What do you get when you attend a competition in Florida all through its wet season? A lot of cancelations. But what do you get when you attend a competition in Florida with your family members during wet time? Chaos is probably the best phrase that arrives to mind, but it still made for a weekend whole of memories I will cherish endlessly.
Again in November, Guns N’ Roses were being introduced as 1 of the headliners for the 2022 edition of the Welcome to Rockville festival at the Daytona Intercontinental Speedway in Florida. The other three evenings had been to aspect KISS, Korn and Foo Fighters as the key acts, but just understanding it would be Guns’ only 2022 functionality in the U.S. was enough to convince me to go. Plus, my dad’s brother lives about a half an hour away from Daytona with his household, so I confident my dad to concur to be part of and make it a household journey. What could go mistaken?
Nicely, for starters, Taylor Hawkins tragically died in late March, so Foo Fighters canceled all of their approaching performances. The Danny Wimmer Offers workforce rallied together and recruited Nine Inch Nails to take the Foos’ general performance slot, so at the very least we had one more excellent act to appear forward to seeing, but it did seem as if the pageant had some form of curse put on it from the get started.
I want to preface this write-up with declaring none of the functions that transpired in the course of that weekend are anyones’ fault — not DWP, not the employees at the Daytona Global Speedway, not the bands or any customers of their crew — no a person. Fans who purchased tickets for the pageant ended up offered a disclaimer that there wouldn’t be refunds if there were cancelations owing to intense climate threats, so all people knew the hazard they ended up signing up for when purchasing passes.
It just so happened that a ton of regrettable items occurred, but we all nonetheless made the very best of it, and managed not to strangle each individual other in the meantime. And I am going to explain to you how. As I chronologically explain to the tale of our expertise at the 2022 Welcome to Rockville, I’m heading to include things like some survival recommendations, and then listing them all once again at the bottom of the page for your comfort.
Working day 1
The very first day of Welcome to Rockville kicked off on Thursday, May possibly 19. My dad and I failed to make our way about to the festival until finally the evening since we needed to expend the day with family, but we did seriously want to see KISS. They didn’t go on until finally 10:30PM even though, so we experienced a couple of hours at the pageant grounds to scope out the layout of all the levels and distributors.
That to start with evening was absolutely attractive. We arrived to the speedway as the sunshine was setting. It wasn’t humid and there was a amazing breeze. There were four levels situated all over the grounds, and they were being spaced out more than enough so that the overlapping performances would not drown just about every other out. On the other hand, this meant a good deal of going for walks was needed to get from phase to stage, so snug going for walks footwear ended up totally needed — this is Survival Suggestion No. 1.
Doc Martens are not at ease walking footwear until finally they’re wholly damaged in.
In the heart of the industry in the vicinity of the key stage, there have been art installments that showcased preferred albums by some of the performers, including Guns N’ Roses’ Hunger for Destruction, Shinedown’s Sound of Madness, Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Unhappiness, NIN’s The Downward Spiral and much more. There was also a Ferris wheel and a few of other rides, which included to the in general experience.
One particular component I genuinely liked about the set up was that when a band was participating in at one particular stage, the audio came out of the speakers at the key 1, so you did not actually have to wander all the way to the Octane stage and lose your place at the Area Zebra just one.
I am not going to go into a ton of depth about all of the performances… even though we actually only received to see a couple of them in any case, but — KISS ended up magnificent. Are they as young as they ended up in the 1970s? Naturally not, but the effectiveness was continue to wildly entertaining. Gene Simmons acted as if he ended up possessed as blood gushed out of his mouth and all more than him, Paul Stanley zip-lined from the stage to a platform earlier mentioned the soundboard and the relaxation of the band had turns participating in from risers on the phase as properly. It was a single of the most visually persuasive demonstrates I’ve ever seen, and I assure you that you do not have to have to be a lover of the band to have a great time observing them.
Friday, May 20 was the start of the weekend’s terrible weather. The Welcome to Rockville application sent out notifications with regards to weather conditions updates, which was substantially much more handy than checking their social media pages, so Survival Tip No. 2 is to take edge of any apps the pageant you happen to be attending may have. It experienced a map, up to date established instances and extra.
There was a lightning delay during the afternoon, and we hadn’t remaining the house but, so we made a decision to hold out right until it was all clear to go. Once fans have been presented the environmentally friendly light to re-enter the venue, we made our way above.
When they did determine to permit absolutely everyone back in, stability was not checking anyones’ baggage or pockets, and that was a little concerning mainly because some of those people men and women — such as us — ended up only arriving for the first time that day. In a Q+A session that DWP CEO Danny Hayes hosted a few of days right after the pageant was more than, he spelled out that stability checks can enhance the likelihood of group surges, which can be unsafe. So when a massive mass of persons had been re-moving into the festival grounds, they halted checks in purchase to prevent a surge.
“We saw the early stage of a surge and the only factor you can do at that point, if we send out safety out there and they won’t be able to get it quiet, then you fall the gate and you permit persons in and you decrease that strain stage,” Hayes elaborated.
The initially artist we went to see that night was Seether, and they were fortunately equipped to engage in a full established. It did start raining though, and we could see flashes of lightning lights up the sky in the length driving the phase, so it was only a make any difference of time ahead of a further code red was named.
We did get to see portion of Ministry and We Arrived As Romans’ sets, also, and by this stage, we were completely soaked. That sales opportunities us to Survival Suggestion No. 3 — if we had brought in the ponchos we brought with us (that we stupidly left in the vehicle), we would’ve been a whole lot drier. I am going to confess it was sort of exciting currently being out in the rain, but we have been wholly soaked, and when they called a code purple and we experienced to retreat again to the car, sitting in drenched dresses was not enjoyment.
Survival Suggestion No. 4 is to consider the temperature evacuations very seriously. Never go below a tent or structure with aluminum as it truly is particularly perilous. Go to your car or to the selected shelter areas.
We have been good about this upcoming shift. Survival Tip No. 5 is that if you are driving to the pageant, packing a cooler with beverages, snacks and quick food these types of as sandwiches is a definitely fantastic concept. We have been able to munch and sip in peace, and for free of charge, even though we waited for an update about the climate. Regretably, the rest of the performances that night have been identified as off, so Breaking Benjamin, Korn and a couple of some others were not able to engage in. Megadeth failed to even get to make it down to Florida at all for the reason that of the temperature, so a lot of admirers were truly let down.
We blasted Korn in the auto on the drive household in their honor.
We arrived a bit earlier on Saturday than the former days. Paying much more time at the festival grounds probably implies you can be having and consuming there. A person of the most essential survival recommendations is No. 6 — staying hydrated. It can be tempting when there are bars and other alcohol suppliers all around the put, but drinking h2o is of utmost significance at these styles of situations, even if you don’t drink alcohol. There were being totally free h2o-filling stations situated in numerous locations at the speedway, so attendees have been allowed to convey clear, vacant water bottles in to take gain of them.
It was quite cloudy and humid that working day, but the temperature was good. We established out for the principal stage to capture Jerry Cantrell’s established, and he produced it about a few or 4 songs in ahead of they termed a code red all over again. We ended up screaming our lungs out to Alice in Chains’ “Person in the Box” when the band faded out, and Cantrell declared that they were calling a weather hold off. It was the worst timing at any time, so we sought shelter in the media area.
After a while, the venue’s personnel declared that it was risk-free adequate for us to go outdoors, so we stayed by the bar in the media spot until they rearranged the setlists for the remainder of the evening. In the meantime, Heidi Shepherd from Butcher Infants gave me a screaming tutorial there. We definitely turned a couple of heads — she phone calls it her “Yogi bear” vocal procedure.
Shinedown at some point took the phase, and were being a pair of tunes in when yet another code crimson was called. This time, the sky actually appeared terrifying simply because there was lightning in all places. Shortly after, the Welcome to Rockville app despatched out a notification that all remaining performances for the night experienced been canceled. No Guns N’ Roses for us either.
Needless to say I really a great deal felt defeated by this issue of the weekend. 4 days is extensive for a festival, but it is at the very least worthy of it if you are capable to see absolutely everyone that you want to see. It feels like an eternity when you are just ready about for weather updates and notifications as to irrespective of whether or not the display will even go on.
That Sunday, the weather conditions was on our aspect, however maybe a little as well significantly. It was brilliant and sunny, and the air was nonetheless thick from the storms that had swept as a result of the spot the past two times, so it was hard to breathe. Survival Tip No. 7? Sunscreen. My facial area was fried from being in the solar, and I appeared like a lobster by the end of the evening.
This, of course, was the day we got there the earliest, since I preferred to Spiritbox. Loudwire named their debut album Everlasting Blue our 2021 Album of the 12 months, and I was enthusiastic to see no matter whether their reside effectiveness captured the magic that the document did — and it did. They ended up phenomenal, and the group was really into it, also. I would not be stunned if they’re slotted much later on the monthly bill in the future handful of years. They are entitled to it.
We also observed Poppy, The Pretty Reckless and Halestorm — a large amount of girls-fronted bands performed that day, which was great.
The warmth commenced to turn into a little bit unbearable, so we observed some shade and relaxed for a whilst, creating sure to continue to be hydrated and awesome. Survival Tip No. 8 would absolutely be to just take breaks in the shade any time and where ever you can so you will not move out.
Our toes were being all killing us by this place and we had been relocating quite slowly. Once more, a four-working day pageant is not for the faint of heart. Bringing a pack of bandages is Survival Idea No. 9, simply because no subject how cozy you assume your shoes are, walking miles and miles back again and forth all day can result in chafing and blisters, which won’t really feel good when you know you even now have a walk again to your system of transportation once the night is ultimately over.
At last, we bought to see Smashing Pumpkins and some of Nine Inch Nails’ established — which was interrupted by some complex problems. It’s almost as if the universe had to give Rockville one last hurdle to get as a result of, but they were in a position to resume as typical afterward. Trent Reznor also gave a particular shout-out to Taylor Hawkins, which was wonderful to hear.
We left fairly early into their set… which leads to a survival idea that many of you could not be far too fond of. But No. 10 would be to go away at some stage just before the established ends so that you can conquer the masses of men and women who depart soon after the finale. Even if you can get just a head commence on the targeted visitors, you may be in luck. But, if it is really one particular of your favourite artists undertaking, it truly is worthy of it to hard it out and hold out.
Survival Tip Recap
1. Don comfy strolling footwear.
2. Obtain the pageant app (if they have a single).
3. Convey ponchos and be ready for rain.
4. Consider prospective climate advisories and evacuations very seriously, whether you imagine the weather conditions is risky or not.
5. If you might be driving, pack a cooler with treats and drinks in your motor vehicle in case there are climate evacuations.
6. Keep hydrated!
7. Use sunscreen.
8. Take breaks in the shade whenever you can.
9. Pack bandages for your ft in situation of blisters.
10. Go away just before the end of the last established to conquer the crowds… except it really is one of your preferred artists.
Bonus idea… get pleasure from it. Look at out my TikTok recap below.