Barely two months after hosting the biggest Welcome to Rockville in history, our fair city is saying goodbye to the festival. Rockville, which in May featured the likes of Tool, Incubus, Korn, Papa Roach and other 90s and early-2000s era fare–grunge, Nü Metal, Rap-rock, etc.–will move to Daytona International Speedway next year. Come May 2020, North Florida Alt-rock fans will be singing “Wish You Were Here” to this beloved fest.

Yes, this one certainly stings.

Let’s read from the press release through our tears, shall we?

As a result of Jacksonville’s continued development of the city’s downtown area, Metropolitan Park is no longer available to host the annual festival.After welcoming sold-out crowds of 90,000-plus the past three years, the move to Daytona International Speedway will allow Rockville to increase its audience capacity while at the same time providing more enhanced audience experiences. A recent $400 million dollar renovation of the Speedway and additional $200 million invested in the surrounding area in recent years has transformed the destination into a world-class facility, including numerous hotels within walking distance, many dining options and expanded space for camping, allowing Rockville attendees a convenient and well-rounded experience. 

Certainly this is a huge loss for Jacksonville. But dry your tears, you Freaks on Leashes! Don’t go cutting your life into pieces, there’s reason to hold out hope for Rockville’s return.

City spokesperson Nikki Kimbleton told the T-U that the city plans to bring the festival back in 2021. Let’s read from our local daily with a clear head and dry eyes.

“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,” city spokesperson Nikki Kimbleton said. “However, we look forward to working with the promoters and bringing it back home to Jacksonville and the new and improved facilities in 2021.”

And now back to the press for some info that might bring you to life:

“Welcome To Rockville might be leaving Jacksonville, but I’m not leaving Jacksonville behind,” says Danny Wimmer, founder of Danny Wimmer Presents. “This is where it all began – not just for Rockville, but for me. 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. I’m excited to have a larger site to work with that allows us the room to continue growing the festival experience. I hope all of our Jacksonville friends will join us in this next phase of Welcome To Rockville’s evolution.”

We’ll see goodbye for now to Welcome to Rockville.