by LIZA MITCHELL
Monster’s Energy Welcome to Rockville is showing some to love to its hometown with two days of live music along the banks of the St. Johns River. The vast lineup pays tribute to the city’s rock ‘n roll pedigree with a lineup featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd, Shinedown and the first local performance by Limp Bizkit in over a decade.
The bill also includes Alice In Chains, Stone Sour, 3 Doors Down, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Bullet For My Valentine, Halestorm, Buckcherry, Hollywood Undead, Skillet, All That Remains, Device featuring David Draiman from Disturbed, Asking Alexandria, Escape The Fate, Filter, In This Moment, Steel Panther, Motionless In White, Pop Evil, Otherwise, Saving Abel, Nonpoint, Red, Young Guns, Thousand Foot Crutch, Gemini Syndrome, Girl On Fire and more.
The festival will be held April 27 and 28 at Metropolitan Park. Two-day general admission tickets are $99.50 plus service fees. Single day general admission is $54.50 plus service fees. Visit www.welcometorockvillefestival.com or Ticketmaster locations for tickets and information.
Monster’s Energy Welcome to Rockville is produced by Jacksonville native Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents. The festival is entering its third year and has grown into a two-day event that Wimmer hopes will put Jacksonville on the map as a live music destination. The decision to grow Rockville into two days of live music on the river came on the heels of two successful sell-out years.
“When you are trying to create a festival experience, you have to create a weekend experience. It’s easier for people to commit to a weekend than it is to a one-day. It makes it work for someone coming in from Orlando, Tallahassee or Pensacola,” Wimmer says. “Jacksonville has so much rock culture built into it. We want to keep growing this event as a staple event that will represent Jacksonville and compete with any other festival out there.”
Wimmer knew he could draw the crowds when took on the more daunting challenge of booking two of the city’s most notorious natives on a single bill. Lynyrd Skynyrd and Limp Bizkit both hail from Jacksonville and have both become part of the city’s southern rock lexicon. The idea took shape last year as Wimmer was watching the show.
“I was talking to Limp Bizkit, and they weren’t ready yet to play the states. We always tried to find some element of Jacksonville in there, and I was watching last year, thinking how can I get Limp Bizkit and Lynyrd Skynyrd on the same show?” he says. “They are part of Jacksonville’s culture and some of the biggest name artists that Jacksonville has launched. Jacksonville is really being represented in this show and people are really buying into this Jacksonville rock culture.”
As a concert promoter, it’s up to Wimmer to book bands that will sell tickets. But he must also follow the protocol established by the various cities to maintain the integrity of his events. When he caught wind of the recent ordinance proposed, and later dropped, by Jacksonville City Councilman Don Redman to limit live music in Metropolitan Park, he opted to be proactive rather than reactive. He joined other promoters to meet with city officials to preserve the venue for his festival and for music fans citywide. His team showed up en masse to the council meetings to show their willingness to help generate a solution that will benefit both sides of the issue. There is now a committee that the city and promoters are working on to figure out the right decibel level.
“We are working with Councilman Redman to try and figure out solutions for the neighborhood that’s being affected by the sound and while it’s been dropped, we are working to figure out how we can help change traditions. Maybe we end at 10 o’clock rather than 11 o’clock,” he says. “What is really important to us is creating awareness for a city like Jacksonville. This does bring a lot of people into the city, and they get to experience what Jacksonville is all about. We are a city on the coast. We’re right on the river. This is a great way to show off how beautiful Jacksonville really is.”
Support from fans and local radio stations 104.5 and X102.9 are helping to spread the word. The response from the Skynyrd and Bizkit camps has been positive, and while the fans are not mutually exclusive, Wimmer says the design of the show caters to the respective cultures. “It’s cool to see their two logos side by side,” Wimmer said. “I’m hoping that people, especially being from Jacksonville, walk away being very proud having a multi-day festival in their backyard. It’s 11 hours of non-stop music. We’re going to keep investing in talent and keep trying to grow this thing.”
Regarding the opportunity for fans to witness a Lynyrd-Bizkit mashup, Wimmer is not willing to confirm or deny, but he is open to the idea. “I’m never going to say never,” he laughed. “Crazier things have happened.”
Welcome to Rockville
by LIZA MITCHELL