UPROAR Festival brings rockers and charity to cities

Rock ‘n’ roll and activism are not new phenomena. From protest songs of the 1960s to modern foundations such as To Write Love On Her Arms, music has played an important role in raising awareness of social problems. For the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival, the issue being addressed is child abduction.

Rock royalty · UPROAR Festival participants include popular metal acts such as Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Halestorm, Hellyeah and Hail the Villain. The city-touring festival will feature these acts and will also donate some of the proceeds to Child Find of America. - Katrina MacGregor | Daily Trojan

The UPROAR team has partnered with Child Find of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and investigation of kidnapping cases as well as helping the families of victims. Together they have developed an awareness campaign, including covering tour buses with photos of missing children and a text message-based donation system. A portion of UPROAR ticket sale proceeds go to Child Find of America as well.

This partnership came about after John Reese, co-founder of UPROAR and father of three, expressed concern for abduction.

“After the Chelsea King tragedy, we made a conscious decision that we were going to make strong efforts to help ensure that something like that doesn’t happen again,” Reese said in a press release. “Working with and supporting Child Find of America is something that is very near and dear to our hearts.”

Executive Director of Child Find of America Donna Linder also expressed her excitement about the partnership. She is said she is looking forward to “opening an avenue to offer prevention and safety tips to a difficult-to-reach age demographic.”

This is the UPROAR festival’s first run, but not Reese’s first experience with festivals. Along with Vans Warped Tour mastermind Kevin Lyman, Reese also co-founded the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, which operates during the summer season.

Though Mayhem carried heavier artists such as Slayer and Rob Zombie, UPROAR is more radio-rock friendly. The lineup boasts headliners Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold, both widely successful bands with plenty of fresh material to perform. Each band’s new album has received generally positive reviews and demonstrate growth for both acts since their respective starts in the late ’90s.

Disturbed is one of the top-selling hard rock acts in recent decades, selling more than 11 million albums and counting worldwide. The recently released Asylum is the band’s fourth consecutive album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart. The band has been a friend to Reese for several years, taking part in past legs of Mayhem and producing the Music as a Weapon tour together.

Nightmare, the new disc from Southern California natives Avenged Sevenfold, also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart. Making the album proved to be a difficult time for the band, as its drummer passed away before recording was complete.

“After recently finishing up our new record we were not sure if we were going to continue touring,” lead singer M. Shadows said on the UPROAR website. “We got a call from our friends at UPROAR and decided this would be the best way to introduce our fans to the new album.”

Playing alongside the two powerhouses on the main stage is Grammy-nominated Stone Sour and up-and-coming East Coast outfit Halestorm. On the accompanying Jägermeister Mobile Stage, bands Hellyeah, Airbourne, Hail The Villain and New Medicine will perform. The UPROAR festival will also feature one different Jägermeister Battle of the Bands winner in each city.

As if these hard-hitting artists aren’t enough to fulfill one’s quota for intensity, the festival is also holding a wrestling tournament. Sponsored by the Blue Collar Wrestling Alliance, there will be more than 200 matches at the 36 stops where top wrestlers from the Alliance will face off. After the tour’s seven-week run, the athlete who has conquered all others will be deemed king of the tournament.

In order to experience the full effect of the UPROAR festival, arriving to the show early is key. Activities will occur throughout the late afternoon to keep fans busy, including the wrestling matches, band signings, clothing and instrument vendors. The festival will make a stop at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, Calif., on Friday. Tickets range from $20 to $79 and can be purchased on the tour’s official website, rockstaruproar.com.