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2021 Aftershock Festival Lineup Announced… But Will it Happen?

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Aftershock Festival has announced its lineup for 2021, an ambitious and stacked bill that features the same Metallica double-night headline performance originally slated for 2020. The event’s promoters are optimistic that by October 2021 Covid-19 will be well enough under control that large-scale festivals are able to take place. Aftershock is the largest North American festival to announce concrete plans for 2021, and having an event that falls towards the end of the year certainly gives them a bit of a buffer.

Indeed, everything may be fine by then. But it also may not. Even if there’s a vaccine, medical experts agree that such a vaccine will not be close to 100% effective. And even if it were 100% effective, would music fans feel comfortable packing shoulder to shoulder at a festival? I’m not saying they won’t, just that I’m not sure how people are going to react after a year and a half of no concerts.

Worth noting: the 1,186-word press release announcing Aftershock 2021 makes no mention of “Covid,” “pandemic” or “coronavirus” other than one instance that acknowledges the 2020 event was rescheduled because of it.

All that said, I admire the optimism. What’s more, what is there to lose? Worst case scenario, if Covid-19 still isn’t under control by next summer they cancel Aftershock again, a possibility I’m sure they’re prepared for that is likely built into all the artist contracts.

I do have to wonder, with the pandemic currently raging, if folks are going to snap up tickets right away with that same level of optimism or approach it more cautiously. I have a hard time imagining fans will blindly rush into the proposition of spending hundreds of dollars for an event that might not happen right now. But I guess we’ll see.

Anyhoo, like I said, the lineup is stacked, no surprise given this festival’s history. In addition to two Metallica performances, the four-night event, set for October 7-10 in Sacramento, CA, will feature Gojira, Mastodon, Parkway Drive, Volbeat, Killswitch Engage, My Chemical Romance, Testament, Hatebreed, Anthrax and a ton of other bands. And, uh, Limp Bizkit. There’s also a mystery band being billed as “TBA reunion,” which is certainly intriguing.

Here are the full day lineups:

Thursday, October 7: Limp Bizkit, Parkway Drive, Testament, Hatebreed, Exodus, Knocked Loose, Fit For A King

Friday, October 8: Metallica, Rancid, Volbeat, SEETHER, +LIVE+, Skillet, Suicidal Tendencies, Avatar, Pop Evil, Butcher Babies, Des Rocs, Ayron Jones, Crobot, Cleopatrick, Ego Kill Talent, Crown Lands, UnityTX, Contracult Collective

Saturday, October 9: My Chemical Romance, The Offspring, Machine Gun Kelly, Gojira, ?? ??? (TBA reunion), Anthrax, Killswitch Engage, Asking Alexandria, Body Count, Badflower, Thursday, L7, Atreyu, Bones UK, South of Eden, The Black Moods, Another Day Dawns, American Teeth

Sunday, October 10: Metallica, Social Distortion, Rise Against, Mastodon, Pennywise, The Pretty Reckless, Black Veil Brides, Steel Panther, Yelawolf, Grandson, From Ashes To New, Alien Weaponry, LAW, The Blue Stones, The Contortionist, Higher Power, Creeper, The Cold Stares.

Prices are as follows if you buy now, but they’ll rise as time goes on: 

●      Single Day General Admission: starting at $119.50 + fees

●      Single Day VIP: starting at $249.50 + fees

●      3-Day General Admission (Friday, Saturday, Sunday): starting at $329.50 + fees 

●      3-Day VIP (Friday, Saturday, Sunday): starting at $599.50 + fees

●      4-Day General Admission (Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, Sunday): starting at $379.50 + fees

●      4-Day VIP (Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, Sunday): $674.50 + fees

Tickets are on sale now right here.

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