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Orlando’s WJRR knows how to throw a birthday bash

When people think of Orlando, Fla., the first thing that comes to mind is theme parks, fun and plenty of sunshine. Hosting a birthday party is no stranger to this city. Especially when it comes to celebrating the birthday of this planet, as Orlando’s premier rock station, WJRR hosts its annual Earthday Birthday bash. This year’s family-friendly event took place last Saturday, April 12 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds providing more entertainment value for the dollar than any day at one of the city’s theme parks.

Adrian Patrick of Otherwise joins the crowd and holds up a band flag given to him by a loyal fan.
Adrian Patrick of Otherwise joins the crowd and holds up a band flag given to him by a loyal fan. Chris Zambello
All walks of life at a rock festival
All walks of life at a rock festivalChris Zambello

In addition to the 36 bands performing simultaneously on four separate stages, the event featured a midway in which all rides were included with the price of admission. It was nice to see most patrons taking full advantage making this more of a festival than a rock concert. Also featured was a spectacular stunt show with some of the most talented motorcycle riders in the world. For those who like to just browse, the art walk was a perfect place to cool down and relax after headbanging in the hot sun for hours.

Of course, the main attraction is the music as Earthday Birthday marks the start of the concert festival season. WJRR promoters have for years done an amazing job booking national bands to perform and each year the line-up gets even better than the previous. This year was no exception with world-renowned headlining bands such as Alter Bridge, Lacuna Coil, Nonpoint, Cypress Hill, Otherwise, Filter and Fuel just to name a few. With each band pumping out their best hits along with their latest releases, it gave fans a chance to see their favorites perform at the top of their games.

Not all the entertainment is on the stage at festivals like these: if you’re a people-watcher, this is the place for you. There was certainly no shortage of costumes with everything from the tooth fairy to Captain America to the freakish of goth. Mohawks ruled the punk crowd and came in more colors than a box of crayons. There were more bikinis on display than Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

On a serious note, there was also a tent hosted by Rock Pink promoting awareness to breast cancer. This is an amazing group of people who raise money to help those who are undergoing chemotherapy feel a little more comfortable during their treatments. They do have a website where merchandise can be purchased and all proceeds help those who are fighting this terrible disease.

Those who made it out to the show couldn’t stop commenting how amazing the bands were and how much fun they were having. One woman exclaimed, “I drove for six hours just to see Otherwise and it was worth every minute of it! The rides, the food, the music, it’s a total blast!”.