Household names, hot tips and history-making reunions: How Aftershock Festival is set to rock 2021

A crowd at aftershock festival
(Image credit: Aftershock/Steve Thrasher)

Now that’s a festival bill. Household names. Hot tips. History-making reunions from bands you’d given up hope of seeing live. Spilling over three sun-baked days (plus, for the first time ever, a Thursday night event) at the emerald paradise of Sacramento’s Discovery Park, Aftershock 2021 boasts the kind of solid-gold lineup that makes other rock festivals look hopelessly outgunned and short on stardust. In fact, the only headache on October 7-10 is plotting your movements with the precision of a military platoon, so you don’t miss any of the bands on your wishlist. 

But pinning down your schedule just got a whole lot harder. Just when you thought Aftershock 2021 couldn’t get any more mouthwatering – Wolfgang Van Halen’s Mammoth WVH has landed on the Sunday night bill. Of course, the man leading them out needs no introduction: Wolfie has been a fixture on the rock scene since joining the iconic Van Halen on bass in 2006, then going on to shake the room in Mark Tremonti’s solo band. 

Now, at Aftershock 2021, Wolfgang unveils his new band Mammoth WVH, with an exclusive set that’s sure to include Distance: the poignant recent single that paid tribute to Wolfgang’s departed father, Eddie Van Halen – and almost broke the Internet. Plus, with plenty of his famous friends onsite at Discovery Park, don’t be surprised if Wolfie brings out a special guest or two.

Aftershock festival

(Image credit: Aftershock/Steve Thrasher)

The addition of Mammoth WVH is just one more reason to start counting down the days to Aftershock 2021, coming to Discovery Park on October 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th. Established as one of the biggest and best-loved fixtures in the West Coast rock calendar, a record-breaking 97,500 fans attended the sold-out festival in 2019. And while the Covid-19 pandemic postponed this year’s event, the headliners will return in October – with organisers adhering to the latest social distancing guidelines. Brace yourself for performances by thrash titans Metallica (playing two unique sets), reunited alt-rock royalty My Chemical Romance, punk figureheads Rancid and The Offspring – plus the very best of the new breed, from Machine Gun Kelly to The Pretty Reckless.   

You might have attended Aftershock since the festival burst to life as a one-day event back in 2012. But you’ve never experienced anything on the scale of the festivities planned for October. The scope of this unique event keeps growing alongside the vision of Aftershock founder and promotions legend Danny Wimmer, and for the first time ever, Aftershock 2021 extends to a full three-and-a-half days, adding a new Thursday night bill presented by Jack Daniel’s. Kick off your festival experience early, as heavyweights Testament and Parkway Drive set the stage for nu-metal kings Limp Bizkit, with Fred Durst leading the crowd through a set that’s sure to include anthems like Rollin’ and Break Stuff. 

With a range of standard and VIP ticket packages available at every price point – and the option of spreading the cost across the next nine months – everyone is invited to the West Coast’s biggest party. Plus, why not load up for your festival experience with Aftershock’s 10 Days of Shocking Giveaways promotion, giving you the chance to win free event passes and prize packs from festival sponsors. We’ll see you down the front…

Find out more at Aftershock's official site, or on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.