The organizers of the Fort Rock music festival have announced that they’re moving the event from Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale for 2018.

See what they did there?

The decision was roundly condemned on the Fort Rock Facebook page with concert-goers calling the move “not cool”, “bs” and stating that the change of venue would “destroy a wonderful thing that brought the entire community together.”

Fort Rock held its event at jetBlue Park for five consecutive years, but last year in particular people reported to the Gateway Sun that the crowd sizes were much smaller than they expected.

The 2017 lineup of music bands was also relatively weak compared to prior years, and the event organizers raised ticket prices. These factors may or may not have contributed to the smaller turnout.

The event will now take place at Markham Park next year on April 28-29. The lineup will be announced next month.

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Its a shame to lose this event. Any time you can bring over 10,000 people to the Gateway area it can only mean good things for the businesses in our community and parts of Fort Myers.

But I specifically remember looking at the line-up last year and felt as though the promoters were mailing it in.

My wife has attended Fort Rock every year for the past 3 or 4 years, but she said she won’t be making the trip to Fort Lauderdale. Based on the scathing FB feedback, it sounds like many people from Southwest Florida who looked forward to the annual rock music event have also decided not to attend next year.

Ultimately the promoters won’t care. They’ll be drawing from an audience 20 times the size over on the east coast of Florida.

As long as they secure a line-up of better acts than they did last year, they should have no problem increasing ticket sales.

And if not, they can always just move the event to Fort Wayne or Fort Worth.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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