Welcome to Rockville Kicks Off at Daytona International Speedway


The highly anticipated Welcome to Rockville festival got underway at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, with a loaded group of rock performers preparing to play over the next four days. It'll be the thirteenth year of the event, which started in 2011 in Jacksonville. Rockville moved to Daytona in 2021, experiencing its largest ever increase in attendance year-over-year.

The lineup for this year's festival is a who's who in hard rock legend: Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Anthrax, the Foo Fighters, Disturbed, Anthrax, Machinehead, Slipknot, and more are among the headliners. There's also a solid slate of newer acts, like Greta Van Fleet, Jelly Roll, Bad Omens, and Palm Coast's own Rain City Drive, who perform Friday.

The performers are spread across five stages at Daytona International Speedway, amongst a network of vendor booths, campsites, attractions, and food stands. If the festival keeps up the pace of attendance growth that it experienced from 2022 to 2023, it may break 200,000 for the first time in festival history. The inaugural event only had 10,000 come (still a sell-out), with 25 performers. This year will have 146 performers.

Among the most highly anticipated performances of the weekend will be the Foo Fighters, who play the last set of Saturday at the Apex Stage. The Foos were originally booked to perform at Welcome to Rockville in 2022, but had to cancel due to the death of their drummer, Taylor Hawkins. The band is making their triumphant return, fresh off the acclaimed album But Here We Are, which chronicled the fallout of Hawkins' passing.

The event is expecting serious heat for the duration of the weekend: the highs on each day are 93, 88, 82, and 81. Festival organizers amended the rules to allow Camelbak-style hydration packs into the venue to accommodate.