Sometimes the death of one music festival can birth a better fan experience for those who opine for days gone by.  After 11 successful years of Rock on the Range, which became America’s largest outdoor Rock festival, everyone was surprised to see that it would be replaced by a new festival in 2019 – Sonic Temple Music & Arts Festival.

“If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it” could have been the motto for festival producer DWP (Danny Wimmer Presents), but fortunately for fans, great wasn’t good enough.  Many things about the festival stayed the same for the convenience of former Rock on the Range attendees such as the number of stages (3), but the third stage was much bigger than years past and it was slightly re-positioned to allow more fans to see the bands playing that stage.  Like years past, it also had a comedy tent, but this year it had comedy legends Andrew Dice Clay (shown below introducing Disturbed)

Andrew Dice Clay

Andrew Dice Clay introducing Disturbed at Sonic Temple. Photo by Rockwell Anderson

and Pauly Shore (shown below introducing the Foo Fighters),

Pauly Shore

Pauy Shore introducing the Foo Fighters at Sonic Temple. Photo by #MischievousMel

plus spoken word artists including Henry Rollins.  The date of the festival – the 3rd weekend of May, did not change, which made it convenient for traveling fans such as us to book our hotel in advance.  The number of days for the festival – 3 – stayed the same.  Regarding music, Rock on the Range was always a festival that gave many emerging artists their first big break, or propelled them to greater success while they played alongside established industry stalwarts.  Sonic Temple kept that tradition and expanded it, giving fans the opportunity to see even more bands that may have become their new favorite band(s).

The major enhancement for fans this year versus Rock on the Range, was the mass incorporation of art.  It is called Sonic Temple Music & Arts Festival.  Previously, a few art installations and a random art vendor may have been on-site, but this festival brought Art to a whole new level – and scale.  We actually interviewed one of the artists, “PJ the Artist”, which was a first for us at a music festival (shown below at his tent).

PJ the Artist

PJ the Artist showing his art at Sonic Temple Music & Art Festival. Photo by Rockwell Anderson

We also talk to PJ about a very familiar subject we always talk about at music festivals – tattoo’s.  PJ is not a tattoo artist, but he does show us the absolutely stunning tattoo work by his nephew residing in Boston, MA. Interview coming soon. Regarding the scale of the artwork, check out this gallery of art installations along with a few shots of the art vendors.

The art also was also on display at The Music Experience where Ronz World hand painted guitars were also on display and for sale.

Ronz World

Ronz World hand painted Sonic Temple guitar at The Music Experience

The Music Experience

Ronz World hand painted festival guitars on display at The Music Experience

We  were happy to see Fxck Cancer back again,

Fxck Cancer

Fxck Cancer at Sonic Temple

as well as To Write Love on Her Arms

To Write Love on Her Arms

To Write Love on Her Arms at Sonic Temple

and Take Me Home Animal Rescue Charity.  Look for our interview with Hayes from Take Me Home coming soon.

Take Me Home

Architects lead singer Sam Carter wearing a Take Me Home tee shirt during their performance at Sonic Temple

And speaking of animal rescues, meet “Amigo” the pup, #amigothepup, who was rescued at Sonic Temple by a festival employee who named him after one of his favorite artists who played Sonic Temple, Amigo the Devil.

Take Me Home

Amigo the pup inside the media tent at Sonic Temple before being place in his new forever home.

As for the musical performances, there were too many memorable moments to recall, but one of the really touching moments was when Lzzy Hale from Halestorm gave a young fan her guitar (and a smooch on the cheek) on stage during their set.


Lzzy Hale gives her guitar to a young fan on stage at Sonic Temple. Photo by #MischievousMel

Besides our interviews with PJ the Artist and Hayes from Take Me Home Animal Rescue, we also interviewed the following bands (performance pics from these bands will be included in their interviews):


Badflower with #MischievousMel at Sonic Temple

The Black Dahlia Murder

Trevor form The Black Dahlia Murder with Rockwell at Sonic Temple

The Plot in You

The Plot in You with #MischievousMel at Sonic Temple

and finally, our friends in the supremely talented L.A. based band Satellite Citi, who did not play the festival, but you may be seeing soon and were part of a film project associated with the festival.

Satellite Citi

Satellite Citi with #MischievousMel at Sonic Temple

The #ZippoSessions were back, and bigger than ever.  We were able to catch the very special acoustic performance by Mark Morton, guitarist for Lamb of God, playing selections from his solo album along with members of Sons of Texas, Mark Lanegan, and Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach. 

Mark Morton

Mark Morton. Photo by Rockwell Anderson

Zippp Sessions

Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach performing with Mark Morton during the #ZippoSessions – photo by Rockwell Anderson

Mark Lanegan

Mark Lanegan performing with Mark Morton during the #ZippoSessions at Sonic Temple. Photo by Rockwell Anderson

Sons of Texas

Members of Sons of Texas performing with Mark Morton during the #ZippoSessions at Sonic Temple. Photo by Rockwell Anderson

Lamb of God

Randy Blythe from Lamb of God (center left) was on hand to take pics of his bandmate Mark Morton perform at the #ZippoSessions – pic by Rockwell Anderson

Jose Mangin

Jose Mangin from Sirius XM introduces Mark Morton and guests prior to the #ZippoSessions – photo by Rockwell Anderson

And lastly, what you all want to see, pics of the bands performing

Written by Wes “Rockwell” Anderson

Photos by Melissa #MischievousMel Anderson and Wes “Rockwell” Anderson

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