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Blue Ridge Rock Fest begins 2024 ticket sale, despite the 2023 flop

The event organizers have opened the 2024 passes pre-sale, while thousands are still waiting for refunds from last year's flop.
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Preslav Verified account @preslav

Mar 15, 19:44PM UTC

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@blueridgerockfestival logo, images - left: Anonymous user on FB, middle: @tehcubsfan (X), right: @VicariousNick (X)
Blue Ridge Rock Fest begins 2024 ticket sale, despite the 2023 flop

Blue Ridge Rock Festival (BRRF) is gearing up for another round this year, but echoes of the 2023 disaster spark debates about whether the festival is making a mistake by moving forward. Let's take a step back and return to what went down at the fest last year.

Severe weather

The festival's troubles began on the first night, as severe storm swept through the area, leading to an abrupt evacuation. The reported amount of over 40,000 attendees went through hell trying to evacuate, due to a shortage of shuttle busses, with "up to five hours" of wait time.

Poor communication with band managers

Behind the scenes, a tangled web of miscommunication with band managers unraveled, leading to logistical nightmares. Lack of preparedness in transporting gear and shifting schedules of meet and greets left fans, who had invested both financially and emotionally, unable to connect with their favorite artists.

The manager of Electric Callboy at the time, Ian Roberts (TankTheTech), put up a raw video of his experience with BRRF on his youtube channel, which is definitely worth the watch:

Poor (third party) staff wellbeing

It's no secret that many festivals hire third party companies for catering, bars, security, etc. Well, at least they were fed and able to sleep. Many reports came out shortly after the cancellation of the fest, about the miserable conditions staff on the ground was dealing with.

staff member at the blue ridge rock festival shares what they are being fed

This screenshot is from a dropbox filled with documented photos put together by a netizen, which can be found here.

One netizen commented: "They refused to give the stagehands showers, porta-potties, and we were lucky if we got fed once a day.", another one stated: "My brother worked security and did his best getting the crowds out back to the parking areas. He slept 4 hours in 3 days and ate 3 granola bars so that meals could go to other staff members. He told me it was one of the most screwed up things he’s ever been a part of."

Unsanitary conditions

The climate wasn't the only issue tormenting the fest. "Mountains" of garbage was left piling up, making a wellbeing risk for everybody included. Port-a-potties and showers were in a horrid state, and getting clean water was like finding a needle in a haystack.

Here is a timeline of the events, as described by an attendee, who shared their story online:

  • Wednesday: Campers endured agonizing waits of over 10 hours to secure parking spots at the start of the fest. Reports from attendees described the situation as chaotic and poorly managed.
  • Thursday: Attendees faced scorching temperatures with limited access to water stations, leading to concerns about heat exhaustion. As a storm suddenly hit the festival grounds, evacuation procedures were disorganized, resulting in long waits for shuttle buses in the pouring rain.
  • Friday: Despite improved weather conditions, attendees experienced lengthy waits in line due to overcrowding issues. Many were turned away at the gates, unable to enter the festival grounds. Inside, overcrowding led to dangerous conditions, with reports of injuries and missing persons.
  • Saturday: The festival was abruptly canceled for Saturday and Sunday, with organizers citing inclement weather. However, speculation arose about oversold tickets and mistreatment of stage crews. As attendees sought answers, the true reasons behind the festival's premature end remained unclear.

Link to the comment: 'I was there. Absolutely disastrous.'

While presale passes have begun, the lineup announcement for bands is still pending.

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