Rockville 2018 Takes Over the City of Jacksonville!
This music festival was absolutely filled with rock royalty with a bit of Hollywood royalty thrown in for good measure! Traditionally a 2-day fest, it was stretched to 3 days this year allowing it to include some of the biggest names rock & roll has ever seen.
From the evening headliners of Ozzy Osbourne, Avenge Sevenfold, & Foo Fighters to rock greats such as Billy Idol, Queens of the Stoneage, Stone Temple Pilots, & Godsmack; this fest had something for everyone!
We saw many big names dotting the schedules of 3 stages with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, Atreyu, Breaking Benjamin, Sevendust, Pop Evil, Stonesour,Butcher Babies, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, Clutch, & so many more.
The weekend's attendance numbers were said to be around 100,000 in & out of the gates. We definitely have to give praise where earned as this fest, for it's size, was very well secured and seemed to run like a well oiled machine. VIP are were wristband activated entry & exit. The bands were designed to stay on the wrist during all 3 days discouraging tampering of them. The bar staff as well as security were among the friendliest we have met. Fans were happy & there was plenty of room to spread out between the Gator Bowl parking lot & the entire Metropolitan Park located along the St Johns river in Jacksonville. We also must certainly mention the medical emergency the occurred during Avenge Sevenfold's set in which the band shut the show down for approximately 20 minutes in order to allow medical personnel to reach an injured crown surfer. The extent of the injuries are not completely known by Behind Daytona, but we do believe there were substantial neck injuries incurred. Our thoughts go out to them and their family. We are all one big musical family, after all.
Highlights of the weekend would include the giant Ferris wheel located in front of the main Monster Energy stage offering fans a unique view of the fest & bands. There were also many band signings & just about any kind of food vendor you could ask for.
All of the bands were in top form, even the ones we haven't seen in many years on tour like Billy Idol. He & the band, including his long time guitarist, Steve Stevens, looked and sounded great. Stone Temple Pilots was on point with their new singer, Jeff Gutt. We have to admit, during one portion of the performance, it was as if looking at a ghost a bit. Great performance by the entire band & Gutt is a nice fit.
The crowd favorite seemed to be Ozzy Osbourne who closed out the first night. Guitarist, Zakk Wylde, has rejoined the band for, what Ozzy has said, is his last tour. He was full of energy & his voice was strong. He took us back in time through his biggest hits, never missing a beat. His family, wife, Sharon, & children, Jack & Kelly, were in attendance. Earlier in the day, we noticed a banner plane circling the stage area which Ozzy was to play later in the night. It was towing a banner that read, “Good luck on your tour Dad! Love J&K”, for Ozzy to read from his kids. What an awesome family!
But the biggest suprise came during the last act, Foo Fighters, on the last night, Sunday. Billy Idol, having played an hour before on the same stage, came out for a song with Dave Grohl and band. Then, minutes later, star of movie and TV, John Travolta made a brief appearance on stage as well. This was definitely a star studded, rockin' weekend.
Rockville is almost 'Woodstock like' in the way people traveled from many states just to be a part of this amazing music experience. We met, danced, sang, & drank with many from around the country. As diverse was the music, so were the fans. We look forward to more fully covering this event next year & will be waiting with baited breath for the line up to be announced.
See you next year, Rockville and until then, support all of your local musicians!
Photos & story by Karen Romano Adams
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