festival. It was evacuated over a possible bomb threat, with the festival organizers released a statement confirming that the rest of the June 2 lineup has been canceled. Today’s show included a headlining performance from Rammstein.Continue reading
Riot Fest is returning to Chicago’s Douglas Park this September, and the initial lineup is absolutely amazing. Continue reading
German summer music festivals Rock am Ring and Rock im Park have announced their expanded lineups for next June. Held over the weekend of June 2nd to 4th with the Rock im Park being held at the Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg, and ‘Rock am Ring‘ will take place at Flugtplaz Mendig in Mendig. Continue reading
Another year has arrived for the Vans Warped Tour full of anticipation and excitement to hit the summertime across North America. This year’s edition maintains their tradition of youth oriented angst filled music (or whatever the kids call it these days) and carving a path for the next batch of rising stars on the scene. Thanks to photographer Kevin Estrada for shooting these two dates of Warped tour for Ghost Cult!
The main stages (Shark and Unicorn) showcased the main attractions on the tour, ranging from the pop punk acts (The Wonder Years) to the screamo/emo (Pierce The Veil, Blessthefall) to the crossover half melodic and half aggro (We Came As Romans) to the harder sounding (August Burns Red) managed to keep the kids bouncing around in the crowd and rarely laying low.
Tour veterans Motion City Soundtrack made their brief California run appearance, showing the crowd how things are done on this tour. Metro Station (featuring Trace Cyrus, son of country performer Billy Ray Cyrus), melodic punk act Man Overboard, and hardcore outfit Fit For A King all set the pace for the day with their respective sounds while keeping the crowd engaged.
The main acts on these stages won over the crowd throughout the day. Memphis May Fire got the crowd into a high with their half heavy yet melodic styling that struck a nerve with them; Attila, led by their enigmatic frontman Chris “Fronz” Fronzak and his guitar crunching yet Eninem-esque “meth” suit bouncing along with the crowd; Black Veil Brides and their legions of die hard fan base singing along to every word; and Miss May I and their modern metallic sound that got the crowd worked up later on in the day.
While the main stage had their moments going on, there were a number of side stage acts making noise of their own. The Monster Stage housed their own brand of chaos throughout the day, as Senses Fail, Being As An Ocean, Beartooth, Mallory Knox and The Amity Affliction all got the pit crew throwing down alongside each band and rarely letting down. The harder driving acts such as hardcore outfit Hundredth had the pit kids going in effect, while veteran Canadian post hardcore act Silverstein had their mix of longtime fans as well as newbies who both showed their appreciation for the band. Australian metallic hardcore outfit I Killed The Prom Queen appeared to be bass player less, but that didn’t stop them from bringing out their At The Gates meets hardcore stomp to these fans. British metalcore act While She Sleeps briefly were down a singer (ie visa problems kept frontman Lawrence Taylor making a late start on the tour) but friends pitched in to lend a helping hand and fans didn’t even notice. Plus Escape The Fate closed out the evening with their eclectic brand of punk meets screamo meets modern metal that got the late comers their last bit of a sweat.
On the other stages, indie hip hop acts MC Lars gave a lesson in nerdcore with rhymes about video games and Game of Thrones (ie his latest single “Dragon Blood), while Kosha Dillz brought out his East Coast blend of Spanish, English and Hebrew rhymes; and electro-DJ-performance duo mystery men Drama Club put on an interesting performance that combined part Blue Man Group-esque percussive moments with part electronica meets EDM moments and spontaneous bursts of energy that kept the interested crowd on its feet.
The Journeys Stages found Juliette Sims and Night Riots wowing the crowd with their high energy sets, while hotly tipped electro pop outfit PVRIS became one of the much talked about acts on the tour and their set did not disappoint. Hip hop act Riff Raff put on quite the entertaining show on this stage, with his colorful summertime dress and animated raps to get the crowd bouncing along.
New York alternative rockers The Karma Killers stood out amongst the vast number of acts performing on the Ernie Ball Stage, with their fresh take on classic pop-punk, rock, and alternative rock with an energetic stage show. While they are newly signed to Island/Def Jam and new to the scene, they showed that they could one day end up on one of the larger stages in the new future.
The Acoustic Basement easily became an area largely for shade against the sun, but while most of the acts attracted stragglers throughout the day, Canadian singer-songwriter Saywecanfly and Brian Marquis were two of the acts who attracted a decent sized crowd throughout the day. Saywecanfly attracted a packed tent and entertained the audience with his emotion filled lyrics that got his largely female audience awaiting with anticipation.
Overall, this year’s edition featured a good mix of repeat acts moving up to larger stages, as well as a number of fresh faces to the scene. It is a positive sign to see new acts on the rise at a time when the music industry is struggling to attract new acts to the public. Hopefully someone is paying attention to this tour to see that there is a new generation of artists on the rise.
WORDS BY REI NISHIMOTO
PHOTOS BY KEVIN ESTRADA