Gibson Ranch played host to the hard rock Aftershock Festival this past weekend and was expected to bring in between 20 and 30,000 fans from all over the world. According to a story on Fox 40 it may have turned more into 40,000 a day in the end. Danny Hayes, the festival’s CEO said, “This could become our biggest festival once we learn the logistics and figure out how to make it work.”
The festival organizers moved the festival from Discovery Park in downtown Sacramento to Gibson Ranch outside Antelope in order to expand. The festival had outgrown itself and needed to more room to grow.
“I loved Discovery Park as a venue. But after two straight years of selling out, there was no room left to grow the festival,” said festival producer Danny Wimmer in a press release. “Like Discovery Park, Gibson Ranch is a beautiful space that will keep the natural feel of the festival grounds but also gives us room to add new experiences.”
Of course the downside to crowds of this size and magnitude is getting people in and out of the venue. This past weekend it proved to not only be a challenge but also a frustration for music fans that were directed via their phones to the single entry to the park. This made for some heavy traffic lines with some concert attendees waiting as long as three hours to get in and out of the venue. Many went so far as to vent on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets, to complain about the traffic. A concert goer we spoke to in the parking lot said, “This is ridiculous. I’m going to write them a letter. I doubt it’ll do any good though.”
At the end of day it must have been worth it considering the number of great bands that played these two nights. The festival featured four stages of music by: Slipknot, Faith No More, Deftones, Shinedown, Jane’s Addiction, Marilyn Manson, Coheed & Cambria, Stone Temple Pilots, Breaking Benjamin, Seether, Bring Me The Horizon, All Time Low, Sleeping With Sirens, Eagles of Death Metal, and Black Veil Brides. It’s always a good sign that people are enjoying themselves when a fire breaks out midway into the festivities — like it had Saturday night — and nobody seems to care or even take notice of the dark smoke that billowed into the air.
To top off the excitement of the musical acts, the festival also featured live in-ring wrestling matches by WWE’s NXT Superstars, and on-site camping. The wrestling portion crescendoed when the lead singer of Slipknot, Corey Taylor (who’s a big wrestling fan), jumped in the ring before his performance and slapped NXT superstar Baron Corbin.
All in all the past weekend seemed like a success. The combination of great music, food and beverage options, including local gourmet food trucks, made up for the traffic problems. The amazing turn out must have brought in a good amount of revenue for the city of Sacramento. And the concert organizers have assured the public that the noise complaints and traffic situation will be figured out by the time they’ll ask the city to come back as an improved version next year.