According to reports, over 35,000 fans attended the Rocklahoma festival this past Memorial Day weekend in Pryor, Oklahoma. AEG Live, who took over the festival last year, confirms that this is the highest attendance for the festival to date. In addition, the festival reportedly raised $10,000 for the American Red Cross Joplin tornado relief.
This is pretty spectacular news for the festival considering why AEG Live had to take it over last year. While the one time hair band/80’s glam metal revival festival made a big splash during its debut in 2007, with even Rolling Stone and Playboy calling it a festival that “should not be missed,” tickets sales since started to slip shortly after. That’s when AEG came in and changed the festival to have it feature a mix of hair metal bands and current mainstream hard rock acts. While the new model was implemented in 2010, it appears that the change has definitely paid off.
Joe Litvag, the executive producer of Rocklahoma for AEG Live, had the following to say about this year’s success:
“When we got involved with Rocklahoma last year, the goal was to try to help reinvent the festival without alienating the long-time fans or losing the ‘magic’ that had been created. In 2011 we proved that the plan is working, as the festival saw its highest attendance to date and the fans’ experience was even more over-the-top than they thought possible. Now we’ve got to focus on topping it next year!”
It’s certainly safe to say that the lineup indeed had a large hand in the festival’s success. This year’s lineup included Motley Crue, Poison, Staind, Seether, Whitesnake, Black Label Society, and many, many more. Crue, Poison and Whitesnake (three of the most successful 80’s hair bands) alone is a pretty big draw for most fans. Throw in a few big radio rock acts like Staind and it shouldn’t be too surprising that the festival drew in a large attendance. Either way, it’s still a big accomplishment for the one-time struggling festival.