In September 2008, just five months after its grand opening, Hard Rock Park filed for bankruptcy and ended its season early. Most of the employees for the park were laid off. However, the park still intended to reopen. However, instead FPI MB Entertainment would acquire the park's assets in early 2009 and the park would be reimagined into Freestyle Music Park.

Under its new name, the park underwent changes in management and attempted to rebrand itself with a focus on a broader spectrum of musical genres beyond rock. The new owners believed that certain elements of Hard Rock Park were not family friendly. Many rides were renamed, and the themed areas of the park were all replaced with new theming as well. The new owners also added a new children’s section to coincide with the intention of being more family oriented. 

Despite efforts to revitalize the park, Freestyle Music Park faced the same challenges that plagued its predecessor. The park opened for the 2009 season in May. Financial instability due in part to several lawsuits, coupled with low attendance, forced the park to close its gates once again at the end of the 2009 season. By April 2010, the park would face bankruptcy and foreclosure.  Although new investors were sought, the park would never open again. All-in-all, the park and its attractions operated for less than 12 months over its two seasons.

Hard Rock Park
Image: Remnants of Hard Rock Park via Google Earth February 2020

The park would sit standing but not operating for a few years before the rides within the park were sold. All the useable assets within the park were sold and removed by 2016. All that remains are a few buildings that once housed shops and restaurants throughout the park. Since then, the once vibrant and promising theme park has been left abandoned. 

The tale of Hard Rock Park serves as a cautionary story about the fragility of theme park ventures, even those with unique and creative concepts. As Myrtle Beach continues to evolve as a tourist destination, the abandoned ruins of Hard Rock Park and Freestyle Music Park remain as silent witnesses to the fleeting nature of dreams in the world of entertainment.


Add new comment

About Theme Park Tourist

Theme Park Tourist is one of the web’s leading sources of essential information and entertaining articles about theme parks in Orlando and beyond.

We are one of the world’s largest theme park guide sites, hosting detailed guides to more than 80 theme parks around the globe.

Find Out More About Us...

Plan Your Trip

Our theme park guides contain reviews and ratings of rides, restaurants and hotels at more than 80 theme parks worldwide.

You can even print them.

Start Planning Now...