The Blue Ridge Rock Festival was set to take over the VIR Raceway in Virginia over the weekend, but festivalgoers didn’t exactly get the weekend they signed up for.
The festival was originally scheduled to run from Thursday, September 7 through Sunday, September 10 in Alton. However, high winds, rain, and dangerous weather impacted the area. According to Loudwire, the weather moved in during Coheed and Cambria’s set before 7 p.m. on Thursday, and rock heavyweights Five Finger Death Punch, Staind, Evanescene, and Rise Against had to cancel their sets.
Festival organizers released an emergency alert, asking fans to seek shelter immediately.
While the event returned on Friday, the storm was back on Saturday.
“With heavy hearts, due to this weekend’s continued severe weather, we must announce the cancellation of the final days of Blue Ridge Rock Festival,” organizers said in a statement. “Your safety and well-being are our foremost concerns. We understand the disappointment this brings, and we share immensely in your sadness. Please know that this decision was made with the utmost consideration for everyone involved and our focus now is on supporting those of you still on-site.”
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The cancellation meant acts like Limp Bizkit, Pantera, Lamb of God, Pierce the Veil, Babymetal, and more were unable to take the stage. Nonetheless, some of the bands with cancelled sets tried to make it up to fans with a concert of their own.
Papa Roach performed an acoustic version of their smash-hit “Scars,” Shinedown sang “Second Chance,” and Oliver Anthony performed “Rich Men North of Richmond” for fans outside in the parking lot.
We love you all ❤️
Thank you for sticking around with us despite the rain and @BlueRidgeRock getting canceled!
— Papa Roach (@paparoach) September 10, 2023
— 🇺🇸THE Original Mr. Johnson 🇺🇲 (@brandenj1972) September 10, 2023
While organizers have not released refund options at this time, they said more information will be available early this week. Organizers noted that this past weekend was “an antagonizing turn of events for what was to be a special weekend,” however, they plan to unveil more over the next few days.
Although the festival cited weather as the reason for cancelling, a very different story was passed along on social media. Festivalgoers explained that the real reason for the cancellation was due to overcapacity and a walk out by stagehands due to poor working conditions.
Lmao get fucked Blue Ridge Rock festival pic.twitter.com/NP5xQQ4Wg4
— Matthew Valentine (@HeadbangerX69) September 10, 2023
I’ll be processing the events from Blue Ridge Rock Fest for quite some time. Utterly baffled how everything went down, but goddamn I’m so grateful Kels and I are safe.
Definitely missing details, but I wanted to share some insight into our weekend experience.
— Mike Towndrow (@itsMikeTown) September 10, 2023
That wasn’t all — ticketholders cited the festival as a disaster, complaining of the lack of security, overpriced water amid the heat, and only two water stations on site (with one behind a VIP barrier). Additionally, people shared photos of garbage piled around the campsite and portapotties blocked-off after they were deemed full.
And… @BlueRidgeRock just cancelled today.
Of 36 hours of planned programming so far, I've gotten to be there for 4… And 1 of those was spent in line for water since they only had 1 of the 12 water stations advertised.
— Tyler Hague (@TJHague7) September 9, 2023
@BlueRidgeRock Is an absolute Fucking joke. 90+ degree weather, two hydration stations (Only 1 is GA, other is VIP) Price gouging – 1 bottle of water is $4. Campers waited over 12 hours just toget into the festival grounds 1/x pic.twitter.com/ZS4S8VpfEh
— Justin (@tehcubsfan) September 7, 2023
If you’re wondering how Blue Ridge Rock Festival was going pic.twitter.com/E1OeGJaaLx
— Rev. Muscle Daddy (@RTOMuscleDaddy) September 8, 2023
Water line for Blue Ridge Rock Festival. Bonus points. It’s now muddy and it sounded like someone who got to the front passed out. pic.twitter.com/JYNWnODanX
— M-Nat Mitch (@MickNate) September 7, 2023
— Patrick Johnson (@UNCTEP) September 8, 2023
Will the festival reveal next year’s lineup? Allow ticketholders to use their tickets toward next years edition of the fest? Is the festival even worth going to next year? Time will tell.
Last Updated on September 12, 2023