What could the Crew's move mean for the long-running hard rock fest?
With a potential Columbus Crew SC move to Texas lingering for 2019, the future status of Mapfre Stadium is currently up in the air. What could this mean for Rock on the Range, the long-running metal/hard rock fest, which has made the stadium its home since its inaugural event in 2007?
In 2016, Gov. John Kasich made comments in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch suggesting Rock on the Range could leave Columbus for Cleveland in search of a larger venue. The festival sold out Mapfre Stadium in 2016, drawing 40,000 attendees a day. Similar attendance figures are expected for this year's event, which kicks off its three-day run beginning May 18, 2018.
Rock on the Range organizers declined to comment on the event's future pending a potential Crew move, leaving room for speculation. Could the whispered move to Cleveland actually materialize? Or could the fest shift to bigger local digs, perhaps relocating to Ohio Stadium? (The Shoe has hosted more concerts in recent years, including the annual, multiday Buckeye Country Superfest.)
For all the yearly grousing about the RotR lineup, the fest has become a marquee event in the hard rock world, and its loss would be another hit to a Columbus scene that has watched a handful of fests disappear over the years, including Independents' Day and the (apparently?) one-and-done PromoWest Fest. Not to mention the fast-dwindling number of concert venues in town following a spate of 2017 closures that includes Double Happiness, Carabar and, most recently, the Park Street Complex. The Complex, which included Park Street Saloon, will host a final weekend bash beginning on Thursday, Nov. 30.
While Rock on the Range's future might be in question, plans for 2018 were recently cemented with the release of the full festival lineup.
Headliners will have attendees seeing double, with singer Maynard James Keenan pulling double duty to perform sets with his bands Tool and A Perfect Circle. Keenan will be joined by Avenged Sevenfold, Alice In Chains, Godsmack and Stone Sour, as well as an undercard that includes acts such as Body Count, the politically and socially charged hard rock crew led by rapper/“Special Victims Unit” detective Ice-T, and party prince Andrew W.K.
Visit rockontherange.com for more information or to purchase tickets.