Danny Wimmer Presents Kicked Off ‘Biggest Year In Rock’ 2023 Festival Season with Nearly 300,000 Fans at Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival
Danny Wimmer Presents’ “Biggest Year In Rock!” has officially kicked off, with the independent festival producer’s 2023 festival season now underway, led by DWP’s biggest event ever. Welcome To Rockville – held May 18-21 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida – brought together over 170,000 music fans across four days, marking the largest attendance ever for a DWP event. As well, the 47,000 attendees on Sunday, May 21 was also a record-breaking single day crowd for the producer. It was quickly followed by the mighty return of Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival, May 25-28 at Historic Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, with the two combined events bringing in nearly 300,000 music fans over eight days of nonstop music and entertainment.
The 2023 editions of Welcome To Rockville (the 12th year of the event) and Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival (its first year back since 2019) have been buzzed about for months, with anticipated performances from some of rock and metal’s biggest bands and unexpected reunions. Both weekends offered memorable sets from Avenged Sevenfold – the act’s first festival appearances in five years – as well as the first shows since 2022 from Tool. As well, Sonic Temple gave fans one of the first shows back for Foo Fighters with new drummer Josh Freese taking the stage and the first show since 2020 from Queens Of The Stone Age where the band performed the live debut of new song “Emotion Sickness.” It was also the final Ohio show for rock legends KISS who are currently on their End of the Road farewell tour. Welcome To Rockville also had the first U.S. festival appearance from the new Pantera lineup (a celebration of original members Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul) and an additional headlining set from metal heavyweights Slipknot.
The two packed lineups also included Deftones, Rob Zombie, Godsmack, Evanescence, Incubus, Beartooth (performing for their biggest hometown crowd ever in Columbus), The Cult, Alice Cooper, The Mars Volta, Puscifer, I Prevail, Chevelle, Coheed & Cambria, Sublime with Rome and Falling In Reverse.
Several performances featured special guests including Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford who appeared with Godsmack at Sonic Temple for a cover of “Dream On” and The Beatles’ “Come Together.” Crossover artist HARDY added to his Welcome To Rockville set with the surprise guest appearance of A Day To Remember vocalist Jeremy McKinnon, and Motionless In White invited Born Of Osiris singer Ronnie Canizaro for a guest spot in their Rockville set.
In addition to the incredible legacy acts filling out the lineup, Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple were also memorable for introducing attendees to the next generation of rock with young acts like Vended, OTTTO, Bastardane and Hammerhedd wowing crowds with their high-energy performances.
In total, nearly 100 music performances took place over four days on four stages at Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple featured 75-plus acts over four days on three stages. Welcome To Rockville also offered amusement rides, a giant water slide, and art installations, while Sonic Temple pillar installations featured art from world renowned artists such as Shepard Fairey, Hazmat Design, Jim “Taz” Evans, Plastic Jesus, Electric Eye, Hydro74, Geoff May, Guerilla One and more. Both events were hosted by Jose “Metal Ambassador” Mangin who participated in on-stage appearances and fan meet and greets. Partner experiences, award-winning spirits, and delicious food and beverage options rounded out the onsite offerings.
Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple are also proud of the charitable efforts the festivals support, including: Musically Fed, which donated more than 4,000 meals in Daytona and Columbus, as well as Take Me Home, To Write Love On Her Arms, Artists For Trauma, The Taylor Foundation, Pass The Bass, Living The Dream, and FC Cancer. In addition, Nationwide Children’s Hospital – On Our Sleeves Movement For Children’s Mental Health was designated as the official charity of Sonic Temple.
An announcement regarding Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple’s 2024 festival dates will be forthcoming this summer while the full artist lineups will be revealed before the end of the year.
Here’s some of the media praise for the kickoff of The Biggest Year In Rock:
“Welcome to Rockville has become the undeniable crown jewel of large-scale musical events in the Sunshine State – and arguably nationwide – and the only competition it can face would be the one coming from its own annual rise. It remains a mystery as to how the Danny Wimmer Presents team keep pulling off these massive celebrations which such level of accuracy, terrific line-ups and array of diverse option for the thousands of attendees.” — Metal Injection
“[Welcome To Rockville is] a heavy metal and rock fan’s paradise” – WKMG-TV
“Sonic Temple makes [a] magnificent return … with a slate of historic performances” – KNOTFEST.com
“Despite this being its sophomore year, the community that Sonic Temple has built is vibrant, strong and diverse with people from all walks of life coming together to celebrate rock and metal music. … Sonic Temple was a chance for people to come together, let loose and enjoy themselves over Memorial Day weekend. With a truly diverse crowd, from toddlers to the grandfathers who remember when Kiss hit the scene, Sonic Temple proved that rock can unite in unexpected ways.” – Columbus Underground
Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival are just the start of Danny Wimmer Presents’ packed 2023 festival season that will offer five additional multi-day destination events this year, including Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival (July 14-16 in Mansfield, OH), Bourbon & Beyond (September 14-17 in Louisville, KY), Louder Than Life (September 21-24 in Louisville, KY), Aftershock (October 5-8 in Sacramento, CA) and GoldenSky (October 14-15 in Sacramento, CA).
Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival are produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, one of the largest independent producers of destination music festivals in America.
Welcome To Rockville’s new and returning partners in 2023 included Anheuser-Busch, BeatBox Beverages, Blackcraft Cult, Blue Chair Bay Rum, BRŸT Beverage, Capital Vacations, Checkers & Rally’s, Demons Behind Me, Distortion – Road Hounds, DripBar, Fxck Cancer, Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, LYTE, Mortus Viventi, Parlor Root Beer, Plank Eyewear, Red Bull, Revolver Magazine, Take Me Home, The Music Experience, The Taylor Foundation, To Write Love on Her Arms and US Army.
Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival’s new and returning partners in 2023 included Anheuser-Busch, Artists for Trauma, BeatBox Beverages, Blackcraft Cult, BrewDog, Celsius, Demons Behind Me, Fxck Cancer, Hellflower Soap Company, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Middle West Spirits, Mortus Viventi, Nowhere Fast, Ohio Lottery, Parlor Root Beer, Strüng, Take Me Home, The Pretty Cult, To Write Love On Her Arms, U.S. Marines, Wicked Moon Creations, and White Claw.
For more information on #WelcomeToRockville, visit: