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Photos: Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival

Matt Ellis Matt Ellis Photos: Sonic Temple Art & Music FestivalPhotos by Matt Ellis.
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It may have a new name, but the first ever Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival grabbed the baton from Rock on the Range and took off running. Music fans from all over the world flocked to MAPFRE Stadium for guitars, screaming men, crowd surfing, overpriced drinks and the disruption of some typically unpredictable Ohio weather.

The festival opened its gates early on Friday morning as around 40,000 people trickled in and made their way to one of the three stages strategically located around the MAPFRE Stadium grounds.

Local junior-rockers Radattack opened up proceedings on the Wave stage while the likes of Avatar, Beartooth, Pussy Riot, Halestorm, Ghost, System of a Down and a show-stealing performance from Tom Morello also took place.

A toasty-hot Saturday saw sunburns aplenty throughout the healthy looking crowds. Onstage, Columbus’ retro-rock future stars, Black Coffee, opened up the main stage before Fever 333 performed an electrified set that no one will forget any time soon.

Other Saturday highlights included Papa Roach, Mark Lanegan Band, Gojira, The Cult, and headliners Disturbed.

High winds and the threat of thunderstorms played havoc with Sunday’s schedule as an entire stage had to be shutdown for safety, sadly causing the cancellation of six bands scheduled to perform.

Two stages remained open as standout performances from The Struts, Yungblud, The Interrupters and The Hives kept most of the attendees happy — until the impending doom of the weather got a bit too close and organizers were forced to evacuate the Stadium. Much to the displeasure of the fans and a bemused looking The Hives band, who were less than a minute from finishing their set.

The delay meant the axe for The Distillers, Chevelle and Bring Me The Horizon.

The storm passed, the winds died down and the gates reopened just in time for people to flock back into the stadium to see rock and roll legends Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and an epic festival ending two hour set from the Foo Fighters.

Matt Ellis is a freelance photographer who covers bands that visit the city and the Columbus Crew MLS team. More about Matt can be found on his Instagram page.

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