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Blue Ridge Rock Festival: Fyre Festival 2.0?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you like Rock music, you have heard of this festival or even gone. However, while the lineup was amazing, the festival seemed to be lacking. Attendees even compared it to the infamous Fyre Festival. There has even been a group on Facebook to discuss all of the downfalls of the Blue Ridge Rock Festival, Screwed by Blue Ridge Rock Festival. In the group, I decided to ask about everyone’s time and experience. As hundreds of individuals had given me stories, I could only confirm a few that went from pictures they had sent me or posted on their page. Many of the complaints seemed to be the same recurring issues.

This video is from Rocked; they discuss the good and bad of the festival in detail.
ADA Compliance

Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA Compliance seemed to be the biggest issue. As promised on the festival’s website, this event would be accessible to individuals with disabilities. However, from posts on the group page, it seems like the ground was not at all suitable as it was extremely uneven and filled with holes. Furthermore, many had to walk a couple of miles to get to the grounds as shuttle drivers allegedly quit the first day. In the festival’s official statement on Facebook, they stated that they had only anticipated several hundred ADA ticket holders to be at the event. However, several thousand showed up on the days of the festival.

Security

Another issue that was highlighted was security. Many people had told me that they had purchased Golden Circle or VIP tickets, which puts you in a section closer to the stage. However, many General Admission ticket holders jumped into the pit without any interference from security. In addition, employees did not properly check tickets or bags.

Overselling Accommodations

Another complaint was that parking and camping areas were oversold. There were even some reports, which ties it with the earlier issue, that people who did not even purchase these accommodations were taking them, as confirmed in the official statement.

Food Vendors

Food vendors were also a big problem for the festival-goers. Many reported that the lines would be so long to get food that they would miss bands they came to see while standing for hours. However, in the official statement, they had stated that many vendors had pulled out recently for concerns of COVID-19 and labor shortages.

Septic Tank Explosion

Lastly, one of probably the grossest issues is that of a septic tank exploding all over a campsite. One Facebook user shared their story with me, stating that everyone in the camp had gone out to the festival. However, when they came back, they noticed human feces all over people’s belongings and trash from the septic tank scattered around the campground.

As this took place in my hometown, I really do hope that the festival continues there. However, I feel like they do need to step up their game to give people what they are paying for. I believe that the only way to make this right is to refund VIP and Golden Circle ticket holders partially and fully refund ADA ticket holders and those who paid for camping or parking as these groups were some of the most affected.

Kaitlyn Austin is a senior majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Civil Rights.
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