Lord of the Rings Online has a unique music system and battle weary players have taken a real liking to its nuances. ABC files number into the many thousands with music being played at any street corner and at all hours with genres ranging from Mozart, to Led Zeppelin. This could make for ripe event planning… Enter Weatherstock!
The idea of an event mimicking Woodstock New York’s 1969 legendary musical "happening" which drew 32 acts and an estimated 400,000 young people was hatched by The Lonely Mountain Bands own Dwarf of good standing named Bowlin sometime early in 2009. Seemed like a really good idea at the time! And LOTRO player event history was hatched.
Weatherstock, now in its 7th year is an epic 6 to 8 hour "Battle of the Bands" on Ammon Sul, or Weathertop in the Lone Lands. All for bragging rights AND large amounts of gold in prize monies too! Attendance has grown from 100ish in its first year to just over 900 in 2014. This verified by a software program counting unique names.
Live streaming has become popular especially for those with lesser computers. You get to see the whole thing and usually with fine commentary and no lag!. You can settle in at the Pony order a brew and down both with no commercials! We dont yet know with certainty how many use that function.
There has been concern for the server what with such large numbers, let it be known the planners have been working over the years with Warner Brothers/Turbine on this very issue. They actually use the event to test and improve server capacity which, by the way, was very stable handling 900 fans.
Bragging rights and copious amounts of gold in prizes have partially stimulated band participation, but it appears from feedback that it is the awesomeness of playing music to such crowds that draws them into competition. Attendees vote for the "Free Peoples Choice Award" with gold in prizes and The Lonely Mountain Band vote for the " Lonely Mountain Band Cup".
As for the atmosphere during Weatherstock, let’s start with vending! Bright yellow outfitted vendors roam the arena hawking ale, pipeweed, and eats for the thirsty crowd. And it’s all free! Light ale for relaxation to heavy ale for seeing double! The security team handles danger for those level 6 pioneers to Landroval, Tips for lag, advice, where to go for taxi and porting service, all things important to the new arrival. No need to chew your fingernails over what to do to get there.
And then there’s the stage crew. Probably the hardest working and most efficient team of all. They make Weatherstock the smooth running show it is! From MC-ing the event to emptying backstage trash, that’s their job. Bands want blue and red M&Ms only in the green room, the stage crew handles that. Bands want first billing! The stage crew handles that. just kidding, But they do have to time bands sets, call bands to the stage, and manage tons of other demanding things that pop up.
Audience participation.... is there any beside watching and voting? How about dancing, RP-ing, hooting and clapping! And this year we have three special treats for the audiences to participate in. They are pretty awesome.
This year promises to surpass all prior events if enthusiasm is any indication. For the first time we had 20 bands apply and have spent 5 weeks auditioning and paring the contenders down to 10.
Interest is high from our servers, and bands and their roadies are streaming in from many if not all of LOTROs 29 servers And, as usual, We all hope to see a record turnout! Why? It’s just plain great fun.
Festivities have been going now for the last 5 weeks as mentioned, but it reaches fever pitch On Weatherstock day! Gather at the Forsaken Inn an hour or two early and join a few hundred eager fans and bands in pre event festivities leading up to the....MOUNTED PROCESSION TO THE SUMMIT.
Here we enter the curious phenomena called LAG. It’s part of the ritual. You will receive announcements on what video settings to use. Hang in there! (pun) Once at the summit everyone finds a place to park, lag settles down, and prepare for a virtual show that only Weatherstock can provide!
There is so much going on! if you find this event called Weatherstock interesting please see this link on this very site for much more on times, places, and pertinent information.
Since LOTRO is free to play, anyone reading this can download, log in, and get a character past the intro by level 6 or so. Choose the Landroval server and your set.
Either head to the Bree South Gate or watch announcements in chat box for instructions, or head to the Lone Lands Via the road. Be careful in the Lone Lands if you’re low level! It’s leveled from the teens to the mid-twenties. Escorts provided via security team.
If Role Play intrigues you, if you are curious, if you like having a rollicking good time in-game, come and join us on the 25th and join in for LOTROs largest player run event. Again times and schedules found in link provided above!