Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) kicked off their 2024 festival season with Welcome To Rockville from May 9th through the 12th. The four-day event turned out to be the largest festival in North America. Setting the bar EXTREMELY high, it had been rumored that Daytona Beach and its Speedway would see more than 200,000 fans converge on the Daytona International Speedway over the extended weekend to see some of Rock and Roll’s greatest acts. This year’s Welcome To Rockville was packed with can’t-miss moments spread throughout the 150 band performances on 5 different stages.


Heading into the venue, the one thing that everyone noticed almost immediately was the heat! Florida is known for excruciating heat, followed by thunderstorms, followed by more heat. This year, we got none of the rain that one almost comes to expect from Welcome To Rockville. (Seeing how multiple acts have been cancelled in previous years, due to heavy rains and wind). The sun was relentless over the following four days, with concert attendees flocking to water refill stations, and hunting shade like an oasis in the desert. Easing slowly into the music today, California rockers Point North opened the main stage and started the slow progression into heavy rock that followed. Orgy, Cold and Saliva all played to larger crowds as people trickled in throughout the afternoon.

Ash Costello and the gang in New Year’s Day played to a packed side stage area conveniently located on the front straight just before Turn 1. With bands like Flyleaf (feat. Lacey Sturm), Skillet, and Dirty Honey, there was something for everyone as we headed into early evening. Italian gothic metal band Lacuna Coil headed by Cristina Scabbia had an unfair fight going up against longtime band Anthrax in the 6:00pm time slot. Both stages were absolutely insane, and almost impossible to get near, with the crowds both going wild. Mudvayne gathered a massive crowd with many flocking to see Chad Grey control a crowd playing hit after hit over their hour-long set.

Judas Priest continues to amaze me… fronted by Rob Halford, who, at the age of 72 can still sing like he did in his younger years, moved around the stage layout, interacting with the other members just as he did years ago. In what I believed to be the most difficult choice, or worst timing conflict of the day, Kerry King and his band were set to play against Disturbed in the 9pm time slot forcing many to not really choose between the two but split their time evenly. Watching the crowd start at one stage, and make their way to the other, many wanted to see both perform. Disturbed upped the stakes by having Heart vocalist Ann Wilson onstage to perform Don’t Tell Me as a duet with David Draiman.

Motley Crue was nothing short of amazing. The intro to their set before they even stepped foot on stage built a frenzy into the crowd like no other. By the time they broke into their first of 15 songs, “Primal Scream”, the fans were screaming at the top of their lungs. With vocals on point, and lead singer Vince Neil working the stage and talking to the crowd, they were a perfect choice for Thursday’s headliner.

Day 1 images by Sean Matthews

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews

Day 1 images provided by DWP – Nathan Zucker

Photo Credit: Nathan Zucker

Day 1 images provided by DWP – Steve Thrasher

Photo Credit – Steve Thrasher


Weather wise, it was as though someone challenged the powers that be to make it hotter than the previous day. Just standing still, sweat dripped from fans, and with no rain in sight once again, it looked to be a long day before sunset would come. Starting off the day, and bringing me back to my high school years, Alien Ant Farm opened the second stage, followed by Sleep Theory, and Jason Hook’s new band Flat Black. Tasmanian alternative/indie artist Kim Dracula was onstage when people started strolling in by the masses, many still hungover from the night before. Local Floridians Nonpoint came out swinging as always and did what they do best. They played their hearts out and left it all on the stage, with fans screaming, and singing along at the top of their lungs.

It’s been a while since I last seen Starset, and I was pleasantly surprised… no more digital board, and no more face masks. Lead singer Dustin Bates worked the stage and interacted with the crowd throughout their 40-minute set. In This Moment, a band I found randomly one day while cruising through Spotify, played six songs. With the theatrics, and costume changes, die hard fans only got to witness 6 songs split over a few albums. I love seeing them at a headlining show where you can really get into the full production and see the vision and thought that lead singer Maria Brink puts into it all, but at a festival… I would prefer to just see her come out and kick ass vocally and just rock out like way back in the day.

I had to choose between Russian metal group Slaughter To Prevail, and Missouri’s own Tech N9ne. Playing at the same time REALL far away from each other, I went with Slaughter To Prevail, as it’s well known that lead singer Alex Terrible is another level of psychotic while onstage. I’ve seen him smash his microphone off his forehead until it bled… so it was anyone’s guess what would happen this time around. After a short jog across the infield, I bore witness to The Offspring, whom, even as time ticks on, sounds exactly like they did all those years ago in Grade 9 music class, when we all tried to figure out how the hell drummer (at the time) Ron Welty played the into to “Come Out and Play”.

Short-lived in my memories, I headed off to catch German electronicore band Electric Callboy as I was told it was not the performance to miss. Not knowing what to expect, I was caught off guard when an attendant came onscreen to ramp up the crowd, all with techno playing in the background. It took all of 30 seconds into hit single “Tekkno Train” before I was a fan and put it on my stream endlessly list. The crowd so thick you couldn’t move, let alone breath, only parted for a moment when 6 men in space helmets headed to the mosh pit during “Spaceman”. As quickly as they started, they were done, leaving everyone there begging for more.

More was to come, but under the guise of Ronnie Radke, and Falling In Reverse. With a few tricks up his sleeve as always, Ronnia played through a list of hit songs, and even brought Tech N9ne, and Alex the Terrible up for newest single “Ronald” which had only been released a day or two at this point. Jelly Roll closed out second stage and played direct support to Limp Bizkit, who took to the stage shortly after 10:30pm played us into the night. Lead by Fred Durst, Limp Bizkit live is like your favorite trip to the Karaoke bar, all the hits that we’ve grown to love, and know all the words too, intermixed with DJ Lethal remixes of hits throughout the years. Taking a moment to even do a gender reveal for two people who held a sign in the front row for the entire day, Fred Durst doesn’t disappoint as a lead singer.

Day 2 images by Sean Matthews

Photo Credit – Sean Matthews

Day 2 images provided by DWP – Nathan Zucker

Photo Credit: Nathan Zucker

Day 2 images provided by DWP – Steve Thrasher

Photo Credit – Steve Thrasher


Day three began with a hodge podge of acts that covered all genres of music, with two of my favorites, The Struts and Crobot playing simultaneously making the choice almost unbearable. Fire From The Gods, lead by AJ Channer came out swinging hard, and played an amazing set on a smaller stage that was packed with people singing and moshing along.

The afternoon progressed with Mammoth WVH and Stone Temple Pilots playing one after another keeping the fans running from stage to stage across the half mile separation. I have never had the chance to see Primus in all my years live, so I made the trek to the main stage and witnessed the most technical bass playing I think I have ever seen. I’m a long time Dream Theater fan, and what Les Claypool can do with a bass blew my mind. Knowing only the South Park theme song as a reason to watch them, I found myself combing through their discography in the days after to see what else I might have missed.

It was the performance today at 6:35pm that I was counting down for all weekend. Ocala based, A Day To Remember, never disappoints live, especially at festivals. Being down the road from their hometown, they came to party!! Streamers, beach balls, confetti… their hour-long set had it all. It was one of the largest sing-a-longs all weekend. From the first note drop of “The Downfall of Us All” to the last in “All Signs Point to Lauderdale” it was nothing but shear chaos.

Greta Van Fleet and Queens of The Stone Age played hour long sets, covering most of their hits, while Code Orange on the furthest stage let it all out. Heading to Cypress Hill (on a side stage) became nearly impossible. It almost begged the question if they should have been on a larger stage. Before they even played a note, it was wall to wall people as far as the eye could see. Being a group since 1988 they have amassed quite a following, and although a Rap group in a sea of metal and rock, the fans loved every minute of it.

Closing out tonight was the Foo Fighters… and anyone who has ever seen them live, knows its always a party as well. Dave Grohl worked the stage and crowd like a lead singer should. Playing more than 20 songs, including covers of “Eruption & Hot For Teacher” that saw Wolfgang Van Halen join them on stage, followed by “My Hero” which was dedicated to not only Wolfgang, but mainly his father Eddie Van Halen.
Playing for more than 2 hours, they covered more than 9 albums, before shutting it down for the evening and sending fans home.

Day 3 images by Sean Matthews

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews

Day 3 images provided by DWP – Nathan Zucker

Photo Credit: Nathan Zucker

Day 3 images provided by DWP – Steve Thrasher

Photo Credit: Steve Thrasher


Being the last day of four, I was exhausted from the relentless sun and heat that accompanied it. Like most, walking in today was slow paced. The smaller stages were stacked with amazing up and coming bands starting early in the day making some people fore go beauty sleep and arrive earlier than normal. All girl group Plush, and female led, Eva Under Fire were just a few opening the side stages, with Adema and Trust Company starting the main stages respectively. Nita Strauss, fresh off her wedding to bandmate and long-time partner Josh Villalta, seemed to skip the honeymoon for a few days to play to more than 50,000 instead.

Sebastien Bach, Drowning Pool, The Ghost Inside, and Magnolia Park each had great sets full of hits, although short lived due to timing of the stages. I was once again caught between groups as Of Mica & Men (whom I have been a long-time fan of) faced off against Theory Of a Deadman (my fellow Canadians), I did my best to catch a bit of both worlds.

The night started to set in with Architects, Bad Omens and Atreyu playing in procession across three different stages, with fans having to choose Breaking Benjamin or Black Veil Brides before the ultimate choice of the weekend. Amy Lee and Evanescence or seeing SUM 41 on their farewell tour set. Playing at the exact same time with only minutes between start and finish times, there was no option for a half and half setlist like all previous combatants throughout the weekend. When the dust settled, and both bands finished their sets, there was only way to end this record setting weekend…Slipknot played.

Day 4 images by Sean Matthews

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews

Day 4 images provided by DWP – Nathan Zucker

Photo Credit: Nathan Zucker

Day 4 images provided by DWP – Steve Thrasher

Photo Credit: Steve Thrasher


As the weekend drew to a close, and the masses returned to their hometowns, just like that, Daytona Beach was back to a leisurely paced vacation town once again. Only the fans inside bore witness to history in the making! Each and every one of us were a part of history this weekend. DWP set out to make a statement with their festival, and that they did. With more than 200,000 fans onsite throughout the weekend, Welcome To Rockville secured its place among the top… the new champion as you would say.

Being named the BIGGEST Rock festival in North America is an honor that not everyone can achieve, but if the masterminds behind Danny Wimmer Presents continue to push forward, and bring the talent, the fans will surely follow. Dates for 2025 haven’t been announced yet, and as time goes on, we will cover details as they emerge. If you missed out on some merchandise, or just want to keep an eye on things for yourself, head over to the official website here.