History of Rock the Park
In 2003, Jones Entertainment Group (JEG) had a vision to create something London had never seen before, something special for London and surrounding area residents to feel at home at. They called this “Rock the Park”. Rock the Park was a brand new music festival in the heart of downtown London in Harris Park, with the beautiful Thames River running alongside. It encompasses some of London’s greatest landmarks and is home to a short walk to downtown London, home of some of the greatest restaurants and bars before and after concert hours.
Jones Entertainment Group initially created Rock the Park to raise funds for Bethany’s Hope Foundation in progressing research for Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD). When the effects of this terrible disease hit close to home, claiming the life of seven year old Bethany McIntyre, friendship and hope came together with the vision to “Rock for a Cure”. In the first twelve years of the festival, through the support of dedicated fans and a love for music, Rock the Park proudly reached over $2.2 million dollars in hopes of finally finding a cure. In 2016, Bethany’s Hope Foundation shifted gears and stepped away from Rock the Park in order to concentrate fully on a national awareness and family support campaign that will take the organization from coast to coast over the next three years. JEG is extremely proud of the progress and success Bethany’s Hope Foundation has achieved thus far, and wishes all the best and future success to their entire team. With that said, JEG is thrilled to have Big Brothers Big Sisters of London & Area, Humane Society of London & Middlesex, and Make A Wish Southwestern Ontario as our charitable partners of choice. To date, Rock the Park has now raised close to $4 million for local charities.
Rock the Park spent its first 10 years catering to the Classic Rock demographic, which continued to bring back loyal fans annually. In 2014, Rock the Park added its first ever Country Music night, what a night that was! With over 11,000 fans packed in the park, JEG knew it was time to explore various genres of music to appeal to a larger London crowd and grow our festival to cater to all music fans for at least one night each.
By adapting to change with country, Rock the Park knew it had to cater to other demographics and genres as well. In 2016 a new pop/retro night was created with Flo Rida and Nelly, which progressed to SOLD OUT 90’s show in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Integrating different genres on different nights has allowed visitors to be able to attend at least one night of the festival based on their likes.
For 2024, RBC Rock the Park will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. The festival has had over 675,000 attendees over the past 19 years and raised over $4 million for local charities and will continue on with its tradition as being one of the most anticipated outdoor summer festivals in Canada. It truly is about having a great time with friends, bringing back great memories and creating new ones. Each year we strive to make the festival better than the year before with an overall improved atmosphere, ultimately creating the perfect fan experience!
A BIG thank you to all of our RBC Rock the Park Fans and Sponsors for supporting us and let’s make our 20th anniversary the best one yet!