You couldn’t have asked for a better day under the sun at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Jackson, Michigan, Saturday, for the 4th annual Rockapalooza festival. High temperatures in the low 80’s, sunny most of the day, a variety of local eateries providing food and beverages, some very interesting people watching, and a plethora of rock and metal music was on hand for all to enjoy.
The gates opened at 11am as thousands of concert goers of all ages flocked the grounds and strolled back and forth between the four stages.
Last year’s show drew hundreds of complaints by nearby residents due to the noise and the profane language used by the bands. This year the organizers vowed to clean up the foul language. “We want this to be a family friendly show for all ages” organizer Tim Corser stated in a local Michigan paper. “All bands are now under contract to be clean, and they will be heavily fined if they violate it”. There were even notes strategically placed about the floors of the stages stating “No F*cking Cussing”.
The festival’s guest host was comedian and 90’s MTV personality Pauly Shore. Shore must have thought he was immune from the profanity ban as he dropped the F-Bomb on several occasions and even started a “F- Osama Bin Laden” chant that riled everyone up before the band Jackson came on stage.
With the moniker Rockapalooza the bill was filled with rock bands who growled, screamed, thrashed, and body surfed the crowd. A few of the acts weren’t so “family friendly” to the eyes with heavily painted up and mask wearing rockers like Motograter and Mushroomhead. Regardless of that, everyone seemed to enjoy the festivities and music.
One of the acts that had some major buzz was Thee Unknown, a local band whose members’ ages ranged from 11 to 13 years, and have only been playing together for a few months. They finished their short set rocking out to a Metallica favorite.
Pop Evil and Crossfade were a few of the other headliners to close out the 12 hour plus show. Due to technical difficulties on the main stage that backed times up all day long Crossfade didn’t start their set till almost an hour after their allotted 10:15pm time slot and didn’t finish till around midnight. By then, most of the sun drenched and over-served crowd were heading out the gates.
While attending a summer outdoor Rock Music Fest there are a few things you are bound to experience; men and women who are grossly under dressed, the overly exposed stumbling drunk, and lead singers spewing out more than a few cuss words. So, Jackson County Fairground neighbors, get fucking over it!