M3 Rock Festival Is Back For 15th year! May 4 & 5 In Columbia, MD

The best rock festival highlighting ‘80s melodic rock is back for their 15th year! In 2024, M3 Rock Festival is being held on May 4th & 5th, at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. The event draws rockers from all over the country and beyond for a weekend full of live music and hanging out with friends. I’ve attended three of these festivals over the years, and it’s always one of the best weekends of the year, alongside the Monsters of Rock Cruise – which boasts a similar lineup and experience, which I am reporting from as of this writing.
The list of performers this year is just incredibly star-studded from start to finish. Saturday will begin with a group of young rockers from the Backstage Rock Academy Band, performing at the festival for the second time. Bringing the summertime feel to the festival are Fan Halen, who are dubbed “the world’s most authentic tribute to Van Halen” – well we’ll be the judge of that. Taking the Pavilion stage for the 3rd time are local heroes, Child’s Play. The group have only performed a handful of shows since their return yet each show has been incredible – they haven’t missed a beat. Get ready for a “Fantasy” as Grammy award-winning artist Aldo Nova hits the M3 Rock Festival. Bringing old school heavy metal from Germany is the always amazing, Doro. This killer frontwoman has always given great performances at the festival in years past and no doubt 2024 will be just as impressive.
Shred-sational rock band Lynch Mob are taking the MPP stage for one last time as they are currently on their final tour, to conclude in March 2025 on the Monsters of Rock Cruise. Another act that just performed on the MORC, Quiet Riot, are slated for Saturday evening at the Festival. If you love classic rock, especially Dio, you’re in for a treat at this M3 Rock Fest. The group Last In Line was founded by original Dio band members who perform a handful of Dio songs as well as their own original music. Ratt-frontman Stephen Pearcy has been touring heavily since his longtime project disbanded back in 2022. With a great band backing him, Pearcy is set to perform at the Festival just before the evening’s headliner, which brings me to the final band for Saturday. They’re heavy, they’ve got hooks, they’ve got a voice that can cut through anything – their Queensryche.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, Sunday’s lineup comes along. Kicking off the last day of the festival are Sun Dogs, a Rush tribute band. With a fully stacked ‘80s hard rock lineup, one might ask – why is this band on the bill? Every year the first day of the festival features the “KIX-off Party” with Baltimore icons KIX headlining the night. With their retirement taking place last year at this very venue, there will be no more
KIX-off Party. But fret not, you’ll still get a little KIX fix as Sun Dogs feature bassist Mark Schenker and guitarist Bob Pare who were both members of KIX.
Sunday features a sleaze rock morning with two L.A. bands, Pretty Boy Floyd and Faster Pussycat. After seeing Pussycat perform one late night on the Monsters of Rock Cruise, it will be a treat seeing the group play in daylight. In just a few days Cold Sweat will be releasing their first album in decades and they’ll be appearing at the M3 Rock Festival, with the full original lineup, in support of the release. Their performance at the festival will mark their first live show since August 2022.
Another act that I was lucky enough to see perform on the MORC are California’s own Y&T. With how long this band has been around, they still manage to sound as good as they did nearly 50 years ago – a feat that not many bands can achieve. The yellow & black attack, those dudes who throw bibles and riffs for days, Stryper, are back for more at the M3 Rock Festival. This next band managed to have hit after hit back in the day and remain one of the best live bands from the ‘80s – it’s Night Ranger.
The final performer for the festival is a real gem for any hair metal lover. Poison’s Bret Michaels is Sunday’s headliner of the M3 Rock Festival. “I’m truly excited to be back at M3,” said Michaels. “It’s a great rock festival, and I promise you I’m bringing all killer hits, no filler, and a big show! I want the fans to unleash their inner Rockstar.” Not only is Bret Michaels performing, but he is bringing a very special guest. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister will be joining the Poison frontman for an M3-exclusive performance.
Every year, M3 Rock Festival is such a fun time – between all the amazing shows, meet & greets, merch and even just the hangout time. If you’ve never attended, it’s certainly time to join in on the experience in 2024.

M3 Rock Festival Is Back For its 15th year! May 4 & 5 In Columbia, MD article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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