Rocking Rockville


Insane mosh pits, crazy crowds and loud music filled the Jacksonville Metropolitan Park as the annual Welcome to Rockville festival closed its two days of festivities on April 26. With over 40 bands participating, the festival was an extreme success making for a weekend to remember.

Like most music festivals, the second day was stocked with the best bands including headliners Slipknot and Godsmack. However, some of the craziest performances included not just the biggest names but smaller groups alike. In this Moment and Breaking Benjamin were two bands that stood out. In this Moment was the only band to have background dancers, costume changes and choreographed performances, which made for one of the most entertaining shows of the day.

Breaking Benjamin, on the other hand, rocked the stage in a different way, as this was their first cross-country tour since their four-year hiatus. Many fans eager for their return made the performance wild with mosh pits and crowd surfers, creating a hyped and packed show.

With four different stages, bands were staggered so that some performances overlapped others. This was a good idea in that non-stop music was playing but it was also a downfall in that fans had to leave shows early to see another band. Another negative were the expensive refreshments and muddy ground, not to mention the heat; which makes sun lotion, closed-toe shoes and lots of cash are essential music festival equipment.

But even with a few setbacks, the quality of the bands made the festival a huge success. Even the surprise band, Nothing More, pleased the crowds. Almost every performance had a mosh pit and depending on the fans’ level of craziness, lots of crowd surfers. Solos were common, highlighted by an amazing drum battle by Godsmack. But by far, Slipknot caused the most hype with their usual insane performance, complete with their signature masks and don’t-care-what-you-think attitude, took over and closed the festival with a bang.

One of the best parts of Welcome to Rockville, however, was the people. Ranging from middle-aged couples to an 8 year-old with a spiked Mohawk, anyone could throw up their metal horns. Do not let the tattoos and black clothing scare you, these people know how to rock and are actually quite friendly.

If rock is both your passion and lifestyle, then Welcome to Rockville is a perfect music investment. Although next year’s lineup still has some time before release, Welcome to Rockville 2016 should be added to any music fans’ calendar.