Rocking Out in the Spring in Sunny Jacksonville, Florida at Welcome to Rockville
Welcome to Rockville is an annual three day festival in Jacksonville, Florida featuring a diverse lineup of musical performers. This year the lineup covers the spectrum with performances from everyone from the Gadsden, Alabama rapper Yelawolf to headliners like Tool, Rob Zombie and Korn. This year will be the festival’s 8th anniversary and, if you are interested in attending, getting your tickets sooner rather than later might be a wise decision as the festival sells out quite frequently.
Before we get super heavily into the lineup, let’s take a moment to examine some of the amenities the festival has to offer in the way of food, on-site camping and other vendors. Starting with the food, there is a wide variety to choose from ranging from Vietnamese selections at Bangarang Banh Mi, ice cream from Grumpy’s and an assortment of adult beverages including wine from the Caduceus Wine Garden. There are also booths for charity organizations like Fxck Cancer which is a 501(c)3 charity that brings awareness to early detection of cancer. Fxck Cancer also has the Dying to Live program which helps cancer patients fulfill dreams ranging from meeting their favorite NASCAR drivers to meeting their favorite bands. There’s also Take Me Home, a Los Angeles based animal rescue organization that will be at the festival.
If you’re travelling down to Jacksonville for the show you have a few options to choose from for lodging. The festival offers camping passes including both RV and car/tent camping options. For hotel choices the festival has partnered with aRestravel for some discounted hotel stay rates which can be viewed here.
For the headliners of the festival, there are bands that have been around for decades so let’s start by looking deeper in the lineup at some up and coming artists you may not know about.
Hands Like Houses is a Canberra, Australia based group who released their debut album Ground Dweller in 2012. Since then they have gone on to release four more studio albums with their most recent being Anon, released in October of 2018. The band has been featured on WWE, most recently with their song “Monster” being chosen as the theme song for WWE’s Super Show-Down pay-per-view event.
Shvpes is a UK based genre bending band that blends a mixture of styles of metal with hip hop styled rap. A huge buzz has grown around the band of late, some may attribute it to the popularity of lead singer, Griffin Dickinson’s father Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. However, Griffin is quick to distance himself from his father’s legacy, seeking instead to carve his own path in the music industry by being viewed independent of his father’s shadow. And by all accounts, it seems Griffin is well on his way as their debut album Greater Than is out now and they are set for an action packed 2019 appearing on line ups at events like Welcome to Rockville and North Carolina’s Epicenter Music Festival.
Now let us proceed to the big names:
As mentioned prior in this article about the diversity of this festival, let’s take a look at the Essex born electronic ensemble The Prodigy. They first burst onto the scene in the United States in 1996 with their hit single “Firestarter”. That was followed up by the popular but controversial “Smack My Bitch Up”. Despite having cropped up in the US in the mid-90s, the group had actually started back in 1990. The band has been known to march to the beat of their own drum, even in the face of controversy (particularly around their song “Smack My Bitch Up” which saw their album pulled from shelves and also saw the band encouraged not to perform it live.)
We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the absolutely mammoth presence of metal legends Judas Priest at the festival. A legend who has transcended the boundaries of metal music to appear on everything from Beavis and Butthead to The Simpsons. Judas Priest has been a staple in the heavy metal music scene for decades now. They’ve seen everything from the coming out of frontman Rob Halford as being a gay male in a time when social acceptance for being gay was very low (particularly in the metal scene). Currently, the band is dealing with guitarist Glenn Tipton’s diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease. In both cases the band turned adversity into positivity as Halford has gone on to be an ambassador for the LGBTQ community and has greatly helped changed the perception around the gay community. Plus, a charity foundation was set up to support victims of Parkinson’s in Tipton’s honor.
Hopefully we’ll see you out at Municipal Park May 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2019 for this incredible lineup and to sample some of the awesome food and beverage vendors at the show.
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