UPDATE: Tickets for a supposed 2024 edition of the Blue Ridge Rock Festival are not available, despite the festival's website still advertising a "2024 Presale Happening Now."

Blue Ridge Rock Festival executive producer Cara Fischer issued a new statement to local station WDBJ7 that reads: “Tickets for 2024 are not currently on sale and have not been for several months while we work to provide a resolution to 2023 fans. The Festival follows the lead and direction of multiple distinguished insurance law firms and a public adjuster concerning public statements. As much as doing so has crippled us publicly, we have been informed that we have acted by the book in accordance with the event’s insurance policy and anticipate a positive resolution soon. Please know that we are committed to delivering a great experience for our fans and supported in 2024 and beyond.”

The Blue Ridge Rock Festival appears to be returning for 2024, already selling tickets, after a disastrous turn of events at the 2023 edition of the music weekend.

Though we typically are already seeing the piecemeal rollout of bands performing at the music festival by now, no acts have been announced yet for the 2024 edition, but the festival website has begun selling 2024 festival passes. The header image on the site still displays graphics for the 2023 edition of Blue Ridge Rock Festival.

These include three- and four-day pass options as well as a "club experience" pass that includes an after party experience.

What Happened at Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2023?

Weather Issues on the First Day

Weather caused chaos with the 2023 edition of the festival, as a severe storm on the first night lead to the cancellation of a portion of the day's events and evacuation of the festival grounds.

Improper Facilities

Attendees documented their various grievances over the experience on social media, noting the myriad of logistics issues ranging from parking and entry, lack of hydration stations and an inhibited ability to seek shelter as directed due to a shortage of shuttle buses.

Shuttle Bus Issues

Wait times for shuttle buses were reportedly up to five hours and with only two places for the crowd of 40,000 to 50,000 to seek shelter, things got a little chaotic. The laundry list of complaints also included a short supply of hydration stations, often leading to long lines to get water, and traffic jams to get into the festival, with reports of wait times up to 12 hours.

More Cancelations

After the weather issues of the first day of the festival, the final two days of the music weekend were then partially or entirely canceled as well. The festival cited the threat of continued severe weather throughout the weekend for their decision to halt the remainder of the festival.

Festival Attendees + Workers Voice Frustration Over Mounting Problems

But shortly after the cancelation, stories about the shortcomings of the festival began to surface. Social media posts from attendees noted the health and safety hazards of piled up garbage and overflowing trashcans on the festival grounds.

The lack of availability and access to bathrooms, showers and the scarcity of drinking water were a frequent complaint. Meanwhile, due to the Friday storm, the campgrounds were mostly left in ruins according to reports from attendees. Plus, the evacuation plan, sheltering options and lack of transportation and parking were all called into question.

Other attendees noted that many of the staff and security working the event quit over the course of the weekend due to the poor working conditions.

Days later, many of those involved or who attended the festival began speaking out. Two stagehands spoke with station WSLS about the conditions, calling the festival a "hot mess." The Virginia Department of Health were called to investigate and uncovered an unspecified amount of health violations. It was later revealed that some festival attendees began experiencing gastrointestinal issues that they believed came from drinking from one of the water stations.

READ MORE: Tour Manager Describes Experience at 2023 Blue Ridge Rock Festival

Attendees Still Waiting for Refunds

The festival also ran into issues providing refunds after the 2023 cancelation. By December 29 of last year, organizers issued a new statement on why there had been an elongated period of silence on the matter.

"We are extremely sorry for the delay in providing a clear resolution for 2023's partial cancellation. We know that frustrations are continuing to compound, and fans deserve more communication and information from us. It has pained us immensely that we have not been permitted to do so thus far. For the first time, we have recently been given permission to issue this more complete statement," they wrote in a post on social media.

According to their post, the festival's insurance policy prohibits them from discussing the details of what happened until their claim is settled, which they expected to happen during the first quarter of 2024 or shortly after, but so far no additional info has come from the festival organizers.

Where Do Things Stand Now?

As stated, the festival website has posted that festival pass options for 2024 are available. But, the remainder of the website primarily reflects the 2023 lineup and information. As stated, there is typically a piecemeal rollout of the artists participating in the festival and that has yet to begin. Nor are there dates reflecting the 2024 edition on the website.

While no additional details about the 2024 festival seem to be locked in as of yet, you would have to think festival organizers would address some of last year's issues as well as the refunds that still need to be given.

15 Most Disastrous Music Festivals in History

Here are some of the most disastrous music festivals in history, many of which proved unacceptably arduous for attendees, but a handful of others that unfortunately turned tragic. You might remember many of these instances — others you may not know about yet. Keep reading to find out.

Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp

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