Last night was supposed to be the beginning of an absolutely stacked Blue Ridge Rock Festival, with bands like Biohazard, Staind, Machine Head, and more set to rip shit up. Yet all of that changed when a storm rolled through a little after 6:30 p.m., forcing fans to struggle to find shelter as rain and hail pelted them for hours.
According to fan accounts, logistical issues forced attendees to try to find shelter options as the storm came through. An official emergency warning from festival organizers urged fans to “exit immediately and seek shelter in your campsite vehicle or our shuttle buses,” with the promise of more information to come. Ultimately, that information was that the rest of the night was canceled due to storm-related damage to the festival itself and numerous campsites.
With tens of thousands on site for the festival, that meant people were forced to deal with a sudden shortfall of viable shelters. Many people waited hours for shuttle buses to being them back to their campsites. For many, they were just stuck exposed to the elements for a prolonged amount of time.
One fan took to Facebook and shared their experience, stating the following:
“Instead of us staying in the raceway in the storm, we were standing in groups of hundreds of people on a road in the middle of the woods in the storm getting poured on, plus there was hail. No communication, security allowing groups of people to cut the line, etc. People hadn’t eaten or drank anything in hours and we were all wet and cold and miserable. Pissed is an understatement lol. What the hell is the plan if there’s an actual emergency? We’d all be dead right now.”
Some people were forced to even take shelter under festival constructions, like the accessibility platform or the main stage itself.
The festival is still on for today, tomorrow, and Sunday, so here’s hoping there’s no sudden downpours in the forecast.