2020 Electric Forest Lineup Revealed

Electric Forest Lineup

I am so tired of the cold and so ready for music festival season. Who is with me? I have not been to Electric Forest, but I saw this sweet lineup for the music festival taking place June 25-28 and just had to share. Taking place in Michigan, Electric Forest Music Festival celebrates Decade One of magic with The String Cheese Incident, BASSNECTAR, Flume, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Louis The Child, Diplo, and The Disco Biscuits Loyalty Tickets are on sale TODAY and tickets go on sale to the general public on December 6th.

2020 Electric Forest Lineup Revealed

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Electric Forest (EF) announces the highly-anticipated artist lineup for the annual music and camping festival in Rothbury, Michigan taking place June 25-28, 2020. Turning the page to Chapter 10, Electric Forest takes the opportunity to celebrate a decade of music, art, and community with over 100 artists – ranging from Electric Forest mainstays to those making their first trip to Sherwood Forest. Click here to view the complete lineup for Electric Forest 2020. 

Electric Forest Lineup

Marking this milestone are EF originals The String Cheese Incident (performing 3 Incidents), who have performed every year of the festival. Electric Forest 2020 also welcomes returning heavyweights BASSNECTAR, Flume, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Louis The Child, and The Disco Biscuits. New to The Forest this year include headliner Diplo, plus Big Boi, The Black Madonna, Boys Noize, Petit Biscuit, Princess Nokia, Rainbow Kitten SurpriseYBN Cordae, and more. EF fan favorites 12th Planet, Keller Williams, LotusEOTO, and SuperDre join The String Cheese Incident, BASSNECTAR, and Big Gigantic as artists who performed the inaugural event in 2011 and return in 2020 to celebrate a decade of magic. 

Special sets and unique collaborations have contributed to the magic of Electric Forest over the past 10 years, and this year’s event does not disappoint. EF2020 highlights include Turkuaz with Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew of Talking Heads who will perform Remain in Light in honor of the album turning 40; SVDDEN DEATH PRESENTS: VOYD, Noisia hitting the EF stage on their last tour together, and many more enchanting musical moments. 

Continuing the tradition of revealing the lineup in clever and engaging ways, over the past month EF HQ dropped hints of the EF2020 lineup for the Forest Family to discover. Sharing old social media posts from returning headliners and posting riddles and limericks on social media, creating chatter, speculation, and excitement among the Forest Family. The clues culminated in an EF2020 Lineup Teaser video. The video features pianist Jason Leech­­––who is well known by festivalgoers for his captivating impromptu sets at the Ocular Organ in EF’s Sherwood Forest–– performing a medley that, when listened to closely, nods to artists confirmed for EF2020. Watch the video here

Ticket Info: Info on Wristband and Lodging Packages, including 2020 Good Life Camping and Lodging options, can be found here. 

Loyalty On Sale begins Wednesday, December 4th at 10 am Eastern at www.electricforestfestival.com

Read more about EF Loyalty —including Six In The Forest Loyalty, Four In The Forest Loyalty, Good Life Loyalty and GA Loyalty—here.

EF General On Sale begins Friday, December 6th at 10 AM Eastern at www.electricforestfestival.com

Information on Layaway Payment Plans for all Wristband and Lodging Packages can be found here.

2020 DelFest Initial Lineup Announced

Delfest Initial Lineup

Are you planning on attending 2020 DelFest May 21-24 in beautiful Cumberland, MD? If so, check out the DelFest initial lineup that was just released. Be sure to let us know if your favorites are in the lineup in the comments below or on social media.

2020 DelFest Initial Lineup Announced

DelFest, the festival brainchild of Del McCoury and his extended McCoury family now in its 13th year, in partnership with High Sierra Music, announced an initial star-studded lineup today. Held at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in beautiful Cumberland, MD, DelFest originated from the desire to create a family-friendly music festival celebrating the rich legacy of McCoury music while creating a forum for world-class musical collaborations and to showcase fresh new talent.

Delfest Initial Lineup

On May 21-24, 2020—Memorial Day Weekend—DelFest will stay true to their original mission statement with musical performances from The Del McCoury Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, Old Crow Medicine Show, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Punch Brothers, Sam Bush, Billy Strings, Mandolin Orange, The Infamous Stringdusters, Sierra Hull, and emcee, Joe Craven with many more to be announced. 

Fans are encouraged to take advantage of discounted Advance 4-Day passes which are available now at DelFest.com. All other passes including DELuxe VIP packages, on-site RV passes with and without hookups, and parking will go on-sale Dec. 3rd at 12p EST.

Once again, DelFest Academy will serve as a prelude to the festival, taking place May 17-20 at the Allegany County Fairgrounds, with registration also opening on Dec. 3rd. The Academy is a 4-day instrument-specific deep dive led by The Travelin’ McCourys and other star players, and students of all ages and skill levels, from children to adults, are welcome. 

Stay tuned for more artists and ticket information to be announced in the coming weeks. Relive the magic from DelFest 2019 with Osiris’ Brokedown Podcast who was on-site recording exclusive interviews with last year’s artists. Please visit DelFest.com for more information or to purchase discounted Advance 4-Day passes. 

About DelFest

Produced in association with High Sierra Music, the 13th Annual DelFest will again offer a quality festival experience stamped with the unique McCoury touch. Personally chosen by Del McCoury, the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD serves as the perfect location for DelFest–nestled along the Potomac River in the scenic Appalachian Mountains, the Fairgrounds are convenient to four major airports and easily reached by rail or road. The city of Cumberland is also a great host, offering multiple hotel options, a charming downtown and great amenities including biking, a steam train engine and museum, and top-notch dining.

In addition to traditional stage sets by these world-class artists, attendees can again expect to see one-of-a-kind collaborations, special guest sit-ins, various tributes to Del McCoury and his musical legacy, intimate appearances, both at unique “playshops”—informal workshops where the emphasis will be on performance rather than instruction—and in late-night indoor performances and picking sessions.

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Check Out The Epicenter 2020 Full Lineup [5/1-5/3]

Epicenter 2020 Full Lineup

The full lineup for Epicenter 2020 has finally been announced. The music festival will be taking place from their new home at Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway! Metallica will be headlining for TWO nights and one of my favorite bands ever, Lynyrd Skynyrd, will also be there in what will be their exclusive 2020 North Carolina performance! Weekend and Single Day Tickets and Camping are currently on sale. Read on to check out the rest of the lineup!

Check Out The Epicenter 2020 Full Lineup

The music lineup has been announced for Epicenter 2020May 1, 2 and at Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. As previously announced, rock icons Metallica will headline Friday, May 1 and Sunday, May 3, performing two different headlining sets. Multi-platinum band Disturbed will headline Saturday, May 2. The diverse and massive music lineup for Epicenter also includes Lynyrd Skynyrd (in an exclusive 2020 North Carolina performance), Deftones, Godsmack, Volbeat, Staind, Papa Roach, David Lee Roth, Gojira, Chevelle, Cypress Hill, Rancid, Royal Blood, Anthrax, Dropkick Murphys, I Prevail, Alter Bridge and many more.

As previously announced, Metallica–recently named the world’s biggest all-time touring act by Pollstar–will exclusively headline all five Danny Wimmer Presents hard rock festivals in 2020 in a unique collaboration unprecedented for any American festival promoter or band. Epicenter is the first performance in this festival series.

Metallica isn’t just another headliner. When Metallica takes the stage, it’s an event. It’s an experience. That’s the same standard we’ve set for every DWP festival – from the first band to the last band, and everything that happens in between. I can’t wait to bring the biggest band in the world to the biggest rock festivals in America,” says Danny Wimmer, founder of Danny Wimmer Presents, the largest independent festival producer in the U.S. “Metallica paved this road that we travel. How many artists on the bill at these five festivals first picked up an instrument, or first started a band, because of Metallica?”

Epicenter moves to its new home at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2020. “We’re pleased to announce that Epicenter is moving to Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Rock City Campgrounds,” says Danny Wimmer Presents CEO Danny Hayes. “The new location offers plenty of nearby lodging, increased camping, and convenient travel options. The number one request we received from the fans was to move the festival to Charlotte…and we listened.”

The 3-day destination music experience will feature a massive lineup of top rock acts performing on four stages, along with a wide variety of food and beverage offerings, and various camping options and amenities, with General Admission, VIP tickets, and camping available for purchase now at https://EpicenterFestival.com.

The current music lineup for Epicenter is as follows (subject to change):

Epicenter 2020 Full Lineup

Friday, May 1: MetallicaGodsmack, Papa Roach, David Lee Roth, Royal Blood, I Prevail, Ghostemane, Ice Nine Kills, The Darkness, Starset, Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, ??? ??, New Years Day, Bones UK, Fire From The Gods, 3Teeth, NASCAR Aloe, Joyous Wolf, Killstation, Stitched Up Heart, Hero The Band, Through Fire

Saturday, May 2: Disturbed, Lynyrd Skynyrd (one of the band’s final appearances ever, as part of their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour), Staind, Chevelle, Cypress Hill, Anthrax, Alter Bridge, Code Orange, Of Mice & Men, Saint Asonia, Jinjer, Crown The Empire, Anti-Flag, City Morgue, The Chats, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Clint Lowery, Brkn Love, Brutus, Toothgrinder, Brass Against, Selfish Things, Zero 9:36, Like Machines

Sunday, May 3: Metallica, Deftones, Volbeat, Gojira, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, Hellyeah, Bad Wolves, Hollywood Undead, Sleeping With Sirens, Power Trip, The Amity Affliction, Des Rocs, Goodbye June, Airbourne, Stray From The Path, Plague Vendor, Ego Kill Talent, Higher Power, Skynd, and more

Festival entry begins at 11:30 AM each day.

At EpicenterDanny Wimmer Presents is proud to offer a collaboration with Metallica’s Blackened American Whiskey and Enter Night PilsnerBlackened is a super-premium American whiskey blend, crafted by the late Master Distiller Dave Pickerell and finished in the earth shattering music of Metallica. The finest bourbons, ryes and whiskeys were hand selected to create something revolutionary—finished in black brandy casks and pummeled by sound. Enter Night Pilsner is Metallica’s collaboration with the rock stars of craft brewing, Stone BrewingBlackened and Enter Night will come together under one roof to offer guests a one-of-kind musical festival experience. The massive Boilermaker pop-up will feature a Blackened & Enter Night Pilsner Boilermaker, as well as craft cocktails and ice-cold Enter Night Pilsner. This exciting collaboration marks the latest in a long line of amplified guest experiences only available through Danny Wimmer Presents music festivals. Learn more at http://BlackenedWhiskey.com.

Camping at Epicenter will let patrons keep the rock n’ roll party going all weekend long, with campgrounds open from Thursday, April 30 through Monday, May 4. All tent and RV campers will have access to showers, portable restrooms, food and drink vendors, charging stations, information, and medical services.

VIP tickets include dedicated entrance lanes into the venue, access to the VIP hang area, VIP-only viewing area of the two main stages, access to the VIP tent, a commemorative Epicenter VIP-only laminate, and RFID wristband. The VIP tent is a shaded hang space with dedicated premium bars and comfortable furniture, featuring live audio/video streams of the two main stages, air conditioned flushable restrooms, dedicated merch stand for convenient shopping, dedicated food and beverage offerings (for purchase), and private locker rentals (for purchase).

At Epicenter, fans 21+ can enjoy multiple specialty curated beverage experiences. Varietals from Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards (owned by Maynard James Keenan, co-founder of international recording acts Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer) will be available at the Caduceus Wine Garden, and the Heavy Tiki Bar will provide a shaded tropical oasis filled with killer cocktails.

Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway is located at 7301 Bruton Smith Blvd. in Concord, NC, just outside Charlotte, and less than two hours from Raleigh/Durham, Columbia and Greensboro. Visit www.CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com for directions and additional venue information.

Get tickets to Epicenter Music Festival here. And be sure to check out my recap of Epicenter 2019 here.

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2020 Carolina Country Music Fest Lineup So Far + 2019 Recap

2020 Carolina Country Music Fest Lineup

This year was my 2nd attending Carolina Country Music Fest and the music was amazing this year just like it was last year. Last year the headliners were Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band and Cole Swindell. This year the headliners were Alabama, Thomas Rhett, Dierks Bentley and Florida Georgia Line. Read on to 2020 Carolina Country Music Fest Lineup so far!

2020 Carolina Country Music Fest Lineup So Far

2020 Carolina Country Music Fest Lineup

If I haven’t stressed it enough, if you missed the last five years of Carolina Country Music Fest in Myrtle Beach, SC, you lost out on seeing some of the hottest country shows around. And it looks like the lineup for the 6th annual music festival won’t disappoint either. The 2020 Carolina Country Music Fest lineup so far consists of headliners Eric Church, Luke Combs, Darius Rucker and Jake Owen, along with supporting acts Jon Pardi and, just announced, Chris Janson. You can learn about more acts as they are announced here.

Where To Stay For Carolina Country Music Fest

I camped out at KOA Myrtle Beach again this year. I can’t say enough about KOA. I love the whole camping/music festival experience, and this way you can still have that, while at the beach. KOA Myrtle Beach even has cabins if you aren’t the camping type, but I love camping so it’s totally my jam. KOA also offers free shuttles to the beach, so you can catch one of those and walk a few blocks to the festival or you can catch an Uber and be taken right to it. I tried both ways, depending on my mood, time of day, etc. I also love that KOA had free pancake breakfast every morning. I mean, who doesn’t love pancakes? One night after the festival I came back to the campsite and there was karaoke. I didn’t do it because people don’t need the punishment that is my screechy voice, but it’s cool that they offer fun activities for the campers who are talented and/or enjoy these things.

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In a world full of tan, be orange. ❤ . I'm kidding. 😂 All camping is great. But how hot 🔥 is my easy up tent from @bassproshops? I used it at @epicenterfest but didn't really get to experience it all that much [except for how durable it is] due to weather issues. So I'm trying it out again, this time for @ccmflive! Check out my home for the weekend @myrtlebeachkoa. 🐿🐿🐿 . #KOA #MBKOA #solotravel #camping #nature #travel #adventure #outdoors #outdoor #camp #campinglife #explore #roadtrip #camper #photography #wanderlust #photooftheday #beach #naturephotography #instagood #tent #getoutside #summer #wilderness #campinggear #campingadventures #campinglove #trip #naturelovers #campingfun

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Another Year Of Top Notch Music At Carolina Country Music Fest

My favorite acts of the whole festival were Morgan Evans and Dan + Shay. I really liked “Tequila” and “How Not To” by Dan + Shay but I really wasn’t aware of much else by them. But when I saw them in concert, they sounded so great, their songs were fun and Shay’s voice is ridiculously good. So now I am a huge fan and have downloaded tons of their songs.

All I knew about Morgan Evans before CCMF was that he sang “Kiss Somebody,” he is married to Kelsea Ballerini and that he is from Australia. But he really did amaze me. He had some kind of foot pedal machine that allowed him to “play” all the instruments. It was only him on the stage and I seriously think it was all him as far as instrumentation was concerned. In all of the concerts I have ever been to, I have seen some things, but that’s not one of them. I was mesmerized.

On Thursday night, I got to see one of my all time favorite bands, Alabama! I have never seen Alabama until this year and now I have seen them TWICE! That’s the same night that Morgan Evans hit the stage, too, so it was, overall, a pretty amazing night.

On Friday night, I got to see Dierks Bentley and Brothers Osbourne do “Burning Man” together! Yes! That is one of my favorite songs by Dierks and the live performance did not disappoint. I also saw Randy Houser, Gabby Barrett, Sweet Tea Trio [their version of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” is fabulous], Jimmie Allen and I got to meet Danny Kensy.

On Saturday, we were evacuated due to bad weather for a short period. Florida Georgia line was set to perform that night, so I wasn’t too worried about it. I know I will get some hate for that but I just don’t love them. Their newer music is endearing them to me, though, I will give you that. “Simple” is a wonderful song. I really didn’t want to miss Dan + Shay that night though. But you guys already know I didn’t. I also saw Cam [so good!] and Gone West that night.

On Sunday, I saw Midland, Dustin Lynch, Rhett Akins [I have loved him for years!] and Thomas Rhett. Thomas Rhett rose from a lift within the stage and jumped really high when he came onstage. You could literally feel the excitement in the crowd. What a fun, energetic way to end the music festival.

Incidentally, this year is Alabama’s 50th and CCMF’s 5th anniversary. I thought that seemed like a great pairing. And, of course, I made a trip to The Bowery. I mean, how can you go to a music festival at Myrtle Beach, the home of Alabama, where Alabama is also playing, and not go to where it all got started? Come on, people!

2020 Carolina Country Music Fest Lineup

What Can Carolina Country Music Fest Improve On?

After my 2nd year of attending Carolina Country Music Fest, I see there are a few things they can improve on. I am hoping that they will start offering free water as I saw several people pass out [including myself on Thursday night] due to the heat and/or various health conditions. Since free water stations and/or sponsors offering free drinks is standard at most music festivals I have been to, I am hoping that Carolina Country Music Fest will join in.

I would also like to see more seating, that is easily accessible, and made ready available, especially to those with disabilities. I was told that to sit in the accessible section a doctor’s note is required. Since I attend music festivals and concerts all the time and have never been asked for a doctor’s note before, I did not have one. However, I have a heart condition and, given that experience, I now have a doctor’s note that I take everywhere with me. The accessibility section in the main stage area is also view obstructed so if you don’t get there and secure a good seat early, you can see very little, if any, of the concert, depending on where you sit. I am also unsure if any of the other stages even have disability seating. I do know that every time I tried to sit at the Blue Moon area I was turned down, so I stopped going to that stage.

Overall I Highly Recommend Carolina Country Music Fest

Having said all this, Carolina Country Music Fest does have a lot going for it. It’s a pretty new festival, so I am hoping that these kinks I did mention can be worked out soon. But that musical lineup though! It is absolutely amazing, probably THE BEST [in my opinion] of any music festival that I have ever attended. And it’s consistent. The talent is always great, with major names that people can easily recognize and fabulous up and comers that are so worth your time to see.

They also keep the party going nonstop on the mainstage between sets with a deejay. I enjoy this because once I was able to secure a seat, I did not leave to go to other stages as I was worried I would lose it. I definitely recommend Carolina Country Music Fest, especially to those who are young and in great health. If you are in need of certain accommodations, just consider everything I said and decide or make accommodations according to your particular needs.

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Artists You Need To Watch: Travis Denning

Travis Denning

Over the years, I have been to Coyote Joe’s in Charlotte I have no idea how many times. I have seen so many artists there that I couldn’t even begin to name them all. Coyote Joe’s is a bar that I consider a staple for up and coming artists and those who are winding down from the huge arenas after a meteoric career. So, Saturday night I rolled out to the Charlotte music venue again, this time to catch Travis Denning’s show.

Artists You Need To Watch: Travis Denning

Who is Travis Denning, you might be asking? I first became acquainted with him when he was on the roster for this year’s Carolina Country Music Fest. I saw his name, looked up a few songs to familiarize myself, and instantly fell in love with “After A Few.”

 

After A Few – I think we all know the drill. We break up with someone that we know is bad for us, then we run into them out somewhere, in this case a bar. We fall back into conversation, reminiscing, and then we end up right where we don’t want to be, back with that person that is so wrong for us – and hurt all over again.

This song is super relatable with a catchy hook that I just can’t get out of my head. And the fact that Travis Denning looks like the adorable boy next door, instead of some jerk just using the girl, helps to make his delivery and credibility perfect. Oh, and he confirmed that wholesome image by dressing up like Captain America for Halloween. I rest my case.

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AVENGERS…..assemble. Thanks for the party @hardy

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I think Travis Denning will be big. And the fact that he is touring in 2020 with Dustin Lynch doesn’t hurt. Check out Travis Denning’s tour dates and go see what all my fuss is about. You can thank me later.

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8 Things I Learned At Epicenter Music Festival

8 Things I Learned At Epicenter Music Festival

A couple of weekends ago, I went to the inaugural Epicenter Music Festival [RIP Carolina Rebellion] in Rockingham, NC. It was my first time camping at a music festival and I really enjoyed the chance to experience it. Even though much of the festival was shut down due to severe weather, I met all kinds of cool people and also some weirdos as one typically does at any public event. It was definitely the music festival where I learned the most and I wanted to share these things below for those of you who may be venturing out to your own festivals this summer.

8 Things I Learned At Epicenter Music Festival

I Really Dig Motionless In White – I had never heard of the band, “Motionless In White” before this festival. But they looked cool and I thought I would catch their show and see what I thought. When they started singing “Necessary Evil,” I was like what…. they totally sampled Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party.” I really enjoy when acts do that and do it well. So, when I got home, I listened to that song a few more times and have to say, I really like it. Though I didn’t get to see many acts at Epicenter Music Festival, Motionless In White was definitely my favorite.

8 Things I Learned At Epicenter Music Festival
Rob Zombie [photo courtesy Darren Menius]

It’s Better To Bring Your Own Bathroom Facilities To A Festival – Porta potties are naaaaaaasty. And they are even nastier when people have been drinking. Waking up in the middle of the night having to pee is bad enough. But how many of you can guarantee you can walk like a mile away to the nasty porta potty before you have an accident? That doesn’t seem like a game I want to play. Also, showers at Epicenter Music Festival were $10 each. Mama don’t have that kind of dough. So solutions needed to be found.

I avoided all this drama by bringing my own way to bathe and use the restroom thanks to my friends at Bass Pro Shops! I had a really cool set up with the PUP [Portable Pop Up Tent] so the bathroom facilities weren’t in my tent. It was super easy to set up – I did it all by myself in just a few minutes. I staked it down and it held up great when the storm hit [more on that in a minute], receiving no damage at all.

Inside the pop up tent, I had a Cabela’s Camp Commode Camping Toilet. It just unfolds and you hook a bag under the bottom and go. I used the WAG Bag Kit. These bags are filled with something similar to kitty litter, I imagine, that turns whatever you do into a solid. When you are done, just throw the bag in the trash and that’s that. No getting lost in the middle of the night, trying to find a porta potty.

I highly recommend getting one of these set ups from Bass Pro Shops. Check out the rest of their camping gear and please let me know of other great camping supplies that this novice camper needs to pick up for my next music festival.

8 Things I Learned At Epicenter Music Festival
Photo courtesy Darren Menius

I Should Have Left My House Earlier – Epicenter Music Festival officially started on Friday [5/10] but you could get to the camp site on the Thursday before and take part in pre-festival fun [music, etc]. I fully intended to leave bright and early Thursday morning to head to Rockingham, but my neighbor was getting a roof put on her house and the noise was driving my dogs nuts so I didn’t want to leave them like that.

I finally left my house about noon on Friday. And this was a decision I would later regret. I stopped to pick up some things on the way and ended up making it to within 5 miles of the festival at 3:15pm, where traffic came to a complete stand still. By the time I got to Will Call to pick up my media passes and then to the camp site, it was 10:30 pm that night! I could have still seen Korn, but I was just too tired to bother at that point. I still had a fun day, though, as people seemed pretty chill in the stand still traffic. Several people were just walking around, chatting it up with others still in their cars. So I wasn’t “alone” for 7 hours. But it would have been better had I made better decisions. Though I have been to music festivals in the past, this was my first time camping, and this was a learning experience in better time management and decision making.

8 Things I Learned At Epicenter Music Festival
Killswitch Engage [photo courtesy Darren Menius]

There Is No Good Way Into Epicenter Music Festival – Having said that about my poor time management skills, I want to add that there is only one road into the festival grounds. One. So, of course, it wasn’t all my fault it took so long to get into the festival. I have seen many, many people talk about how Epicenter Music Festival should have planned for this traffic. I have to say though, this festival is at Rockingham Speedway. If they never worked on building better infrastructure when the race was still there, I am doubting they will now, so this may just be what we have to work with. So, again, it comes back to me leaving the house earlier.

Female Solo Travel Is Awesome – I set up my own tent [except for the top part – a kind gentleman in the tent next to mine got that for me]. It was my first time setting it up and I was making a simple mistake so I anticipate no more problems here forward. I packed my own car. I set up my own shower tent. I drove myself to the festival and took care of myself the entire weekend. All of this I did by myself, without having to wait on anyone else who might be late, without having to worry about what someone else wants to do, without having to think about anyone else at all. I have to admit, it was one of the most fun trips that I have ever taken because I could just do whatever I wanted without worrying about someone else and their needs the entire time. I just did me.

8 Things I Learned At Epicenter Music Festival
Photo courtesy Darren Menius

Always Strap Your Tent Down – When I set my tent up Saturday morning, it was beautiful and sunny. I am not an experienced camper [yet] so I consulted one of my neighbors asking if I should stake the tent down. He said that he didn’t feel that I needed to if I had heavy things inside weighing it down. So, I had a cooler in there a few other things and I thought that would be ok. It was not.

When the storm hit later that night, I almost lost my tent. Seriously, I caught it just as it was about to fly away. I then got out of my car [all this in the middle of the storm, of course] and tied the tent to my car door. Then I had to hang my arm outside of my car for like 10 minutes holding on to one of the tent rods to make sure it didn’t go adios. I have to say, my tent, given all of my idiocy [aka learning experience] held up like a beast! It suffered no damage at all! I highly recommend the Coleman 5-Person Instant Dome Tent for any of you inexperienced campers like me. You will make mistakes. You want the tent that can take it. Trust.

Frozen Apples Are The Bomb – I packed all of my own food for Epicenter Music Festival. Trying to keep in mind that things need to stay cold to last, I decided to freeze some apple slices before packing them in the cooler. I am not a huge apple fan, but I will definitely freeze some for my camping trips in the future. They are ridiculously tasty and refreshing on a hot day. Apples are WAY better frozen. Yum.

8 Things I Learned At Epicenter Music Festival
Foo Fighters [photo courtesy Darren Menius]

There Is No Safe Place When Severe Weather Strikes – Epicenter Music Festival was evacuated on Saturday night due to incoming severe weather. I have to admit, the sky didn’t look all that threatening when the warning came over the loud speakers, cutting off Black Label Society about 2 songs in. But I did as I was told, evacuating the festival and going back to my car as instructed.

Then all hell broke loose. Some say we had a tornado nearby. I don’t know about all that, but I do know that we had one crazy thunderstorm. I spent 10 or so minutes holding onto my tent for dear life while many others weren’t so lucky. There are some people who are now blaming Epicenter Music Festival for their inability to see bands [i.e. Tool] later that night. Personally, I am not going to die to see anyone. I really, really, really wanted to see Bush, who was supposed to play in the time slot during the evacuation but that’s the way it goes. Perhaps I will get my chance some other time.

I feel like if you are at a music festival [or any huge gathering of people] you are choosing to take certain risks. That’s just the way it is. Epicenter Music Festival can’t control the weather anymore than I can. And, even if I were at home, I couldn’t guarantee my safety if a tornado struck. It’s just reality. If we can’t live with this, then perhaps a music festival isn’t the place for us.

Check out my interview with 311’s Nick Hexum here.

Check out more of Darren Menius’ pictures from Epicenter Music Festival here.

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Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival Lineup Announced #HometownRising

Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival Lineup Announced #HometownRising

I had so much fun at the music festivals last summer and can’t wait to get the party started again this year. What about you? I plan on hitting up the usual suspects naturally, but I came along this new one and just had to share. With huge acts headlining like Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Little Big Town and Keith Urban, Hometown Rising is bound to become a notch on the summer roster. Oh, and did I mention there’s bourbon? [Read more…]

Catch Hank, Pattie And The Current With The Winston Salem Symphony 3/9-3/10

Catch Hank, Pattie & The Current With The Winston Salem Symphony 3/9-3/10

This weekend I got to check out a Ricky Skaggs show, who I had seen a few times previously. This time would be different, however, as he and Kentucky Thunder would be accompanied by the Winston Salem Symphony. I knew that the show would be great and was excited to see how Skaggs’ music would sound accompanied by a symphony. I have to say, it was a pretty magical experience. There is just so much richness and depth that comes from so many talents musicians with their instruments together on one song. I knew I would love it because, several years ago, I saw Ronnie Milsap accompanied by a symphony and that experience was equally moving. If you have not seen one of your favorite artists in this matter, I highly recommend it. Read below for your chance. 😉 [Read more…]

Classic Country Throwdown: Tracy Lawrence, Phil Vassar, Little Texas And Cledus T. Judd 10/4 Cary, NC

Classic Country Throwdown: Tracy Lawrence, Phil Vassar, Little Texas And Cledus T. Judd 10/4 Cary, NC

For one night only, catch the Classic Country Throwdown featuring Tracy Lawrence, Phil Vassar, Little Texas and Cledus T. Judd. This will be a North Carolina exclusive taking place in Cary on 10/4 at Booth Ampitheatre. Tickets are on sale now! [Read more…]

My Experience At The Hangout Music Festival In Gulf Shores, Alabama

My Experience At The Hangout Music Festival In Gulf Shores, Alabama

A little over a week ago, I went to the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I posted on social media about it while I was there but thought I would share a recap here for those of you who might have missed it. I have been to Merlefest and the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention before but this was the first time I had attended a full on music festival of this size for the entire festival [though we didn’t make it to the pre-party]. My friends Avery, Wes and I road tripped from North Carolina [Wes and me] and Virginia [Avery] to Gulf Shores and Wes attended the music festival with me while Avery explored other parts of Gulf Shores and the surrounding areas. [Read more…]