Crowd at 2019 Blue Ridge Rock Festival

Shown is the crowd from the 2019 Blue Ridge Rock Festival.

Jon Slye, representing the Blue Ridge Rock Festival, appeared before the Appomattox Economic Development Authority to announce the 2020 festival’s cancellation. The festival set for Sept. 18 - 20 was going to take place at the Appomattox Community Park. Plans are underway for a 2021 festival at the same location. 

Slye reported that two factors fell into play regarding the decision to cancel — a decision that was not taken lightly after they had sold more than 14,000 tickets. He shared that they were “on pace to have 30,000 attendees per day by our projections, as we had yet to announce the bulk of our talent budget: the top 10 artists.”

The first factor Slye and his team considered was COVID-19 concerns. It did not seem prudent to continue forward with plans with so much up in the air regarding COVID-19 and whether or not it would be safe and permissible to host such a large gathering, especially with the interactive nature of a mosh pit and crowd surfing at the festival. 

There’s more to this story in the current issue of the Times Virginian newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at to view the full article in the e-edition version.