The Rock USA music festival will return to Oshkosh, Wis. for the third year. The three-day music festival has been a success from its conception, featuring top acts such as KISS, Motley Crue, Shinedown, Kid Rock and Daughtry over the past two years. A fourth day has been added for the 2013 event from Wednesday, July 17 through Saturday, July 20 at Ford Festival Park.
Headliners for 2013 are Avenged Sevenfold, Bret Michaels, Godsmack and Van Halen for the four days, respectively. This should be Avenged Sevenfold's first show of 2013, they've been in the studio working on new material and last appeared in Wisconsin in late 2011 [review]. Likewise, Godsmack took a short hiatus after a grueling tour schedule while appearing on the 2012 UPROAR music festival [review] and headlining the MASS Chaos tour [review]. Van Halen canceled their stop in Green Bay last year after too much time on the road began to take its toll [review].
The only headliner in the bunch that doesn't fit is Bret Michaels, who was last seen headlining smaller casino theaters. Though Alice Cooper is not really headline material, he has tour dates in both Minnesota and Indiana in mid-July and would have trumped Michaels.
Rock USA did a good job aligning the artists this year, Friday's lineup of Godsmack, Chevelle and Sevendust is rock solid and will not disappoint. While Saturday's Van Halen and Ratt should appease 80s rockers. Avenged Sevenfold's live show is world class and they never fail to entertain. Saliva and Buckcherry do not fit the A7X mold, an artist like Deftones or Dave Draiman's Device would have been a more appropriate pick for the opening day.
Queensryche are in the midst of a court battle, there is no indication which incarnation of the lineup will be at Rock USA. One version features original vocalist Geoff Tate with a solid cast of musicians, while the other features Todd La Torre. This is an act where it's safe to say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Neither version can live up to the original.
Ticket options include two levels of VIP, both Gold and Silver, as well as general admission. All tickets are currently on sale. There will be a 72-hour discount for four-day passes for only $49 between March 11 and 13. Deluxe campsites are already sold-out but other options are still available.
Daily lineups for 2013 Rock USA, with some artists still to be announced. It competes directly with Rock Fest in Cadott, Wis. a couple hours away. Both festivals operate the same weekend. The lineup and Rock Fest can be found here.
Edited March 5, 2013: Rock USA announced on Facebook that Bret Michaels will not be performing "due to circumstances beyond our control. We are working on a new headliner and will post as soon as it is booked."
Wednesday, July 17: Avenged Sevenfold, Buckcherry, Saliava, TBA, TBA
Thursday, July 18: TBA, Queensryche, Great White, Slaughter, TBA
Friday, July 19: Godsmack, Chevelle, Sevendust, TBA, TBA
Saturday, July 20: Van Halen, Ratt, Jackyl, Dokken, TBA