Check out our feature on how Epicenter went here. It was a doozy of a weekend.
We love music festivals here at Cigars & Leisure because they are a mixture of everything we enjoy—and the best part is that you can usually find a nice spot to smoke cigars and no one gets mad at you for smoking them. We’re especially excited this spring for the debut of the Epicenter Festival in Rockingham, North Carolina (is there a more apt town for a rock festival than Rockingham?)
Scheduled for May 10-12, Epicenter Festival is a three-day destination music experience that will feature an absolutely killer lineup—including Foo Fighters, Foo Fighters, Tool, Korn, Rob Zombie, Judas Priest, Bring Me the Horizon, The Cult, 311, Evanescence, and more—who will perform across five stages throughout the event.
This brand-new festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and will feature nonstop entertainment, camping, and no curfews (!), so you can party all night long in the campgrounds near the festival, or at least until someone tells you to shut up. Within the campgrounds will be the Rockingham Village Stage, where all the afterhours entertainment will be held throughout the weekend, including an exclusive campers’ pre-Party on Thursday, May 9.
Side note: These aren’t your stereotypical festival camping grounds where you’ll basically be roasting in the smell of everyone’s body odor. These campgrounds offer showers, portable restrooms, food and drink vendors, device charging stations, an information center, medical services, and more.
There will be a variety of regional and local food and beverage options throughout the weekend including the most important things; a shaded tiki bar, wine garden, and a craft beer garden.
It was also recently announced that Danny Wimmer Presents has collaborated with Metallica’s Blackened Whiskey and Enter Night Pilsner. These libations will come together under one roof, a massive pop-up, and feature a Blackened Whiskey and Enter Night Boilermaker. This is going to be delicious, and I can’t wait. They will also offer craft cocktails and ice-cold Enter Night Pilsner.
Before we get to the schedule, though, here are a few tips we put together after attending many a music festival over the past few years to ensure you get the most out of your experience:
- Pick your favorites: You won’t be able to see every band, so pick your must-see bands, and don’t try to run from one end of the festival to the other to fit them all in. Resign yourself to the fact that you won’t be able to see everyone, and trust us, it’s for the better. Be in the moment and enjoy each band from the beginning of their set to the end.
- Arrive early: If you want a good spot in front of the stage, get there at least an hour before a set begins. Otherwise you’ll be a half-mile away, and we’re not joking. If you want to see a band badly enough, the wait is worth it.
- Spring for the VIP tickets: This was the best decision I made. According to some festivalgoers, the wait time for the general admission line to enter the festival grounds was over an hour, sometimes two hours.
- Watch out for crowd-surfers: This is one of my few annoyances with attending concerts. I realize that crowd-surfing is a rite of passage of sorts, and I’ve done it too, but having to constantly watch your back so you don’t get nailed in the head can really take away from enjoying a show.
- You’ll be standing in a lot of lines: If you don’t buy VIP tickets, then you’re resigning yourself to lots of waiting for food, alcohol, merch, and getting in the festival grounds. But just accept that this is what you’ll have to deal with—and have fun with it by talking to people around you or listening to a band that’s playing close to your line.
- Write down where you parked your car: This is serious business. I spent 20 minutes wandering the gargantuan parking lot at night looking for a black Jeep. It wasn’t funny.
- Alcohol can break the bank: Enjoy tailgating with friends before going into the festival because alcohol is really expensive to purchase on-site. We’re talking $10 for a tiny, plastic cup of Jack Daniels. The cheapest alcohol available at another festival we attended was PBR for $7, so spend as much time as you can tailgating beforehand.
- Bring something warm: You wouldn’t think May in North Carolina would be cold, but I was sorely wrong at last year’s festival and very sorry for not preparing properly. By the time the sun went down, it was a chilly 52 degrees with a brisk wind. Bring a blanket; that way you can sit on it during the day and wrap yourself in it at night. You’ll be happy you did.
- Rest! Don’t wear yourself out the first day. Festivals can be tiring, and it’s really easy to go hard on Friday and be sick by Sunday. Take your time, don’t rush, and just enjoy the ride.
For more information on the Epicenter Festival, visit: epicenterfestival.com.
Festival doors open at 11:00 AM daily.
Band performance times for the 2019 Epicenter Festival are as follows (subject to change):
Photos courtesy of the Epicenter’s Facebook page.
Danny Wimmer Presents, one of the largest independent producers of destination music festivals in America, also produces Aftershock Festival, Bourbon & Beyond, Chicago Open Air, Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life, Rock Allegiance, Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival, and Welcome to Rockville.