Blue Ridge Rock Festival leaves fans concerned over ‘unsafe’ conditions

10 News received hundreds of messages from people concerned about the festival

ALTON, VA – Tens of thousands of people were supposed to be at VIR Raceway Sunday for the Blue Ridge Rock Festival, but according to event organizers, it was canceled due to weather.

However, 10 News has had hundreds of messages from viewers come in saying that the weather was just the half of it.

Event security would not let 10 News on-site Sunday, but pictures and videos from viewers gave an inside look of the festival.

“There’s people that had to go to the hospital; there’s people that got hurt. Where’s the accountability?” festival-goer Andy Brokaw said.

Unsanitary conditions, not enough water and dangerous weather. These are just some of the claims from people who attended Blue Ridge Rock Fest this weekend.

Brokaw said it was a mess from the beginning.

“The PortaJohns were already dirty; there was no toilet paper. I kind of looked at it as, well, maybe they’re only doing it once in the morning and once in the afternoon, but it looked like about two to 300 of us were sharing one PortaJohn,” Brokaw said.

Then came the heat - multiple people said there were not enough water stations to go around.

“We were into the festival and I was just noticing a bunch of people down on the ground. I couldn’t find a water station in the festival,” Brokaw said.

Another concern for Brokaw? The safety.

“I was watching them wave people through. It was crazy the kind of stuff people were getting into the festival itself. That’s what started to worry me a little bit. If someone with bad intentions was there, they could have gotten away with a lot this weekend,” he said.

Mitchell Guida drove more than ten hours from Tampa, Florida to get to the festival.

He said he waited in line for nearly nine hours to get to his campsite - only to be told there were no spots left.

After finally finding a spot, he said it ended up flooding a short time later.

“We were probably under about five inches of water right in front of our tent,” Guida said.

Brokaw said the storm left thousands stranded without shelter, waiting for a shuttle. But what bothered him the most, was the lack of transparency.

“You need to plan for the worst. And clearly whatever plan was in place, wasn’t good,” he said.

With the news of the cancelation - festival organizers said they are working to provide refund details, adding the turn of events has been ‘agonizing.’

Saturday’s social media post goes on to add there will be more unveiled over the next few days.

10 News reached out to the Blue Ridge Rock Festival organizer and promoter Jonathan Slye multiple times for comment but hasn’t gotten a response.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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