I wanted to share some thoughts on this year’s Rocklahoma festival. You know... the festival that’s been known as the hair metal fans dream for the past few years? Well, this year, for whatever reason, Rocklahoma has gotten a new promoter (AEG) and suddenly the festival is going through drastic changes. Let’s pick apart the good ones and the bad ones, shall we?
The dates have changed. One of the biggest complaints of Rocklahomas past is that the heat was too brutal and the July festival was a killer in the daytime. This year, the promoters hope to rectify that situation by making Rocklahoma a 3-day event over Memorial Day Weekend. Choosing May to hold the festival was a wise idea as the triple digit temperatures should be non-existent and people can enjoy the great rock and roll without baking in the intense heat.
Adding new artists. This could be a good thing. If bands like Puddle of Mudd, Black Stone Cherry, and Saliva play alongside bands like Jackyl, Stryper, and Winger, that’s a good thing. Some fans may not like the format change, but I think it was that format change that had many fans excited for last year’s (total failure) Rock Gone Wild festival. Mixing in new rock acts with the established classic rock veterans is a definite good thing.
AEG is now promoting this festival. It’s like making a deal with the devil. A national promoter such as AEG is going to charge insane fees to promote this festival and just where do you think the costs are going to be passed off to? Oh yeah, the fans. Ticket prices are going to skyrocket and AEG is going to push VIP packages like there is no tomorrow. These packages will not be cheap either. Obviously we won’t know until they are announced, but I have a strong feeling that they will cost much more than they have in the past.
Changing the dates was a good thing, but picking Memorial Day weekend was not such a smart idea. Tons of people are on the road that weekend and the airports may be jammed. Getting in may be easy, but getting out? That’s an entirely different story.
Removing an extra day of the festival and adding modern bands. What concerns me with this part of the announcement is that we will lose some of the cusp bands that make this festival a fun one. Bands like the BulletBoys, Dangerous Toys, and other similar acts, may now be dropped from the bill in place of some modern act that AEG is promoting. The great thing about Rocklahoma was that it was always THE nostalgia festival and now it’s going to be just another rock fest.
Personally, I will be attending M3 this year but that’s for more than just the lineup (and the fact that it’s a one day festival closer to home). My friends over at Hard Rock Hideout are going to be attending as well, so it’s an excuse for us to get together and party!
Those are my thoughts on the pros and cons of this year’s Rocklahoma. What are your thoughts? Are you going? Not going? Love it? Hate it? Post a comment and let us know!
Here’s a link to the official press release:
The bands have officially been announced (see below). Expect a post next week dissecting the good, the bad, and the what the...? regarding these bands.