Rockville Record: DWP Florida Fest Attracts 200K People, 150 Bands

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ROCK FLOCK: Welcome To Rockville saw crowds of 50,000 per day. (Nathan Zucker)

The long-running Welcome To Rockville festival at Daytona International Speedway welcomed 200,000 people over its four days May 9-12 to see 150 bands on five stages, as Danny Wimmer Presents continues to expand.

While many in the festival business have called 2024 a soft year, DWP’s move to add 40-plus bands to multiple already-large events seems to have paid off, with Welcome To Rockville becoming DWP’s largest event to date and still more four-day festivals to come.

The 13th installment of the rock and metal-focused Florida festival featured Motley Crue, Disturbed, Limp Bizkit, Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, Judas Priest, Greta Van Fleet, and dozens more. That led to headline-making moments such as Foo Fighters playing Van Halen riffs with Wolfgang Van Halen, Jelly Roll duetting with Fred Durst and Limp Bizkit, and many more at the packed speedway.

“Not to give away any trade secrets, but we invested in new resources and executed a plan to stay even more in tune with what the fans want, and we listened to them,” Del Williams, head of talent for DWP, told Pollstar. He said the success is due the team’s focus on details, including property flow and crowd control to maintain balance between the five music stages and keep concessions and bathroom lines moving. “Instead of scrimping and cutting back on essentials, we added to the infrastructure and staffing to better serve the fans.”

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ROCKVILLIANS ASSEMBLE: Fans get in on the rock at Welcome To Rockville May 9-12. (Nathan Zucker)

In what many festival producers are calling a difficult year, DWP has added artists, stages, days and even acquired two new festivals in Oklahoma-based Rocklahoma and Born & Raised, which fit into the company’s rock and country holdings. Sacramento’s Golden Sky country festival added a third day for 2024.

On the talent side, Williams said adding more stages and more artists adds value to the ticket price, while the booking strategy is about maintaining balance and passion on every stage.

“There is constant strategic evaluation of talent and curation for every slot,” he said.

This weekend DWP takes over the Historic Crew Stadium grounds in Columbus, Ohio, for Sonic Temple, another of the company’s four-day rock festivals. Williams says attendance for that one is up substantially from 2023, while its more metal-focused lifestyle event in Mansfield, Ohio, Inkarceration is on pace to sell out, taking place in July.

The company’s two Louisville events are also on pace for record highs, he says.

“Louder Than Life is on pace to be the biggest attendance for that festival, and this year’s Bourbon & Beyond is already the largest attendance since that festival was created in 2017,” Williams added. “Each of the four days has already exceeded any previous one-day high.”