There was a lot going on at this year’s Rocklahoma Festival besides music; performances were canceled due to inclement weather; a man accidentally shot himself; and a pair of 20-year-old men went missing after attending the concert.
Tornados and heavy rain were whipping through the area, causing the cancellation of some acts on Saturday, including Linkin Park and Volbeat. Mayes County Emergency Management director Johnny Janzen told PryorDailyTimes.com: “In a tornado situation, they typically tell you not to get in your vehicle. However, there are no substantial structures at Rocklahoma that will house everyone. Metal poles make tents an unsafe option in the presence of lightning. So, really, your vehicle may be the safest option.” There were an estimated 30,000 people attending the festivities on Saturday who needed to find shelter.
Also on Saturday, the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office said that a man put a pistol in his waistband, and it accidentally went off, shooting him in the abdomen. There is no update on his condition, but he is expected to survive. Guns were not supposed to be allowed in Rocklahoma, but the sheriff’s office said that the Rocklahoma security staff did not have metal detectors or the means to fully search every car that entered the area. They anticipate filing charges on the victim.
And, two 20-year-old music fans who attended the festival in Pryor are missing. Cody Parrick and Ben Babar were last seen on Friday night, when they were supposed to leave the event for work but never made it. They were driving a silver 2005 Pontiac Montana minivan. Anyone with information concerning the two men’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Okmulgee Sheriff’s Office. As of press time on Thursday, they are still missing.