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Too Long?

How long is too long for a music festival? Last year, Rocklahoma started as a three day event and then promoters added an extra "party" day in advance. Those extra bands were mostly cover acts, and the show was sparsely attended. VIP ticket holders were the only ones allowed in the gates.

This year, Rocklahoma once again had the fourth "pre-party" day, this time featuring name acts like Bret Michaels and Sebastian Bach. Once again, Thursday was only open to VIP ticket holders but the line-up for the "free" day was so strong, most made travel plans to allow for Thursday.

A few months before Rocklahoma, promoters announced an extra fifth day that would be free to VIP ticket holders and just 25 dollars at the gate general admission for all others. This "pre-pre" party featured RATT and Jackyl among others. Since I didn't arrive until Thursday, I've had to rely on second-hand accounts about the "pre-pre" show, but it seems just about every band that performed on this day was amazing.

Now, to the question: how long is too long for a music festival?

In theory, I think an extra day makes sense - but in reality, five days is a really long time to endure July heat. I've already read rumors (and I am sure these are 100% conjecture) that Rocklahoma hopes to expand to seven full days! This seems odd to me since one of the ticket agents said Rocklahoma was back to four days next year...but who knows. Since they don't have any acts booked, I guess they can expand to as many days as they wish.

My thought is that it is better to condense the best bands into three days instead of dragging acts out. When people stand in the heat for long periods of time, they get crabby. I can only imagine a tense crowd on the seventh day of a festival in July or August.

What do you think: how long is too long for a rock festival? 





Reader Comments (18)

Anything beyond 3 days is just too damn long.
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
I guess it depends. Has anyone ever heard of DragonCon, down in Atlanta? It's a SF/Fantasy convention that lasts *4* days over 4 hotels in downtown, over Labor Day Weekend. Yeah, it's THAT big. One hotel holds just the huckster's tables (stuff for sale)...and that's HUGE. I think they said over 300 vendors show up. Their guest list is a geek's dream; every year, about 25-30 major celebrity guests (to make it revelant, Alice Cooper came to this!) come, as well as dozens of not so major guests. Me, I don't like big cons anymore, I like my small one that I work ( :)

I think the reason why Rocklahoma got so big is that they're trying too hard--there are a lot of good bands out there, and I suppose they had to play with everybody's schedules, which probably explains why the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp got in on Wednesday. Maybe it's a good idea they're cutting back to four days next year. Maybe they should cut it in half, book one set of acts for May/June, and then do another one in, say, September or so, and limit it to 3 days.

Just thoughts...
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChessie
I think 3 days sounds good...a week's too long I think. Plus, if you have the best bands you can get in 3 days instead of dragged out into 7, I think the end result would be better too
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMakel
Just to put it out there, I think the Rock the Bayou festival sounds better than Rocklahoma this year around, IMO.
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMakel
The thing is, people keep saying that it should be shorter and only have the best bands, but everyone has different views on what the best bands are. For instance, my favorite band is Europe. How many people would consider them one of the best bands? Also, I really like Vain and Pretty Boy Floyd. I got to see both of them this year. If the festival had only shown the "best bands", they would have probably not played.

So my vote is as many days as possible. I know that the heat sucks and everything, but who cares. The more bands the better. More time to rock. I'm so upset that Rocklahoma is over. The longer the better.
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteffanMock
I agree with the Rock the Bayou comment (of course I am in Houston)...I went to Rocklahoma last year..had fun..and chose not to go this year due to travel/cost/lineup. Anyway, my main point is, who can take off a whole week to do this? In the real world people have to how many days do you need to recuperate from the 7 day party?!? 3 days, in my opinion, is just right.
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJay
I think 3 days should be enough. Take a look at the big European festivals like Wacken: 3 days, a ton of different bands, and it usually goes off without a hitch depending on the weather.

Rocklahoma is a great idea but 5 days is overkill. It's nice to have so much variety with all the bands but wouldn't it be nice to save some for next year?

Heavy Metal Addiction
actually, i thought the Rock Never Stops tours that have featured more than three bands are too long!
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergerry gittelson
I've never been to an all-out festival, so I don't know how long is too long. I know that when I see Sebastian Bach/Dokken/Poison next month, I'm going to be bored during the Dokken part of the show. Never have been a big fan. I'd hate to think of a situation where every other band is one I don't like...that would drag. But if I liked every band on the bill, I don't think any amount of time would be too long.
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJT
Sounds like the organizers of Rocklahoma see dollar signs in their eyes and are getting greedy. I love how they are offering free events for VIP ticket holders. If you're paying more for your ticket, the cost of the so-called free events is built into the price.
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Im thinking any more than 2 may be too much, really.
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Quick correction before I weigh in, the "bonus" days of Rocklahoma were free to anyone one who purchased a three day ticket (VIP was not a requirement) That being said, 5 days did tend to drag on, especially in light of the heat, rain and MUD! My vote would be for 3 days.
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChaberg

That's correct, good catch. Originally the pre-party was only for VIP ticket holders, but Catch the Fever opened it up to GA multi-day ticket holders when they added Wednesday.

July 15, 2008 | Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford
I think a month festival would be good..haha!!!..I'm kidding..I agree on 3 days would be good =)
July 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
for a glam metal fest, you couldnt add enough days! this is all i love about music. every day added, the have top notch headliners, but even better in my opinion, they have smaller acts to fill up the day, which are usually my favorite bands! like this year seeing Vain, Pretty Boy Floyd, Jetboy, etc.

i will only be 100% satisfied when Rocklahoma lasts one full calendar month! i can't get enough!
July 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBren
Rock the Bayou is by far the better event !!!! Wow wish I'd ve known about this one.
July 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDamnp78
The longer the better! I was really sad when ROK was over, I really hope they will have a four or five day event again next year. I love the smaller bands and the more days, the more chances I have to see those bands!
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterXandra73
For those of us coming from overseas the longer the better. Look at all the bands that reformed this year like Tora Tora, Trixter and Lita. Where else could you see a line up including bands like that except over a longer festival. Everyone seems to complain about the lack of headline acts, but to my mind you catch them when they tour. Rocklahoma gets it just right, all the bands you never thought you would see again and some real surprises on the side stages.
July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDigg

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