Loud, brash, explosive…That’s what you get when you feel the warm Florida breeze hovering over 3 days of intense rock at the Rockville Music Festival 2018. With extreme power bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold, Foo Fighters and Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne, the non stop bass coming from the main stage doesn’t end with the exchange of notable players as those side shows kept it rocking through the night for those whose energy weren’t drained by the sun and made the decision to ingest the main sponsor’s get up and go product, Monster Energy Drinks.
With 3 days of gorgeous weather, those younger generations flocked to hear the electric guitar screetchings of Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, Bullet For My Valentine, and Joyous Wolf, while options were kept open into what tastes the audience preferred with acts like Killswitch Engage, Bad Wolves, Greta Van Fleet, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, Pop Evil or Sevendust and Fireball Ministry.
Just so much to absorb at Jacksonville’s Rockville Music Festival, it’s an overload on the senses with so many eclectic sites, sizzling smells and satisfying sounds a welcoming presence on the human condition.
2018 is also watching Godsmack celebrate a 20 year anniversary and hyping up the crowd doesn’t seem to accurately describe the elements spilling over this favored group among its audience. It’s an all out assault on the senses when they start getting into their second set. Broad and bold, this band makes it’s mark and if all you can remember after 3 days is Godsmack, then success fostered it’s way to your memory bank and you leave wanting more.
Even if it is a first time exposure to what some of these bands had to offer, the spirit of their was music was contagious and you found yourself wanting to know all the words to sing along. Definitely accumulating fans along the way, for a band to score a stage here, it’s almost like reaching the summit of a mountain close to Mt. Everest as not many can walk away disappointed with the work and effort it took to get there.
Held at Metropolitan Park, the main stage is right outside the Jacksonville Jaguars Stadium and a monsterous stage housed those veteran headliners as you could smell the ocean in the distance if you weren’t overpowered by all of the amazing food vendors, especially if Island Noodles Florida dishes served up space in your belly, but plenty of taste buds could be spared a boring exposure.
Mostly merchandise vendors offered up their typicl band shirts, but you also had access to those forgotten necessities available like sunscreen, sungglasses, and hats along side those long lined food trucks serving up BBQ and ice cream.
Beer, can we talk about the beer. Plenty on tap but you’d have to be prepared to wait in line for it.
Most impressive, the feeling that music brings people together and is meant to entertain, this festival does that, as you come for the music and leave having felt that camaraderie with the ambiance having the power to heal as you forget about your troubles and enjoy the varying sounds that is bound to hit one of your favorite soundwaves over 3 days of multiple offered acts.
Would I recomend this festival? Absolutely and I’d start looking at booking tickets a year in advance as those VIP package deals go fast but whether you have a general admission ticket or find yourself reserving special seating, not a bad seat in the place. Wherever you are at, you are surrounded by onsite entertainent and visually pleased with whoever is on the stage.
The third day added to this usual weekend event was entirely worth it and with Foo Fighers closing out the show, we’re looking forward to who and what is brought to the stage next year.
Contributing Writer: Charlotte Alexander; Contributing Photographer: Mario Duenaz