Rock fans could not be denied. Though Rocklahoma 2021 was not without its share of hiccups, fans rallied and rocked.
After a 10-year smooth run, Rocklahoma 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rocklahoma 2021 was bumped from Memorial Day, where its been since the festival’s inception, to Labor Day weekend.
Despite the delays, festival organizers and ticketholders persisted.
Following the announcement of the lineup in July, several changes were made. Up until the moment the festival ground gates opened, the lineup was undergoing changes due to the pandemic and hurricane flooding in Louisiana.
New vendors, new sponsors, and new rules – like one strongly encouraging vaccination and masks – were debuted. But one tried-and-true Rocklahoma tradition prevailed – a rain delay. Milder than years past, festival-goers were forced to evacuate the ground for just over an hour when rain and lightening were reported in the area.
Fans were there for the music, and they were not disappointed.
Over the course of the three day festival, Rocklahoma newcomer Jelly Roll drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. Playing the second-largest stage, Jelly Roll played to the furthest corners of the festival and kept fans on their feet. They crowd-surfed, they sang every word, and begged for more after the end of the set.
Another weekend standout, Grandson, played a killer set.
Making their Rocklahoma debut, Knocked Loose drew the rowdiest crowd by far. The band whipped the crowd into a frenzy from their first note to their last. The fans’ moshing antics broke through the security barricade—but no permanent damage was done.
Festival headliners Anthrax, Rob Zombie, and Slipknot brought everything fans expected and then some.
Slipknot front man Corey Taylor took a moment to acknowledge the need for music and solidarity in the face of turmoil.