Growing up in the prime of the big hair 80’s music era. I never pass up an opportunity to re-live my youth. I went to a couple of 80’s music festivals last year, it was awesome to see a lot of big name bands still rock and rolling. Although most of the bands have shuffled members and even a few of them have passed on, the bands' still had enough star power to make it fun and brought back a lot of memories. Having attended a lot of the big music festivals recently, the two 80’s festivals we went to last year also had great band line-ups and gave us privileged access to the bands, however neither of the two festivals had the turn out we were hoping for. When we received the invitation to attend Rock Fest 80’s, we were excited to see that promoters had not giving up on the 80’s music seen.
When we got to the park where the festival was being held, you could tell right “off the bat” that these promoters knew how a music festival was supposed to look like. Starting with the two mega stages that caught my eye first. These were set up at each end of the field, the stages where close enough together that the walk between them wasn’t that bad, in comparison to some festivals where it makes it really hard to get from one stage to the other. The production was also top notch. It was clear to see that they went all out to make this festival stand out. The main stage was set with three giant video screens, making it easy to see all of the performances just about from anywhere you were sitting, including near the second stage. The second stage wasn’t bad either, with its own giant video screen and PA to match. As the day went on and the sun went down they would crank-up the amazing light show for awesome affects.
Overall, I was impressed with the total production-- the music and vocals were crisp and clear and the sub-woofers shocked the ground, just like a rock show should be!
Having a great line-up of bands, we didn’t want to miss any of them. Like clockwork, the bands went on at exactly the time they were supposed to, making it easy to catch all the action. Sunday, started out with a little delay but the organizers got the bands right back on track and only resulted in ten minutes behind schedule. Being part of the media was very helpful, because of the perspective I can get behind the scenes. I’ve seen festivals where the “wheels fall off” and things get chaotic and confusing, for example, line-ups get shuffled which would make you miss the bands that you wanted to cover. I would definitely give Rock Fest 80’s a big thumbs up for keeping on track. The bands here were all very entertaining and they put out rock star performances. Most of the bands where missing members, a couple of the bands had new singers, you really didn’t mind because it was more about the music than the individual members; and to be honest, the guys filling in were quite good.
The festival made it very fan friendly with “meet and greets” and autographs from most every band performing there. Most of the bands I talked to really enjoyed meeting and talking with their fans. Also, it was fun to see Eddie Trunk as the Emcee for the show, I’m a big fan of That Metal Show.
For being a first time festival they had a very good vendor setup. There was a good selection of food, a bit over priced like most festivals. They had plenty of rock stuff to look at and I believe it will only get bigger as the Rock Fest 80’s grows. Charlotte Rock Review will definitely put this festival is on its to do list next year. It was well worth the drive from Charlotte, NC. We will keep ya’ll posted on next years' dates and band line-up.