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Sonic Temple & Epicenter Festival both sold $1 tickets

Epicenter & Sonic Temple festivals

Rock-oriented music festivals Sonic Temple, which happens this weekend, 5/17-5/19, in Columbus, OH, and Epicenter Festival, which just wrapped up on Sunday (5/12) in Rockingham NC, have a number of things in common. Both are in their inaugural year, presented by promoter Danny Wimmer, and each replaced another festival – Epicenter replaced Carolina Rebellion, and Sonic Temple replaces Rock on the Range. (AEG sued Wimmer for “stealing” Carolina Rebellion and Rock on the Range, which they had co-produced with him.) There’s some lineup overlap between the two festivals, with each including Foo Fighters, The Cult, Mark Lanegan Band, and Zeal & Ardor, among others. And most recently, both festivals sold last minute tickets for the very low price of $1 each. Festival news Twitter account @TheFestiveOwl shared links to the tickets (which, in the case of the upcoming Sonic Temple, are currently sold out.)

Both festivals had solid lineups (we included Sonic Temple in our list of 10 non-Coachella music festivals worth attending in 2019) so it begs the question – why aren’t tickets moving? Can the US not support two differently-located rock festivals on back-to-back weekends? If so, that could be bad news for the new Exit 111 (happening on the grounds of Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN) and Sacramento, CA’s returning Aftershock, both of which happen October 11-13. There’s been plenty of talk of the “music festival bubble finally bursting,” but that’s mostly been about homogeneous multi-genre festivals, rather than genre specific ones, which often fare better. Have rock fans aged out of the music festival experience altogether?

In the case of Epicenter, its inaugural edition went poorly; Saturday was evacuated and cancelled due to thunderstorms and severe weather, cancelling sets from Tool, Judas Priest, and The Cult. The previous day, some attendees say they spent hours in traffic trying to access and leave the festival grounds. The PRP reports that a Facebook group calling for a class action lawsuit against festival organizers was formed and attracted over 1300 members, but has since been removed from the site.

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