The Freestyle Music Park was a musically themed amusement park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. With over 50 rides and 5 roller coasters, it was one of the most prominent and unique amusement parks in South Carolina. Originally named the Hard Rock Park, it was rebranded in 2009 to the Freestyle Brand.
The original Hard Rock Park opened in 2008 to tumultuous reviews and fanfare, feature six “rock “environments” that each celebrated a different rock-music culture, lifestyle and musicians. These were the “All Access Entry Plaza,” “British Invasion,” “Born in the USA,” “Lost in the 70’s,” “Rock and Roll Heaven” and “Cool Country.” These different “sections” of the park each had their own unique amusement rides, restaurants and live shows to correspond to the overall theme of the section. One of the largest attractions of the park was the 10,000 seat amphitheatre where live shows and performances were held daily.
Following the rebranding to the Freestyle Music Park, the whole look and feel changed as well to correspond to the new “family friendly” environment the park wanted to emulate. This resulted in the park paying homage to various musical genres, rather than simply focusing on the various subcultures of rock. This led to the “sections” of the old Hard Rock Park to change to smaller sections focused around rock and roll, pop, beach music, disco, alternative, Christian, rhythm and blues, reggae and country.
Along with these overall “feel” changes, the names of the different rock environments changed: “Rock and Roll Heaven” became “Myrtle’s Beach,” a celebration of the Polynesian culture; “Born in the USA” became “Kids in America;” “Across the Pond” became the new name for “British Invasion;” “All Access Entry Plaza” was changed to “VIP Plaza” and “Cool Country” became “Country USA.” This was introduced to have the park be more representative, family friendly and diverse – thereby luring more people than the hard rock focused Hard Rock Park.
Finally the “Kids in America” section was changed into a specific children friendly section with specific rides, stores and music speaking to children. Subsequently, the rides were given names such as “Life is a Highway” and “Fly Like an Eagle” to correspond to the more humorous, entertaining and inclusive nature of the park.
Music remained the parks central focus and attraction till the end – with the various live shows and entertainment productions being the most visited parts of the park. The park had a total of 7 permanent shows when it was still the Hard Rock Park, and this changed to 6 when it changed to the Freestyle Music Park. The most famous three shows include: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” or “Kiss the Sky,” – a night-time fountain and water-show set to the music of Queen; “Ice House Theatre,” or “Ice Cold Country” – a rock themed show set on ice; and finally “Live Amphitheatre,” or “Stars Theatre” – the main headline acts which performed in the 10,000 seat amphitheatre.
It is therefore clear that the Freestyle Music Park, or the old Hard Rock Park, was one a landmark within Myrtle Beach – a truly unique and entertaining experience that is sadly no longer in existence.