Tuesday, 19 November 2019 17:41

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Papa Roach, Disturbed to join Metallica at Epicenter 2020

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Guitarist Scott Ian, pictured performing at the inaugural Epicenter with the Damned Things, returns to the festival next year with thrash metal band Anthrax. Guitarist Scott Ian, pictured performing at the inaugural Epicenter with the Damned Things, returns to the festival next year with thrash metal band Anthrax. Wally Reeves - For the Richmond Observer

CONCORD — The wait is over for hard rock and heavy metal fans wondering which bands will take the stage at Epicenter next year.

Danny Wimmer Presents released the full lineup for the three-day festival Tuesday morning unveiling a host of heavy hitters from the late ‘90s and early 2000s, including Disturbed — which headlines Saturday —  Papa Roach, Godsmack, Staind and Deftones.

Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd will also play on Saturday. The only original member left in the band is guitarist Gary Rossington. Johnny Van Zant, brother of original vocalist Ronnie, has been the singer since the reunion tour in 1987— 20 years after Ronnie van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and several others were killed in a plane crash. Ricky Medlocke, who played with the band in the early ‘70s before reforming Blackfoot, has been back with Lynyrd Skynyrd since the mid-’90s.

Guitarist Scott Ian, who performed at the inaugural Epicenter with the Damned Things, returns to the festival next year with thrash metal band Anthrax.

Former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth, punk bands Rancid and Dropkick Murphys and hip hop group Cypress Hill are also on the bill, along with Fayetteville native and former Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery.

The promoter announced in October that Metallica would headline both Friday and Sunday evenings with completely different sets.

The full band listing is as follows:

  • Friday - Metallica, Godsmack, Papa Roach, David Lee Roth, Royal Blood, I Prevail, Ghostmane, Ice Nine Kills, The Darkness, Starset, Sick of it All, Agnostic Front, New Years Day, Bones UK, Fire from the Gods, 3Teeth, Nascar Aloe, Joyous Wolf, Killstation, Stitched Up Heart, Hero the Band, Through Fire. (Note: The poster for the festival has question marks where a band name should be.)
  • Saturday - Disturbed, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Staind, Chevelle, Cypress Hill, Anthrax, Alter Bridge, Code Orange, Of Mice and Men, Saint Asonia, Jinger, Crown the Empire, Anti-Flag, City Morgue, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Clint Lowery, BRKN Love, Brutus, Toothgrinder, Brass Against, Selfish Things, Zero 9:36, Like Machines.
  • Sunday - Metallica, Deftones, Volbeat, Gojira, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, Hellyeah, Bad Wolves, Hollywood Undead, Sleeping with Sirens, Power Trip, The Amity Affliction, Des Rocs, Goodbye June, Airbourne, Stray from the Path, Plague Vendor, Ego Kill Talent, Higher Power, Skynd (and more to be announced.)

In addition to the lineup, the Epicenter Facebook page also announced that RV camping passes were sold out.

Just a day prior to the Metallica announcement, DWP said that the festival would not be returning to Rockingham Dragway, where the inaugural event was held, but instead move to Charlotte Motor Speedway's Rock City Campground in Concord, which was home to Epicenter's predecessor Carolina Rebellion.

DWP said the move was made for the fans.

"The No. 1 request we received from the fans was to move the festival to Charlotte… and we listened," promoters said in a statement. "The new location offers plenty of nearby lodging, increased camping, and convenient travel options."

DWP CEO Danny Hayes said in a June live video that the promotions company lost $3 million on Epicenter. He also talked about other issues, including staffing, traffic, camping, weather and band booking.

DWP also made another fan-request change by moving the festival to the first weekend in May instead of having it on Mother’s Day weekend.

When Epicenter was in Richmond County, local leaders say it had a huge impact on the regional economy.

Earlier this year, County Manager Bryan Land credited Epicenter for a considerable spike in local sales taxes.

Kenneth Robinette, chairman of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners said he, Land and other leaders "did everything we could to keep them here."

Dragway owner Steve Earwood said although there was a 10-year deal for Epicenter, promoters could pull out by Sept. 1.

When DWP asked for an extension until Oct. 1, Earwood took that as a good sign. However, that deadline also came and went before he was notified that the promoters had changed their minds.

Earwood said losing Epicenter is a huge loss for the community.

However, it may not be gone for good.

He said there's a clause in the contract that allows promoters to sit out for a year and come back the next.