Virginia’s Blue Ridge Rock Festival — featuring headliners like Slipknot, Megadeth, Pantera and more — canceled the majority of its festivities this weekend after severe weather invaded the area.
The issues started Thursday, the sold-out fest’s opening night, when a lightning storm, heavy rain and hail and strong winds swept into the area, forcing the immediate evacuation of the Virginia International Raceway; however, evacuations were slow, Loudwire reported, with many fans getting stuck in the weather while awaiting buses to take them to shelter.
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The festival continued Friday as planned — with “Rich Men North of Richmond” singer Oliver Anthony even squeezing in a surprise performance — but Saturday and Sunday’s forecast promised more severe weather, causing organizers to pull the plug on the remainder of the whole event.
“With heavy hearts, due to this weekend’s continued severe weather, we must announce the cancellation of the final days of Blue Ridge Rock Festival,” organizers said in a statement. “Your safety and well-being are our foremost concerns. We understand the disappointment this brings, and we share immensely in your sadness. Please know that this decision was made with the utmost consideration for everyone involved and our focus now is on supporting those of you still on-site.”
Organizers continued, “We are working diligently to provide refund details and will share that information early this week when business re-opens. In the meantime, we encourage you to stay safe and take care of each other. This has been an agonizing turn of events for what was to be such a special weekend. There will be more much that we unveil over the next few days. Rest assured, we will take care of you despite these difficult circumstances.”
With the festival canceled, a few of the acts — including Shinedown, Oliver Anthony, Papa Roach and more — staged an impromptu acoustic concert for those attendees still at the festival site:
We love you all ❤️
Thank you for sticking around with us despite the rain and @BlueRidgeRock getting canceled!
Thank you @TheBrentSmith from @Shinedown for pulling this idea together last minute for the fans and to @AintGottaDollar for joining us
— Papa Roach (@paparoach) September 10, 2023
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