Photos by Jason Squires
The 10th annual Rock On The Range festival took over Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on May 20, 21 & 22. The genre-defying, multi-stage extravaganza brought music fans of all ages and tastes together for America’s greatest rock weekend.
No other domestic festival brings together a wider variety of top talent across the musical spectrum. With multiple stages and multiple headliners per day, there was plenty for the 40,000 daily Rangers to enjoy. Friday night got things going with stellar performances from Shinedown and Disturbed. Saturday night was alive with Five Finger Death Punch and Rob Zombie bringing down the sold-out house. Sunday capped it all off with Deftones and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Five Finger Death Punch
ROTR continues to make minor adjustments each year, giving fans even more of what they want. This year the second stage, just outside of the soccer stadium, was pushed back to make room for the massive circle pits and crowd surfing demanded by the likes of At The Drive In, Pennywise, Lamb of God and Megadeth. The new alignment also provided room for the vendor village to be placed in view of the action.
Bring Me The Horizon
On the musical front, there was truly something for everyone. Pop punk heavyweights Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember, and Asking Alexandria set things up for legends Anti-Flag and Pennywise. The international community spiced things up with Australians Sick Puppies, Hands Like Houses and Wolfmother bringing the passion, while the theatrical Swedish stylings of Avatar and Ghost thrilled and amazed. Ohio itself was not to be outdone, serving up the hardcore of Miss May I, the soul of Red Sun Rising and the hip hop of Machine Gun Kelly.
The heavy hitters always bring the crowds, but one of the best things about Rock On The Range is discovering new bands before they break big. Some of the bands that made their mark this year were Wilson, Monster Truck, Aranda, New Years Day, The Glorious Sons and Highly Suspect. Each band brings their own style and excitement.
At the end of a long day of musical discovery, fans were able to catch their breath and some laughs in the comedy tent, before heading back to the main stage for the two headliners. They are going to have to make a much bigger tent next year, as fans were lined up outside, hoping to get in to see acts like Jay Mohr, Big Jay Oakerson and That Metal Show featuring Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine.
At this point it should go without saying that Rock on the Range is the best rock festival in the U.S. and you had better get your tickets quick, as it continues to sell out faster each year.