Extreme weather blamed for cancellation of Blue Ridge Rock Festival with heartbroken fans stranded on site

A poster advertising the lineup for Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2023
(Image credit: Blue Ridge Rock Festival)

Thousands of rock and metal fans have been left heartbroken after organisers pulled the plug halfway through Blue Ridge Rock Festival in Alton, Virginia.

Extreme weather was blamed for the cancellation of the full schedule for Saturday (September 9) and Sunday, the last two days of the four-day festival.

Shinedown, Megadeth and Papa Roach were big draws on Saturday, while Pantera, Limp Bizkit and Lamb of God were lined up for Sunday.

In an announcement made on Instagram on Saturday evening, festival bosses say: "With heavy hearts, due to this weekend's continued severe weather, we must announce the cancellation of the final days of Blue Ridge Rock Festival. Your safety and well-being are our foremost concerns.

"We understand the disappointment this brings, and we share immensely in your sadness. Please know that this decision was made with the utmost consideration for everyone involved and our focus now is on supporting those of you still on-site.

"We are working diligently to provide refund details and will share that information early this week when business re-opens. In the meantime, we encourage you to stay safe and take care of each other.

"This has been an agonizing turn of events for what was to be such a special weekend. There will be more much that we unveil over the next few days. Rest assured, we will take care of you despite these difficult circumstances."

Slipknot headlined Friday night of the festival, and there had already been weather-related problems on site. Thursday night's proceedings were cancelled when a severe storm rolled through the site, cutting short Coheed and Cambria's set.

Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2023 was sold out, with 50,000 fans expected to attend. Organisers hailed it as North America's biggest rock and metal festival.

Fans took to social media to share their disappointment and tell how they had struggled to leave the venue. Some described spells of extreme heat followed by strong winds, hail and heavy rain.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.