With every concert tour and major festival being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, fans were geared up and ready to go when Danny Wimmer Presents announced the return of their top festivals for 2021- Aftershock, Louder Than Life, Welcome to Rockville and the newly acquired Inkcarceration.
Each festival had a unique lineup this year compared to past years when each saw similar headliners and each also offered its own unique experiences as well Louder Than Life was able to fall right around its normal time- late September- where festivals like Inkcarceration and Rockville were pushed back exponentially.
Granted, with COVID restrictions, some band members testing positive for the virus and other inevitable setbacks, the final Louder Than Life lineup looked very different compared to what was initially announced- Snoop Dogg, Mudvayne, Nine Inch Nails and many others dropped off for different reasons but DWP was able to work quickly and bring in replacements that fans would still get excited about.
Disturbed, Volbeat, Breaking Benjamin and more were all replacement bands and made sure the crowd got their money’s worth, and were just as excited and ready to play as the fans were to see them live again- many for the first time in two years.
With COVID still running rampant in the United States, DWP put numerous things in place to help cut down on the risk of the festival becoming a super-spreader- one of which was the requirement of a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination, which many fans were upset about but we can only thank DWP for caring enough about the fans’ safety to do something like that.
They also made a cashless option for virtually everything onsite. Fans were able to register their wristbands with their debit and credit card information and use that to pay for food, drinks, merchandise and more, which is something they should definitely bring back in years going forward.
Festivals like Louder Than Life wouldn’t be complete with the moments and 2021 was nowhere near short of those- from Seether frontman Shaun Morgan applauding the fans for booing, flipping off and harassing Machine Gun Kelly on Friday night to Judas Priest bringing Metallica’s Kirk Hammett on stage to Metallica playing The Black Album in its entirety from back to front (“Enter Sandman” opens the record and they aren’t gonna open with their final encore song), LTL 2021 was memory-heavy.
With bands like Metallica (who played two headline sets), Judas Priest (who’s lead guitarist Richie Faulkner was hospitalized with heart issues after), Skillet, Fozzy, Red, Diamante, From Ashes to New, Jane’s Addiction, Korn, Staind and more, 2021 was a successful year and a great way to kickstart the return of concerts for the forseeable future.