The highly anticipated artist announcements for Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2023 began last week the announcement of the nu metal band Taproot reuniting. Taproot first broke out in the early 2000s, with thanks to the success of their hit singles “Again and Again” and “Poem.” That momentum also brought them to the second stage of Ozzfest for two consecutive years, followed by heavy touring with the likes of Disturbed, Chevelle, and POD. Having only played a handful of shows since 2013, this reunion is bound to turn heads.
On the heels of the Taproot announcement, Blue Ridge Rock Fest announced Finger Eleven‘s return to the US for the first time since 2016. The Canadian rockers released their first major record under the name Finger Eleven in 1997, featuring the singles “Quicksand” and “Above.” Their success skyrocketed only a few years later with the release of the hit singles like “One Thing” and “Paralyzer.” Their most recent album, Five Crooked Lines, was released in 2015, and they’ve since only played a handful of one-off shows and festivals.
With the rock world still digesting these first two announcements, the Festival pushed on with announcing the return of Woe, Is Me, bringing together a reunion of the group’s original lineup. The Vans Warped Tour veterans broke up in 2013 and have been quiet until recently, proudly sharing that new music is in the works for 2023.
Thursday followed suit with a twofer of announcements. First, the rock band COLD will also perform in 2023. They were originally slated to perform at the pre-party in 2022; however, they were forced to cancel shortly before the event. This unforeseen cancelation turned into an even bigger opportunity, as COLD will be commemorating the 20th anniversary of their album “Year of the Spider” by playing it in its entirety.
Only a few hours later, Blue Ridge announced that they’ll welcome back nu metal band Adema, one of only a handful of artists that performed at the Festival’s inaugural event in 2017. Their 2001 self-titled debut album was certified Gold with hits such as “The Way You Like It” and “Giving In.” Though they’ve experienced a few lineup changes since forming, Adema released their latest single “Violent Principles” featuring new frontman Ryan Shuck.
Blue Ridge Rock Fest then turned up the heat again on Friday by announcing Coal Chamber and Senses Fail. Led by Dez Fafara, Coal Chamber is considered an early pioneer of the nu metal sound. Their debut album was a relentless adrenaline rush with songs like “Loco” and “Big Truck,” landing them an opening spot for the legendary Pantera. Their sophomore record carried that momentum, featuring a collaboration with none other than Ozzy Osbourne, covering Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey.” Senses Fail formed twenty years ago and have garnered their own legendary status receiving multiple Gold certifications and further inspiring the post-hardcore and metalcore subgenres. They recently released their eighth studio album, Hell is in Your Head.
That brings us today, December 5. Another two dropped, with what looks like many, many more to come! First, seemingly from way out in left field, Ville Valo. Many recognize the name from his tenure as the iconic voice of Finnish rockers HIM. Though he’s sold out the 2023 tour already, he will be performing a special nighttime set at Blue Ridge ’23. Just a few hours later, none other than Dayseeker was announced. Part of the Blue Ridge Class of ’22, Dayseeker returns to finish what was started. (Last year, their laptop overheated and created a… special? …moment). Meanwhile, they are celebrating their recently released record Dark Sun on their sold out tour in support of Bad Omens.
ICYMI: Read the details of these announcements as they’re dropped! The announcement of COLD also confirmed their performance of an acoustic stage, available to VIP and Rockstar ticketholders. Then the fine print on the Dayseeker announcement referenced another 135 artists TBA. So between hints and other perk reminders, don’t gloss over the text.
Nine artists in, Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2023 is already shaping up to be a Who’s Who in the rock world. More artist announcements are expected over the weeks to come, likely featuring additional reunions and rare and special sets. The independently owned Festival is the home of the “Fan Driven Experience,” asking fans to weigh in on the lineup and festival experiences through surveys and voting across social media. What started as a one-day event in 2017 has since exploded into a 4-day festival in 2022, featuring almost 200 bands and proudly hosting a community of over 150,000 at the VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia. Last year’s headliners included Slipknot, Disturbed, Mudvayne and Ghost, and featured special reunions and performances from the likes of Kittie, Shadows Fall, Starset and Insane Clown Posse. Blue Ridge Rock Festival returns to the Raceway on Sept 7-10, 2023.
Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2023 Tickets & Information: BlueRidgeRockFest.com