The rock-oriented Epicenter Festival, which replaced Carolina Rebellion, is in the midst of its inaugural edition in Rockingham, North Carolina this weekend, and it isn't off to the greatest start. The festival's Saturday evening (5/11), including scheduled sets from Tool, Judas Priest, The Cult, and more, was cancelled because of severe weather; heavy thunderstorms moved into the area, accompanied by wind gusts and a tornado warning. Epicenter shared a message on Twitter:

For the safety of fans, artists, and staff, the county of Richmond has determined that Epicenter will not resume tonight.

Severe weather is continuing and we need to repair damage to the site.

Please understand that this is a difficult decision and we know how excited each of you were.

Doors will open at 12PM tomorrow.

Further information for ticket buyers will be emailed as soon as possible.

Tool guitarist Adam Jones also addressed the cancellation on Instagram, writing, "Thunderstorms & High Winds ⛈⛈⛈ Sorry #EpicenterFestival #Rockingham - We are ready to ROCK *This is the stage we are suppose to play tonight. Oops there goes our video wall County of Richmond has official cancelled but #WeWillBeback "

The cancellation comes after the festival was evacuated over weather concerns a few hours earlier. From Epicenter's Twitter:

Due to severe weather approaching the festival, we must evacuate the venue to keep everyone safe. Please follow Instructions of staff + local law enforcement to exit the venue and return to your vehicles in a safe, calm, and orderly fashion.

Tents are not safe shelter from lightning and other severe weather. Please seek shelter inside vehicles and RVs only.

The highway patrol asks that you please remain stationery in your vehicles. For the safety of all fans, do not attempt to drive away.

The festival's first day, Friday, had its own issues; as NBC affiliate WRAL News reports:

Several ticketholders told WRAL News they were stopped in traffic along U.S. Highway 1, waiting hours for access to the festival grounds. Some gave up. Others waited hours after midnight, into the wee hours of Saturday morning, to leave the grounds after Friday's performances.
Organizers posted to Facebook on Saturday that they were adding access lanes.
"Today we have increased the number of inbound day parking lanes that should make the inbound better. Of course, as with any large event, you should expect delays and we still encourage everyone to arrive early," they wrote. Again we appreciate your patience with yesterday’s traffic on US1."

See some pictures and video from the scene at the festival as it was evacuated, below.

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