From the beginning there were issues that ultimately led to this event being cancelled in such a way that the name Carolina Rebellion was literally drug though the mud.
Typical gripes about food prices were exacerbated by the fact that General Admission ticket holders could not leave the event grounds and return. “No Re-Entry” signs were posted at all exits. You could not bring any food or drinks inside the venue except for one 16 ounce bottle to hold water. They did offer many “Gluten-Free” options, but charged a premium for them. Ticket holders could upgrade to a “VIP” package ($125 more) to be able to come and go and take advantage of a large tented area with separate bathrooms in between the two main stages. The event grounds were a combination of barely mulched trees, loosely packed dirt, and old graveled areas riddled with grass and holes. Trash cans were hard to find and consequently the grounds were littered quickly with discarded food. There was nowhere to sit unless you waited in line to hang out in the Marlboro Lounge or paid the VIP premium for the tent. Many concert goers brought blankets in the hopes of a picnic style feast of their favorite bands. The weather and ground conditions destroyed all hope of that.
|Maria Brink of In This Moment|
|Matt Tuck of Bullet for my Valentine|
Asking Alexandria and Bullet for My Valentine continued the show as the venue started to fill up.
|Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix|
Papa Roach defined Ugly-Pretty and had a stellar set: the first where the crowd sung along to every single song.
|Chino Moreno of Deftones|
|Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst|
|Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit|
Day Two the walls of the pit started to crack. The gates remained closed for several hours due to a rain delay, and the promoters never caught up. When they finally opened the gates, fans were met with horrid conditions. Coarse dirt quickly became mud as the constant rain intensified to downpours several times but never fully stopped. Some areas were impassable with mud up to your ankles or running water making rivers cutting off areas. Vendors made a killing off of $5 “ponchos” that were just clear plastic garbage bags.
|Philip Labonte of All That Remains|
|Sevendust's Lajon Witherspoon|
Carolina Rebellion was a broken promise. It reminded me of Woodstock ’99 before the fans burninated it in rage. The weather was out of the promoter’s control, but steps could have been taken to ease its impact. More free tents and shelters would have been a huge help. Allowing ticket holders to leave and return would have given many people a much needed break from the rain and a chance to dry off. The promoters could have implemented better stage shielding for the rain and wind that was clearly forecast weeks in advance. The event grounds should have been graveled and sanded or properly graded so that rainwater would run off to appropriate areas. Trash cans should have been all over the grounds instead of in a handful of places on the perimeter. The fans were willing to endure a great deal to attend Carolina Rebellion; the promoters should have been willing to do the same to make it safe for the bands to play. We expect overpriced food and drinks. We expect rain delays. We don’t expect cancelling three main acts of a rain or shine show because the promoters were unprepared.
All photos by Stephanie Smith Werner and Claire Hammett
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