Welcome To Rockville 2018. Photo: Nathan Zucker

21 Things We Loved About Welcome To Rockville 2018

This Year’s Festival Was Packed With Great Amenities

Rarasfarm had two folks covering this year’s Welcome To Rockville.  We are longtime veterans of the Jacksonville-based rock festival, and this year was the best incarnation ever.

The bands were great, as you can read about HERE, but we also captured 21 other things we loved about Welcome To Rockville 2018. If you are headed to any other Danny Wimmer Productions, you will also see some of these same things at other festivals.

The crowd watching the Foo Fighters set. Photo: Sam Shapiro
The crowd watching the Foo Fighters set. Photo: Sam Shapiro
  1. Loved the new stage setup.  The set-up this year provided more room for each performer, especially at the new location for the main stage (Monster).  The paths to walk between the stage were easy to traverse, and there were no unnecessary detours around VIP this year either. The set-up was perfect.
  2. VIP was much improved this year. The two sections were in better locations and were the sized appropriately. The spacious area near the Metropolitan Stage was our go to location for shaded food and drinks.
  3. Better food vendors – gone were the food stands packed with old school carnival food.  Instead, it was all local businesses and food trucks.  Lots of great choices, and despite the largest crowds I can remember, the lines were actually shorter than past years.
  4. Favorite food vendor at Welcome To Rockville was Safe Harbor Seafood. Their grilled Basa was amazing and fairly priced. Unfortunately for them and their neighbors stuck in the back of VIP there was not a lot of traffic. Hopefully they make it out to the main area next year.
  5. We loved that there were rarely lines at the drink stands and Jack Daniels trailers.  And it was cool seeing Dave the Beer Dude chilling in the shade in one of those trailers.
  6. The craft beer garden was a great idea and in a cool, laid-back location.  But only offering three Sam Adams products was a major let down.  With all of the breweries on Florida’s East Coast, they could have done much better.
  7. We loved the Monster Energy trailer.  Free Monster all the time, plenty of shade, a great view of the festival grounds, and the people working there were friendly and helpful.
  8. Medical staff and cop presence everywhere.  It always felt safe – from the cops watching from the interstate that sliced through the grounds to all of the medical folks looking to help, we were well taken care of by Jacksonville’s finest.
  9. No dicks allowed.  The fans were awesome.  Everyone got along, people were nice to each other and generally very considerate of each other.  We also saw many cases where fellow fans lookked out for each other and helped others out.  Wonderfulness.
  10. The staff was great.  People working at the merch tables, food vendors, bars, restrooms, the media area… everywhere were in a good mood and happy to be around.
  11. The Safety crew. Their shirts no longer have “Security” stamped on the back, instead it is Safety.  Nice touch, and damn were they good.  They did an awesome job watching out for crowd surfers, and for people in distress in the crowd, and they had a blast interacting with the fans.  Very cool vibe.
  12. The process to enter the festival was smooth.  Lines were never really longer than 10 minutes, and the people working were helpful, organized and kind.
  13. Nice focus on charitable causes. To write Love songs Her Arms and Love, Hope, Strength are two charities we love, and they got plenty of needed visibility.
  14. There is nothing worse than missing a few songs from your favorite performer while you are stuck in bathroom lines.  Rarely an issue this year because there were plenty of bathrooms in strategic locations.  And, I feel they were cleaner than typical…
  15. Lots of shade.  Loved the new shade tents at the main stage area, and there were plenty of other areas around the perimeter of each stage.  The interstate underpass was a popular spot, as there was a ton of shade, a place to sit and you could here the bands at the two main stages.
  16. This is a selfish one, but the Media area was sweet. Great setup for interviews. Plenty of room, quiet, relaxed spots under the trees, wifi, cold water, and the people who worked there were  top notch….
  17. Phone charging stations. Cool idea where you rent a slim battery pack that attaches to your phone for $20 per day, with unlimited replacements when they wear down.
  18. On time performances – Every set started on time, if not a few minutes early.
  19. Video of other stage acts.  Between sets at the main stages, they often showed the video feed from the other stage.  Great idea, but the sound should have been louder…
  20. Parking options – plenty of spots close to the stadium, and at $20, it was worth a few extra bucks to be in close proximity to the entrance and exit.
  21. Camping! We checked out the camping area.  Good location with their own entrance to the festival.  The grounds looked packed and clean, too…

Check out all of our Welcome To Rockville 2018 coverage this week:

Rock On!

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