Welcome to Rockville concert moving to Daytona

Concert held every year in Jacksonville

By Jason Mealey - Producer/assignment editor, Maggie Lorenz - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Welcome to Rockville, a three-day music festival, announced on its website and Twitter that the concert is moving to the Daytona International Speedway.

The concert is scheduled for May 8-10.

For nine years, tens of thousands of hardcore rock 'n' roll lovers crowded into Metropolitan Park to enjoy some of the genre's greatest acts, but that won't happen next year.

Metal fans said it feels like a Five Finger Death Punch.

Rikki and Chip Southworth have gone in years past and said it's a hard loss.

"It was good fun, you know, rock 'n' roll. It was lots of people, seems like a big loss for the city. It was literally tens of thousands of people that roll into town," Chip Southworth said.

"Losing Met Park in general, I think, is kind of a bummer for festivals. It was the place for festivals. There's not really too much else out there for that," Rikki Southworth said.

"Yeah, I don't think Daily's is a good trade for Met Park at all," Chip Southworth said.

Nikki Kimbleton, a spokesperson for the city, said: "With the up-and-coming development around the sports complex, mainly the construction involving the Hart's Bridge overpass, we understand the need to move Welcome to Rockville to Daytona in 2020. However, we look forward to working with the promoters and bringing it back home to Jacksonville and the new and improved facilities in 2021."

The concert's promoter, Danny Wimmer Presents, said in a statement: "I love my hometown, and I'm really proud of what Rockville accomplished in its nine years in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, there was no longer a space at Metropolitan Park for us to deliver the kind of festival experience that Florida's rock fans deserve."

Zoe Roberts said the day they bring Rockville back to Jacksonville will be A Day to Remember.

"Hopefully, they move it back next year, and I'll get to go," Roberts said.

Rockville's 2016 year saw more than 50,000 in attendance, with an estimated $15 million economic impact.

This isn't the first time Jacksonville has lost a major music festival to Daytona. The Country 500 now takes place at the speedway after being at TIAA Bank Field for a few years.

As for the construction, the Florida Department of Transportation has not released an exact date to start demolishing the Hart’s Bridge overpass, but a city presentation earlier this year showed the project would begin early next year and would be finished by the end of 2021. The $39-million project will demolish part of the elevated road by the sports complex and replace it with a ground-level road.

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