Ozzy Osbourne headlines Fort Rock
Markhan Park in Sunrise a larger venue for rockers
Fort Rock, this weekend’s large and loud gathering of concertgoers and bands dressed head-to-toe in black, heads to Sunrise’s Markham Park bearing a muscular lineup of rock royalty, including Ozzy Osbourne, Godsmack and Stone Temple Pilots.
You have two concert promoters and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau to thank for this sonic assault in suburbia, taking place Saturday and Sunday.
After five years at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fort Rock announced its move to our side of the state in November, lured by a large venue (Markham Park is 666 acres) and an eager South Florida market, says John Valentino, senior vice president of concert promoter AEG Southeast.
“While we’ve enjoyed our time in Fort Myers, the venue was a bit small,” says Valentino, who is copromoting the festival with Danny Wimmer Presents. “There were lots of people coming from Southeast Florida in the first years [of the festival], and Markham Park sounded perfect, because it’s right off the [I-595] highway.”
Organizers expect 20,000 rock fans to fill the Broward County park, an encouraging number for Noelle Stevenson, vice president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. The tourism bureau’s marketing muscle and relationship with area hotels were attractive to Fort Rock’s promoters, who told Stevenson they planned to remain in Sunrise “for three to four years,” she says.
“When you move a festival of this magnitude, the last thing you want to do, for obvious reasons, is to keep moving it around,” Stevenson says. “You want to keep it where it is for multiple years.”
Here’s what else metalheads and Prince of Darkness worshipers need to know about Fort Rock.
Ozzy Osbourne with Zakk Wylde: As the bat-biting frontman behind the recently disbanded Black Sabbath, heavymetal god Osbourne has influenced nearly everyone on the Fort Rock bill. At 69, rock’s elder statesman is still a wild, forbidding figure, and is still performing his black anthems (“Crazy Train,” “Mr Crowley,” “No More Tears”) aided, we suspect, by dark magic.
Godsmack: As radio-friendly hard rockers from Boston who grew to prominence in the late 1990s, frontman Sully Erna and company were quickly lumped in with the nü-metal explosion at the time (Slipknot, Korn, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit). But Godsmack’s fan base has endured, and the band is touring behind “When Legends Rise” (out today), its first fulllength album in four years.
Stone Temple Pilots: Before and after the death of troubled frontman Scott Weiland in 2015, the alt-rockers with brash ’90s hits (“Plush,” “Vasoline,” “Interstate Love Song,” “Sex Type Thing”) had a revolving door of lead singers. After firing Weiland in 2013, STP briefly replaced him with late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington before picking Jeff Gutt, a former contestant on “The X Factor.” The band, with Gutt, released a self-titled album in March, STP’s first in eight years.
Breaking Benjamin: Last in town for SunFest 2017, the fivepiece group led by singer-guitarist Benjamin Burnley has hardly lost momentum since forming in the early 2000s, their blasting percussion and heavy guitar work earning them four albums on Billboard’s Top 10. The group is touring behind “Ember,” released April 13, which sits at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Shinedown: The Jacksonville rock heavyweight fronted by singer Brent Smith is touring behind its sixth album, “Attention Attention" (out May 4), but has already notched 11 No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart since its debut album in 2003.
Parking and food
Concertgoers can buy a Saturday advance parking pass for $15 and a weekend pass for $30 via FortRock.FrontGateTickets.com. Sunday single-day advance parking is sold out. Visitors also can rent onsite lockers for $35 via MobileChargingLockers.com.
Meanwhile, multiple food and drink vendors will be on hand, including Agave Taco Bar, Angry Bird Grill, BC Taco Truck, Boot Scootin’ Burgers and Captain Nemo’s Seafood. For the full schedule, vendor list, what to pack and other perks, download the official Fort Rock app for Apple and Android smartphones.
Prices and schedule
Where: Markham Park, 16001 W. State Road 84, in Sunrise When: Doors open at noon Saturday and Sunday. Cost: General-admission single-day tickets cost $89-$109, $159.50-$199.50 for weekend passes and $199-$350 for VIP. Prices do not include fees. Fort Rock is also offering a 50 percent discount off general-admission weekend passes for concertgoers who sign the Change.org petition “Students Fighting Guns Since Adults Won’t,” created by high-school student Julia Kemple of Kalamazoo, Mich., in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14. Send a screenshot of the signed petition or forward the confirmation email to email@example.com for the discount. Day 1 schedule: Bad Wolves (1:10-1:40 p.m.), ’68 (1:45-2:15 p.m.), Texas Hippie Coalition (2:20-2:55 p.m.), Power Trip (3-3:30 p.m.), Trivium (3:35-4:10 p.m.), Hatebreed (4:15-4:50 p.m.), Underoath (4:55-5:30 p.m.), Bullet for My Valentine (5:35-6:10 p.m.), Halestorm (6:15-7:05 p.m.), Shinedown (7:10-8:20 p.m.), Five Finger Death Punch (8:25-9:35 p.m.) and Godsmack (9:40-10:50 p.m.) Day 2 schedule: Toothgrinder (12:10-12:40 p.m.), Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown (12:45-1:15 p.m.), Avatar (1:20-1:55 p.m.), Red Sun Rising (2-2:35 p.m.), Pop Evil (2:40-3:15 p.m.), Sevendust (3:20-3:55 p.m.), Killswitch Engage (4-4:40 p.m.), Hollywood Undead (4:45-5:25 p.m.), Stone Temple Pilots (5:30-6:20 p.m.), Stone Sour (6:25-7:25 p.m.), Breaking Benjamin (7:30-8:30 p.m.) and Ozzy Osbourne with Zakk Wylde (8:35-9:50 p.m.)
Ozzy Osbourne, with guitarist Zakk Wylde of heavy-metal band Black Label Society, will perform Sunday during the Fort Rock festival at Markham Park in Sunrise.