Metallica by Sam Shapiro

The 11th annual Rock On The Range was the festival’s biggest year yet, with a sellout crowd of 135,000 in attendance May 19, 20 & 21 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, OH. Though the weekend began with challenges due to inclement weather and the unexpected tragedy of Chris Cornell’s passing, in the end the music and performances shone through. Through these challenges, Rock On The Range carried on, sets were rescheduled to accommodate the weather delays, and the weekend was capped by a first-ever ROTR performance from the legendary Metallica.

Throughout the weekend, several bands paid their respects to the late Chris Cornell, who had been scheduled to headline the festival’s opening night with Soundgarden. Live concluded their Friday night set with a cover of Audioslave’s “I Am The Highway,” which led immediately into a video tribute to Cornell in front of a nearly silent crowd, and a brief acoustic set from Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor and Christian Martucci that included moving covers of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Temple Of The Dog’s “Hunger Strike.”

Among the others who covered Cornell’s work were The Pretty Reckless (Audioslave’s “Like A Stone”), Bush (Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” into a cover of R.E.M.’s “The One I Love”), and Stone Sour (Soundgarden’s “Outshined” at the Thursday night Rock On The Range Kickoff Party), while many more dedicated songs to Cornell, including Alter Bridge, who played the opening of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” as a tribute to Chris and then went into their own song of the same name.

Making their Rock On The Range debut, Metallica brought the weekend to a close with a blistering two hour set that spanned their 36 year career, from genre-defining classics like “Master Of Puppets,” “One,” and “Enter Sandman” to songs from their new album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct. As the legendary band exited the stage, drummer Lars Ulrich promised fans that Metallica would not take another 11 years to return to the festival.

Rock On The Range producers would like to thank the “Rangers” for their understanding and cooperation with temporary evacuations and schedule changes due to weather. Safety is always the number one priority for festival attendees, bands, crew and staff.

America’s largest and most acclaimed rock festival featured nearly 60 bands on three stages, led by headliners Korn and Metallica, along with The Offspring, Volbeat, Primus, Bush, Live, Chevelle, Papa Roach, Seether, Coheed and Cambria, Alter Bridge, The Pretty Reckless, Taking Back Sunday, Of Mice & Men and many more. The Rolling Rock Comedy Tent featured sets from nationally known comedians such as Jim Breuer, Nikki Glaser, Tony Hinchcliffe and more, plus Columbus’ top comedy talent.

Throughout the weekend, fans enjoyed artist signings, meet and greets, exclusive acoustic performances, and more at onsite experiences including the Monster Energy Experience, the Jack Daniel’s Experience, The Music Experience, FYE Fan Experience, Zippo Encore and others, along with a variety of Eat Local! and national food vendors at four separate food courts.

Rock On The Range is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, AEG Presents, and MAPFRE Stadium.

Rock On The Range is supported by: Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, Zippo, Bud Light, Rolling Rock, StubHub, Repreve, The Ohio Lottery, FYE, The Music Experience, Deep Eddy Vodka, US Marines and Fxck Cancer.