By Belinda Glass-Reedy
Unless you have been under a rock or away from Facebook, you already know there were two surprising announcements from Danny Wimmer Presents this year. The first, while disappointing was not surprising. Chicago Open Air is taking a year of hiatus. Speculation and angry posts swirled around on Facebook for days. No real reason was give in for the sudden announcement, but it was quickly over shadowed by the even more shocking and exciting news. Welcome to Rockville has expanded to three days and includes the opportunity to camp.
Well, this excited me to be sure. I am a bit sad that Media ins’t offered a camp site and by the time anyone is approved it is unlikely that any spots will be available. Given my tenure at Rocklahoma, I would love3 nothing more than to stay onsite for all the pre and post parties. The atmosphere is much different when campers are available. It is nearly 24 hour party. The city of Jacksonville is probably questioning their sanity by now. This is a huge undertaking and lends to it more challenges than just the drive in drive out festivals.
This doesn’t mean it won’t be a amazing weekend. DWP has the experience and staff to rise to the challenges presented by the additions, and with OZZY in the mix, there is not stopping this fest from becoming larger than it has dared to be. In the past, I can say the walk between the two larger stages is just plainly too far forces many to choose a single stage to camp out a spot for. As a music lover and media member but day two I’m exhausted and just can’t seem to cover the ground I used to. For me this become incredibly frustrating. That’s not to say that the cost of the festival isn’t a great value. Individual tickets for some of these acts prohibit seeing many of them on their more traditional runs. The festival ticket seems to be replacing the individual shows with more and more fans making larger fests their vacations.
This trend is getting more and more common with the camp out festivals: in some cases with fans challenging others to be the first one to park their RV and camping out a week in advance in line for the opening of the campgrounds. Crazy? Maybe. Dedicated? Sure! This year is going to be interesting and I encourage everyone to take the chance and spend the three days in Rockville!