Music fans turned away as Rebel Rock festival in Orlando canceled with little notice

ORLANDO, Fla. — Those getting ready to rock this weekend in Orlando will now have to find other plans.

A weekend long rock festival called Rebel Rock, which was set to kick into high gear on Friday, was suddenly cancelled leaving fans frustrated.

Concert organizers are blaming it on weather, saying the conditions of the fields were too bad to make it happen.

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But concertgoers who showed up to the Central Florida Fairgrounds said they don’t care about a little mud, and they will mosh in just about any conditions.

“Some dude from the parking lot just comes in and says, ‘hey, yo, it’s canceled.’ And he just walks away,” said ticket holder Gabriel Barbosa.

That’s how Barbosa and his friends said they found out Rebel Rock 2021 wasn’t going to happen.

He’s one of hundreds of people who showed up to the fairground hoping to see some of their favorite metal bands, only to be turned away.

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“Knocked loose is definitely number one for me, you know, that’s a, yeah, big love of mine,” said ticket holder Tony Raimondi.

The festival went through several lineup changes, after some bands pulled out or even cancelled their entire tours because of COVID-19. Limp Bizkit early on, and just this week, Incubus.

As people were showing up Friday afternoon, Rebel Rock posted on social media, “after this week’s severe weather and despite our crew’s effort to improve the ground conditions around the main stage over the last three days, our venue partner has deemed the area unfit for artists, crews, vendors, and fans.”

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From above Channel 9 could see large patches of mud on the fields in front of the main stage and around some other stages.

“All the other places, I’ve never had a problem with mud,” Raimondi said. “We get covered in blood and sweat. I mean, there’s moshing. It’s metal bands.”

Many left disappointed with their weekend plans ruined.

Officials with the Central Florida Fairgrounds released a statement Friday afternoon saying, “Unfortunately multiple issues lead to the cancelation of the event. But safety of the patrons was the most important thing we had to consider to lead us to that decision over everything.”

See more in the video above.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.