Rock Recap: A Look Back at Rock Fest 2016

The week that we look forward to all year long…has come and gone. So many memories, so many killer shows, so much to relive!! Let’s dig in.

One of the best things about the Wednesday Bonus Bash, is that it celebrates the hard core fans that pledge to rock with us for three days straight…so what better way to kick off the week than with our best buds and classic bands, in a newly-expanded top-of-the-hill stage!? God it was great to see your faces as you grabbed your drinks and realized…wow…we’re here…and rockin’ to KIX and Queensryche!

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Thursday was an insane family reunion. That’s really the only way to put it. We were all over the grounds, taking in the zip-line, the chopper rides, the Rock ‘N’ Rest hammock station, the food, the drinks, the Fest Olympics…oh and wait, there was MUSIC!!

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Stitched Up Heart, Like A Storm and Sick Puppies absolutely demolished the Bud Light “What’s Next Stage.” We heard it from so many of you — the chance to get up close and personal with your favorites was an absolute thrill this year. The artists agreed! You give them the energy that feeds their performances. What an incredible thing to witness.

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To the main stage…and Thursday’s sick lineup: Art of Dying, Red Sun Rising and Nothing More packed in the crowds…so sweet to fill up that pit again!

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Hollywood Undead took command of their time slot with an energy that rippled through to even the greenest rap/rock fans. Plus, they provide some definite eye candy, wouldn’t you say?

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Skillet’s show was so killer, John Cooper actually started levitating. 😉 Seriously though, THAT is a talented group and so great to see live. The rain only seemed to spur them on more!

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Shock rocker Marilyn Manson took the stage next, to the delight and bewilderment of thousands. His rendition of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” … while on stilts … unforgettable. Who could take their eyes off of him?!

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Wrapping up the first night – supergroup The Hollywood Vampires, starring Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp. The show offered a fascinating trip through the rock legends we’ve lost, giving tribute to the hard ways in which they lived and died. Oh and did we mention JOHNNY DEPP? Drool. Then, when you think the night can’t get any more legendary…Marilyn Manson joins Alice Cooper on stage. Just gimme a sec while I pick my jaw up off the floor…

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Now on to Friday. Yes, we’re only on DAY TWO for those of you counting at home.

Beyond Threshold, 10 Years and THE Scott Stapp kicked absolute ass on the What’s Next stage…but you all know that, you were there. The top of the hill was packed!

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Wayland opened the day on the main stage…followed by incredible performances by Escape The Fate, Adelitas Way and Saint Asonia. Can you pick a favorite? I mean, really?!

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Rise Against did just that. Did you see the insane acrobatics by Zach Blair? That guy can get some serious height. AND he’s a rockstar. Whoa.

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Face-melting courtesy of Breaking Benjamin later that night. No one can rile up a crowd quite like Burnley. HORNS UP.

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Closing the day of epic rock…the legendary Alice In Chains. Eyes and ears feasted on the delicious show!

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Saturday brought more rock, more memories, more L-O-V-E. What a beautiful sight to see couples taking advantage of our new, custom-built wedding chapel to renew their vows and get hitched. Congrats to all the lovebirds! Thank you for the honor of hosting!

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I Prevail and All That Remains were so stoked to be face-to-face with their fans on the What’s Next stage…I’d say the fans felt equally as excited… 😉

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We need a moment or two to reflect on the gorgeous theatrics that make up the In This Moment performance. I’m not sure I blinked one time during their show.

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Bullet For My Valentine brought the house down (no surprise there)…and you just can’t say enough about our friends from Five Finger Death Punch. Classic gentlemen with a hard ass rock flair. We dig it.

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The build up to Sunday’s finale was thick in the air…and when the lights went down just before Slipknot, the anticipation peaked. Those who’ve never seen Slipknot live before likely left with a few choice images burned into their nightmares. What a sight. What a sound. What a show.

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Getting the chance to look back at these photos reminds us just how lucky we are to have this kind of entertainment in our own backyard. That’s thanks to you, fest fans. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share unbelievable music and memories with you every fricking summer. What a ride. Here’s to next year, buds. July 13-15, 2017.

 

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