COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Play at Rock on the Range or walk in your high school graduation? 

Two graduating seniors from Olentangy Orange High School, Cameron Dickson and Hayden Kissler, were faced with that dilemma. Their band, Pray For Sleep, won a contest to play the same stage as some of the biggest names in rock music on Sunday, the same time as commencement. 

They decided to skip the cap and gown to perform at one of the biggest rock festivals in the country.

“It’s a better stage to walk across,” said Dickson. “It’ll be super fun, so we’re not too hurt about it. It’s a good opportunity.”

Dickson said they have the support of their school and principal, chasing their dream of becoming career musicians. 

“A bunch of opportunities are opening up and it’s awesome,” he said. 

But, for some of the band members, it’s not their first time playing at the festival.

“Last year, Reno, when Hayden played at Rock on the Range for Papa Roach in the marching band and he was like, ‘Dude, wouldn’t that be insane if we played next year?’ and we were all like, ‘Yeah, it’d be cool, but what are the chances?’ Next thing you know, we’re playing,” said Dickson. 

After trying out and being rejected by other festivals, they didn’t give up and carry a message of hope to all of their fans. 

“We hope that everyone enjoys the show whether they know us or not,” said Reno Houston. “Our message is we are not alone. We’re all in this together. We’re in this fight together. We’re all going to get past this together.”

Pray For Sleep isn’t stopping at Rock on the Range. They will be headlining the Olentangy Summer Bash at Olentangy High School on June 30th. The band is also performing at a free cancer benefit (18 & up) at Muddy Creek Saloon on May 26th. 

Click here for Rock on the Range tickets.