Citing differences in vision, Danny Wimmer Presents has declared it is replacing its popular Rock On The Range Festival, a collaboration with AEG, with an independent, rebranded event, called Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival. The new event will take place at
Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio May 17-19.
“I am so proud of what we accomplished with Rock On The Range, and we couldn’t have done it without our partnership with AEG,” Danny Wimmer said in a statement. “When we started Rock On The Range, there was no other festival in America quite like it but recently it became clear that we had different visions of where to take the festival next. The city of Columbus and our devoted rock fans deserve a one-of-a-kind, world-class festival, and that is exactly what Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival will bring to MAPFRE Stadium.”
The company is also launching a new festival in North Carolina May 10-12, 2019, to replace Carolina Rebellion, which was also co-promoted by DWP and AEG Presents.
DWP CEO Danny Hayes confirmed that means the World’s Loudest Month brand will not continue.
“We believe the festival arms race has intensified. It’s either compete or die today, and if we’re gonna play in a league like Coachella, Outside Lands, and Lollapalooza, our festivals have to continue to grow,” Hayes told Pollstar. “We at DWP really believe in making significant investments in each year’s installation of a festival. That the fans want to see dramatic and exciting growth year over year. Our partners just didn’t share that vision. They had more of a ‘Let’s keep a good thing going’ mentality.”
Welcome To Rockville, which has always been a solely DWP event, will take place at Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville, Fla., May 3-5. Chicago Open Air will be back in the form of a new event called A Day In The Park at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., May 17-19.
It was unclear at press time what would happen to solely AEG-promoted World’s Loudest Month events like Rockfest and Rocklahoma.
DWP made a name for itself as a leading producer of rock festivals, clearly demonstrating that rock is not dead. Hayes said the company believes in programming a wide array of acts under the rock umbrella and is excited for the opportunities newly branded festivals will present. DWP’s portfolio also includes Louder Than Life, Monster Energy Aftershock, and Bourbon & Beyond.
“We want to be the best in our lane. We’re never gonna compete with Coachella. Coachella is Coachella, there is one of them in the entire world and we couldn’t have deeper respect and admiration for what they’ve built. The same is true with Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, a number of other festivals. We want to be in our lane, the equivalent. When you say DWP event, in any market, it’s thought of with the same reverence as you would think a Coachella, a Lollapalooza. We’re not gonna compete. They do a different type of music. But we want to look at what those festivals offer, and where we can offer our spin on similar offerings, we want to be able to do that. That takes investment, that takes risk, and you can’t have partners who are afraid to take risk.”
Pollstar reached out to AEG Presents at press time, but hadn’t heard back.