Photos by Brooke Long
Text by Johnnie Crow
The 10th annual Rock on the Range festival took over Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio late in May, a genre-defying, multi-stage extravaganza that brought music fans of all ages and tastes together. From May 20-22, the sold-out domestic festival featured a wide variety of top talent from across the musical spectrum.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
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 heavyweights Shinedown and Disturbed. Saturday night was alive with Five Finger Death Punch and Rob Zombie bringing down the house. Sunday capped the weekend off with Deftones and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
A Day to Remember
Lamb of God
Bring Me the Horizon
ROTR continues to make minor adjustments each year, listening to the fans and giving them even more of what they want. This year, the second stage — just outside of the soccer stadium — was pushed back to make more 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.
Bullet for My Valentine
On the musical front, there was truly something for everyone. Metalcore heavyweights Bring Me the Horizon, A Day to Remember, and Asking Alexandria set things up for punk legends Anti-Flag and Pennywise. The international community spiced things up with Australians Sick Puppies, Hands Like Houses and Wolfmother, while the theatrical Swedish stylings of Avatar and the costumed 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.
Memphis May Fire
Miss May I
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 Year’s Day, The Glorious Sons and Highly Suspect. Each band brought their own style and excitement.
Hands Like Houses
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 day’s 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.
Rock on the Range is one of the best, most sought-after rock festivals in the U.S.; you had better get your tickets quick, as it continues to sell out faster each year.
Rock on the Range was posted on June 3, 2016 for HM Magazine and authored by Brooke Long.