“I’m pretty devastated.” Blue Ridge Rock Festival attendees describe their experience as a nightmare

Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 6:28 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Blue Ridge Rock Festival (BRRF) was described as a disappointment by some and a catastrophe by others after many traveled from far and wide to see their favorite bands play.

With disorganization and cancellations, a situation that nearly mirrors what we saw at the same festival two years ago, many attendees say they will never return.

Click here for other stories about this year’s event.

From extreme heat to excessive rain and hail, the cancellation of shows Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday took the cake, making this festival the worst experience for fans. People flew in from all over the world for a weekend rock experience but were instead rocked by what they described as a nightmare festival.

Brandon Orozco and Mariah Bourne are both from the west coast. Bourne says it started off very disorganized.

“They put us in overflow parking, they didn’t even put us where we were going to, but there were like so many people they were like, ‘We’re just going to throw you here’ so we don’t even know where we are at,” says Bourne.

This is Orozco’s third time at the festival and says every year, there have been major problems.

“Once you see the band, like, nothing really matters, and when I think about it, this has been like the most fun out of my entire life, so I was hoping for that with this,” explained Orozco.

“We made the best out of a really crappy situation,” added Bourne.

Emotions were high as the situation grew worse.

“I cried a lot yesterday. I mean, a lot of money and excitement, just pretty much gone down the toilet,” says BRRF attendee Steph Silver.

Silver traveled 22 hours from Australia to see her favorite bands. She purchased the Rockstar pass because she really wanted to see Papa Roach.

“We’ve wanted to see Shinedown forever, since we were kids. So we sort of traveled here to see them.”

Silver says her pass was not at all what was advertised online.

“When I first sort of had a look at the Rockstar lounge, like there’s no food, and that was throughout the entire of the one and a half days that we actually got to experience it,” explained Silver. “The meet-and-greets were interesting because what they posted on their social media was not the times that the meet-and-greets are actually happening.”

Although the rain canceled the shows Thursday, Silver says they decided to stay because they had traveled too far to get here.

“[I wanted to see] So many bands, probably 12, 13 bands that I wanted to play just on Saturday alone, like all my favorites, so I didn’t get to see any of them,” added Silver.

Blue Ridge Rock Fest posted a statement on its Instagram:

“We understand the disappointment this brings, and we share immensely in your sadness. There will be much more that we unveil over the next few days. Rest assured; we will take care of you despite these difficult circumstances.”

Refunds have been promised.