Massive Tailgating at Rock on the Range…an experience you won’t want to miss!!!!


Go to any concert or sporting event in the United States and you’ll surely see someone tailgating somewhere in the parking lot if not throughout. However when it comes to the largest rock concert in the country, Rock on the Range, just any old tailgating wouldn’t be sufficive enough. That is at least in the mind of Ryan Davidson.

Davidson came up with the idea of having one giant tailgating party instead of the several hundred (maybe thousands) that were strewn throughout the Columbus Crew Stadium parking facilities. So in February 2014 he started what has become known as The Massive Tailgating group on Facebook.

This wasn’t going to be a one man job so he so Davidson called up John Skidmore and Robert Woolley for help. Two weeks later Mike Corley joined the trio and together they were off and running working toward setting up the inaugural tailgating event at that year’s ROTR.

Most of those first few months leading up to ROTR was spent on getting members and coming up with a list of things for people to bring, libations, food and such. You know, all of the essential ingredients to hold a tailgate party.

Finally on Saturday the first tailgate went from an idea to an actual happening. Like anything, there were a few hiccups along the way. Perhaps the most glaring issue was that there was only one person who followed through with their commitment of bringing a grill. David Piatt stayed true to his word and provided the lone cooking apparatus, a table top grill.

But if you’ve ever been to Rock on the Range you know that wouldn’t put a damper on the party. Piatt slaved over his table top grill and prepared food for approximately 300 of the 900 people that were in attendance.

Member numbers more than doubled in 2015 and those who actually made it to the parking lot grew to 1,100. Piatt was more prepared this go round bringing a full sized propane grill to go with his trusted table top, which he used as a warmer.

John Brace was added as an administrator that year due to his recruiting efforts both years. Brace had the thought of creating a GoFundMe account to allow members to donate throughout the year. Many of the members had already shown interest in making donations to do their part because it was easier for them. ROTR has always drawn rock fans from coast-to-coast and throughout the world to Columbus and many of the folks wanted to be involved. And get involved they did, the account raised over $1,500 last year.

All proceeds went directly into the Massive Tailgating party, which blossomed to over 3,000 online members and 2,100 attendees.

As any good party goes, especially those at concerts, music plays a heavy part in the overall scheme of things. Enter one Ben Adams who brought up the idea of having a local act play for a set at the Massive Tailgate. Time was short to finalize any plans last year, but he had twelve months in which to work with to bring his idea to fruition for this year.

Just when he thought everything was in place, the band he had lined up backed out last month. However as luck would have it, he was able to secure another band, The World I Knew, out of Cincinnati to step in. I’ve never met Ben but I for one have to give him kudos because TWIK is one kick ass band and will definitely get the crowd Massive Tailgating folks ready for the rest of the day. They are slated to start playing at 10:00 a.m. Trust me; you don’t want to miss them.

The actual tailgating gets underway at 8 a.m. in the parking lot closest to the campgrounds. Although I’m sure there’ll be early arrivals. All funds raised this year will be divided up and donated to St. Jude, Fallen Officer Memorial Fund and You Rock Foundation.

Not only will there be the live music at the party compliments of the Massive Tailgating organizers but they are also teaming with Stephanie Reed of Rock Outlaws in co-producing the Rock At The Villa show at Alrosa Villa on Thursday night.

Rock At The Villa will feature a plethora of Columbus area bands headlined by Dread Engine, who will absolutely melt your faces. Also on the bill will be the Ultimate Ozzy Tribute, Cryptic, This Divine Tragedy, Zeroking, That Ship’s Sailed and Sever It All.

Tickets for the event are $10 in advance or $15 the day of the show. Tickets can be purchased from any of the bands as well as Eventbrite. Doors open at the famed venue at 5:30 p.m.

Massive Tailgating has continued to grow by leaps and bounds and now includes Saturday and Sunday gatherings. Some of the originals have moved on while others like Piatt have stepped up to assume duties as an administrator. He has also built and enclosed trailer that will house a generator and a refrigerator.

Shannon Brown and Morgan Neas have also been deemed administrators for the group. The latter has been influential in creating the group’s twitter account (@ROTR_Tailgate) as well as on Instagram (@massivetailgate).

With membership currently at 5,000+ and funds of over $2,000 raised thus far, the Massive Tailgating organizers is looking to welcome over 4,000 partyers to the event this year.

Go online and lookup all of the Massive Tailgating sites and get involved. Because as the old adage goes ‘the more the merrier’! I’m sure they’ll welcome you with open arms or perhaps even an open beer! Most likely both!

I look forward to seeing all of the Massive Tailgaters this weekend. Until then this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns up and rock on’!! \m/ \m/







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Larry Ritter About Larry Ritter

Hello my name is Larry Ritter, or “Big L” to most of my friends. I’m a production supervisor for a major manufacturer of auto parts here in northwest Ohio. I received an Associate’s degree from Owen’s Community College where I graduated cum laude honors. I have a true passion for music, sports, photography and riding motorcycles. My love for these things are surpassed by just one thing, family, which includes two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.

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