Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rocklahoma 2010

It’s festival week here at The Rock and Roll Guru! This week I’ll be discussing the upcoming summer festivals and highlighting the highs, lows, and all the in-betweens of each. I’ve selected five festivals and will post daily on each. Enjoy!


Originally launched as the hair metal lover’s fantasy, Rocklahoma has totally revamped their format and lineup for 2010. Whether that takes away from the experience remains to be seen, but early indications show that fans are not happy about the lineup decisions being made by Rocklahoma and their new promoter, AEG.

AEG took what was a glam metal dream and tried to modernize it in an attempt to increase ticket sales and make Rocklahoma a better draw. The plan may have backfired on them, but only time (and ticket sales) will tell.

Taking place over Memorial Day weekend (May 28-30), Rocklahoma, located in Pryor Oklahoma, hopes to draw a lot of music lovers to travel to middle American and enjoy the festival.

Ticket prices are average for this year’s festivals. The General Admission tickets are $110 for the three day event (before fees). Camping, which is offered on the festival grounds, is not included in that price.

If you are looking for a more lavish experience, Rocklahoma offers a special VIP packages ranging from $290 - $749. VIP packages include PIT access which is located right in front of the stage, a backstage lounge tent (no word on whether the performers hang out there, but food service is included), and special seating in Rows 1 or 2. Packages vary with extra amenities depending on the level of VIP access purchased.

The lineup for Rocklahoma is what causes this festival to suffer. While it had the potential to be an incredible festival that everyone would want to attend, the bands selected to play are crippling Rocklahoma 2010. After the major headliners of ZZ Top, Godsmack, Buckcherry, Tesla, Cinderella, Theory of a Deadman, Saliva, and Fuel, there are several bands that you’ve probably never heard of. Rocklahoma is banking on a lot of new, up and coming bands to be a huge selling point to fans. I have to think that it’s not. It’s hard to believe that people would travel from all over the country to see a plethora of unknown bands perform over three days. It was poor selection on the part of AEG.

Rocklahoma started in 2007 as a place for all hair metal acts and their followers to gather and celebrate 80s metal. For three years, this was the hair metal festival of choice, held in July. The hot weather did not go over well with fans, and the biggest complaint of Rocklahoma’s past was that the festival was held during the month of July.

Now in their fourth year, Rocklahoma has experience and they know how to run the festival and the adjacent campgrounds. All rookie mistakes have been ironed out and the experience is a professional one. However, with the lineup being totally revamped for 2010, and the festival moving to Memorial Day weekend, it’s hard to say what this year’s festival will be like. One thing is certain; the weather will be much nicer.

Places To Stay
If you are interested in the great outdoors, campsites are available right at the festival grounds starting at $50. The campgrounds include shower facilities, parking for one vehicle per campsite purchased, 24-hour security and night lighting.

Not an outdoorsman? There are nearby hotels where you can stay. Days Inn, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, and Econolodge are all within a few miles of the festival grounds. However, with this rock fest happening on Memorial Day weekend, early reservations (as in now) are highly recommended.

Rocklahoma has to be considered one of the weakest festivals for 2010. While there are some great bands headlining, there aren’t enough solid supporting acts to make this a festival of choice. When compared to M3, Rock on the Range, and other festivals, Rocklahoma doesn’t match up. If you live in the Oklahoma area, this may be a festival worth visiting, but even then, it’s only a maybe.

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