The inaugural Sonic Temple Festival kicks-off one month from today in Columbus, OH. While veteran “Rangers” who’ve attended the former Rock on the Range festival in years past have had their plans in place for months already, it’s not too late to grab some of the last remaining tickets to enjoy this year’s lineup!
If you’ve been on the fence about this, I’ll help you figure out which side you should land on. This will be my sixth year (including the past five years of Rock on the Range), and I buy tickets every year before the lineup is even announced (this wasn’t an option this year, but has been in years prior). The bottom line here, is that the true enjoyment from this comes from the overall experience that’s put-on year after year. Make no mistake about it, the lineup is what takes this thing from a fun weekend into a uniquely memorable experience year after year, but the special sauce is in the day-to-day fun that’s to be had for everyone. What’s so special you might ask? Here’s a few of the highlights that my group personally has enjoyed over the years:
• The FYE Tent – they offer album sales and autograph sessions from most bands (main headliners tend to be excluded, but not always). The best part here, is that your autograph is included with your album purchase (which is not inflated). You’ll simply get a wrist band and show up at the assigned time for each respective band to sign. Pro-tip: buy the VIP pass to get to the front of the line.
• The Food – there is literally something for everyone here. Year after year, the food choices have gotten better and better. While the 2nd stage sits in front of the majority of vendors, you can buy food almost anywhere.
• Craft Beer Bar – there’s been a place in the stadium that sells craft beers the last several years. So yes, you can enjoy a cold frosty beverage that’s doesn’t fit the standard label of “stadium beer” by way of your typical pilsner.
• The Art – there are a plethora of art vendors year after year, and it continues to grow. You can buy anything from a painting to a t-shirt, a purse to jewelry etc. There’s an incredible variety and sure to be something that catches your eye.
• The Monster Energy Truck – Do you enjoy the occasional caffeine rush as much as I do? Head over to the Monster Energy Truck (typically located just aside the 2nd stage) and grab a free can of one of the flavors on the menu. It’s a great place to chill out for a few minutes, unwind and get ready to head back into the fray!
• The Music Experience Tent – this area always has loads of instrument and gear on display, and tends to have a rotating lineup of musicians that come through over the course of the weekend. (Schedules are always posted in advance).
• The Zippo Encore Experience – It looks like this is making a return again this year. In years past, the purchase of a Zippo lighter got you special access to an acoustic performance of an unnamed band (there aren’t many surprises in life, this is one of them). This ranges from bands ready to break out to some of the top billed talent (last year I caught Them Evils and Stone Sour, for example).
• The Bands – yes, the music matters, too. This has always just been a given, though. The lineup is consistently awesome. Are your favorite bands playing this year? Maybe, maybe not. A few things to understand here. You will see a lot of bands for the first time, and a few of them are going to blow you away, so don’t spend half the day in the parking lot. Get inside and catch the early bands, or you’ll regret it when they’re headlining a few years from now. The main stage floor gets packed pretty early. You could camp there all day if you want, but you’ll literally miss everything I just highlighted that make this festival so awesome. If you’re ok with having a “pretty close spot” to the stage for the headliners, then go enjoy yourself, you’ll be fine later.
So that’s it. If this stuff doesn’t excite you, then just follow along here on Music Connection and check out the coverage throughout the weekend to see what your missing. If you’ve decided to go, keep checking back here, too, as we’ll have daily re-caps and an up-to-date account everything going on up on Instagram. Additionally, we’ll have a survival guide a little closer to the weekend where we’ll highlight a few things to make sure you’re well-prepared to get through the weekend.