Festival season is nearing! The weather is warming up and rock fans are making their travel arrangements. For metal-heads and hard rocking headbangers there are two big festivals to choose. These two have removed themselves from all other festivals and have really become the festivals of choice; Rocklahoma, in Oklahoma and Rock Gone Wild, in Iowa. Yes, there are other rock/metal festivals happening over the summer, but these two seem to be the biggest. So, which festival would be the better one to attend? Let’s examine the acts, the prices, and the overall perks.
The rating criteria have been broken down into the five most important categories, listed below.
Rocklahoma: July 9 – 12
Rocklahoma boasts an impressive lineup of heavy metal/hard rock acts that were at their height of fame during the late 80s/early 90s. Twisted Sister, Kix, Great White, Nelson, Warrant, and Night Ranger, just to name a few.
This is the 3rd annual festival for Rocklahoma, so they have worked out most of the kinks and growing pains. The location is central US, so relatively easy to get to.
Camping/RV parking is offered and RV rentals (delivered to the site) are available. Camping prices were not listed on the website.
$120 for reserved seating. $400 VIP: which includes unlimited beverages (and tap beer) and 2 buffet meals a day + ticket for all four nights.
This will be the third year for Rocklahoma. They also hold two other annual festivals on these grounds, so they are rich with experience and understanding.
Rock Gone Wild: August 20 – 23
Much different from Rocklahoma, Rock Gone Wild boasts both hard rockin’ heroes from the 80s and modern rock bands of today. Puddle of Mudd, Saliva, Skid Row, Kix, Saigon Kick, and Dokken are the bigger names. Warrant, Lita Ford, Eve 6, RhinoBucket, Dangerous Toys, and Junkyard are also on the 4-day bill.
This is the first Rock Gone Wild, so they may not be prepared for certain crisis or issues (Woodstock 99 comes to mind). They seem to have pretty solid organization, but they have no history of running a festival. They are also in Middle America, and easy to travel to.
Camping is available, as is RV parking. Campsites are $20 for the entire event, and campsites can be set up as early as Monday, August 17th.
General Admission - $175
VIP Package - $365 which includes seating in rows 11 – 30, buffet style meals, unlimited beer (tap I presume) and unlimited soft drinks.
Platinum Package - $565 which includes everything that the VIP package has plus liquor, champagne, poster, T-shirt, and access to the sinner’s lounge (which will have a night club atmosphere complete with pole dancers)
This is Rock Gone Wild’s first year. Their stages are still being built and there is no picture up yet on what the venue will look like seating-wise. How many seats, how much lawn for general admission, are there reserved seats, etc? These questions currently remain unanswered.
So, which is the better festival? Let’s go point for point.
I have to give the nod to Rock Gone Wild which currently has a better lineup. Now, both of these festivals have yet to finalize the rosters, so this could change, but as of now Puddle of Mudd, Saliva, Dangerous Toys, and Junkyard trump Twisted Sister, Kix, Nelson, and Night Ranger. Not by much, but a trump is a trump. Point – Rock Gone Wild
Rocklahoma hands down. Rock Gone Wild’s venue is still being built. Rocklahoma has the history. Point – Rocklahoma.
This is a close call. Both sites offer the basic showers, water, port-o-johns, RV spots, and general store. RGW is $20 for the entire festival and you can set up 4 days prior to the event. Rocklahoma does not have their price listed yet, and you can only set up the day before the event. Rocklahoma does offer the option of renting an RV and having it delivered. According to the websites, Rock Gone Wild offers a more scenic campground nestled in the woods and surrounded by a beautiful stream. This gives RGW a slight edge. Point – Rock Gone Wild
Clearly this goes to Rocklahoma. Their general admission is much lower and while their VIP is slightly higher, they don’t have the uber-expensive platinum VIP option of RGW and thus don’t have the high cost. Point – Rocklahoma.
Again, Rocklahoma has the edge, as they have done these festivals before. RGW is a first year festival. First year festivals usually have a lot of growing pains. While the organization seems spectacular and it looks like the organizers have things tied down pretty tight, the proof is in the event, which no one will know until August. Point – Rocklahoma.
Rocklahoma – 3
Rock Gone Wild – 2
There you have it, a point-by-point breakdown of the better summer rock/metal festival. While it is a very close race, Rocklahoma currently has the slight edge, and thus is a better spend of your hard earned dollar.
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