HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

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HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby Gutterflower » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:07 am

HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS PROLIFERATE ACROSS EUROPE:

July 12, 2007

It's summertime, so plenty of heavy metal and hard rock festivals and tours are rolling across America, shaking the rafters with loud guitars and screaming fans. But for all the hoopla surrounding OzzFest, Warped Tour, Sounds Of The Underground and other traveling rock and roll circuses, not to mention the steady growth of annual events like the New England Metal And Hardcore Festival, there are even greater numbers of heavy music festivals in England and across Europe that are attracting tens of thousands of fans per weekend and making an even greater cultural impact. Volume-driven events like Wacken Open Air, Download and Graspop have become the major destinations for headbangers of all persuasions.

"The festivals are getting more and more important because the people come together from everywhere, and the Open Airs are becoming a real happening for the fans from different places and countries," declares Atrocity frontman Alex Krull. "Actually the audience is becoming the 'star' and not just the band playing on stage. Some festivals last for several days, and the people are celebrating together, joining the metal markets, or making new friends."

Singer Doro Pesch, who is based both in New York and Dusseldorf, Germany, believes there are more festivals overseas because the demand is greater. "I think that people are really into metal and rock again, almost like it used to be in the '80s," she observes. "The festivals are sometimes sold out in a couple of days. The time is good for our kind of music again. It's really, really great."

During the '80s, Monsters of Rock at Castle Donington in England was the festival to play, then by the early '90s it was the Dutch three-day extravaganza Dynamo Open Air. There were few festivals then, but by the late '90s, when Monsters of Rock had disappeared and Dynamo was experiencing various financial and logistical problems before its eventual demise, other events had sprouted up to carry the torch. These included the burgeoning Wacken Open Air in Germany, now the largest metal festival in Europe with 65,000 attendees, although it has plenty of growing competition from similarly minded events like Graspop (in Belgium), Fields of Rock (Holland), With Full Force and Bang Your Head (Germany) and Sweden Rock. And larger mainstream events like England's Download, which drew an estimated 80,000 people this year, also pull in a strong headbanger contingent.

Wacken is certainly a beacon of metal for Europe. "Over 60,000 metal fans will make their yearly pilgrimage to the small town of Wacken and make it the metal capital of the world," declares Jaap Wagemaker, A&R and head of promotion for Nuclear Blast Records. "People are flying in from Australia, Scandinavia, Japan, South America and the USA to be there." This year's headliners include Blind Guardian, Saxon, Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, and In Flames, and there will be special reunion shows from Possessed and Sacred Reich.

The sheer diversity of the festival rosters is what makes so many of these events so intriguing to seasoned American rockers. Take the first day of Graspop at the end of June as an example: The lineup featured Aerosmith, Within Temptation, Papa Roach, Celtic Frost and Thin Lizzy. Download (at Donington) featured three stages with acts as widespread as Linkin Park, Iron Maiden, Bowling For Soup, Napalm Death, Porcupine Tree and Buckcherry.

For many music fans in both Europe and America, Germany is the heavy metal homeland, with traditional metal still flourishing through fast-fading trends, unlike in America where it went underground for a decade. "I think in Europe the traditional metal bands are a little bit bigger, and here the new kind of metal bands are bigger," notes Pesch. "They get more support from radio and media, and in every city in America you have rock radio stations. In Europe radio airplay is very limited. In Germany there is no rock radio at all, and if they call it rock radio, it's still the Top 40. They would never play the heavier stuff."

Perhaps as a reaction to this radio silence, Germany really celebrates the diversity within the genre. Beyond the massive, multi-faceted metal festivals, there are those that cater to genres like extreme metal, Goth and crossover medieval music. Larger mainstream events can also cater to metal fans with heavier headliners, like England's Download and Germany's combined Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, which Krull says brought 150,000 people this past month with such bands as Linkin Park, Korn and Evanescence. And those were fit in with more pop oriented artists like Amy Winehouse, Paolo Nutini and the Dave Matthews Band.

"Last year's headliners were Metallica," says Krull. "In Europe there are some festivals like that where metal groups and commercial alternative, pop and rock acts playing on the same bill," including Dutch events like Pinkpop, Lowlands and Dauwpop.

There are also plenty of middle tier and up and coming festivals generating a healthy buzz, including Bloodstock Open Air (England), Gods of Metal (Italy), Rock Hard (Germany), Hellfest (France), Rockwave (Greece) and Nummirock (Finland). Then there's Metal Camp, a five day Slovenian festival in mid-July with camping in a countryside environment. "Definitely the perfect combination of vacation and metal, silence and noise in perfect harmony," describes Blind Guardian frontman Hansi Kursch.

There is a downside to the outdoor nature of summer festivals. Krull notes that having a lot of people can equal a lot of problems, particularly in terms of having a big camping site with toilets and showers, plus the responsibility of cleaning up after thousands of people. "That means the big Open Airs have to charge more money," the towering frontman explains. "The drink and food prices are sometimes too high, as well as the camping and parking tickets. Some festivals have big sponsors, or they produce their own merchandise to make money and reduce the costs."

Unlike some American festivals -- rumors have persisted for years of OzzFest's pay-to-play approach to bring aboard young bands craving the exposure -- the European festivals tend to pay most of their performers, even if the fees are not very high for the opening acts, according to many seasoned metal performers.

"The higher your position on a billing, the more money you will get," explains Kursch. "For us as a band, festivals are far easier to calculate in terms of expenses and financial risk in direct comparison to a regular indoor show.

Some view the whole festival circuit with a little more cynicism. "Are they that important?" ponders veteran UK journalist and radio DJ Malcolm Dome. "I'm none too sure. In general, they seem to have become a moneyspinner for promoters. However, there is a school of thought which says that these sort of events celebrate the continuing success of metal and its heritage."

"Overkill already said it: In union we stand!" decrees Wagemaker. "That is exactly what we do for almost three months in a row. We have festivals going on almost every weekend, so you meet the fans, bands and people from the press and the industry."

There are added benefits for labels as well: "These events are the perfect places to present your newest signings live in front of a potential fanbase, so for us it is very important to be present there and have our bands playing. These festivals are also the perfect places to spread as much promo material as possible. Where do you find so many fans other then there?" And with many metal disciples often trekking from one festival to another, a buzz can build around certain bands that continually attract people's attention.

Naturally, exposure is a key reason to play any festival, and it can reap big dividends. "When you are playing to so many people at once, the effect is immediate upon your sales and overall exposure," remarks David DeFeis, frontman for Virgin Steele, a Long Island-based metal band with a solid European following. "Remember that all the magazines are there, and almost everyone in the audience these day has a camera and or some type of recording device, so you are all over the Internet within hours."

"At the end of the day our Wacken shows turn into magic moments," states Kursch. "Festivals seem to supply people with stronger memories than a regular concert does. A festival is the best opportunity for us to convert people who do not know us or do not like our albums. Believe it or not, people like that still exist�"

Courtesy of www.grammy.com
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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby mrmetal » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:06 am

I did go to the Texas Madfest this weekend. At least one night and got to see Krucible and Outworld. Rusty Cooley is pretty awesome to see live and Lance King (Pyrmaze and Balance of Power) is a vocal god. Plus, Krucible did a kicking version of Take Hold of the Flame.

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby PoetsandMadmen » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:00 pm

mrmetal wrote:I did go to the Texas Madfest this weekend. At least one night and got to see Krucible and Outworld. Rusty Cooley is pretty awesome to see live and Lance King (Pyrmaze and Balance of Power) is a vocal god. Plus, Krucible did a kicking version of Take Hold of the Flame.


I heard about that. I believe Krucible covered a Balance of Power tune or two didn't they? One of the co-promoters is a regular on the ProgPower Forum, so he's been giving the downlow about Madfest for months now. I wish that there was an honest to goodness melodic hard rock festival like England's Firefest here in the states though.

~Brian~

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby mrmetal » Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:26 pm

Yeah they did one that I recognized. I wasn't sure what to think of seeing Outworld, but again, seeing a band live puts a whole new perspective on things.

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby harddriver » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:34 pm

Hey who needs some stinking European Metal festval when you got Brett , Stephen and the Poison boys Rattin and Rollin all across the United States :D :wink: All we ever get here is that lame ass Ozzfest and that gets worse year after year.

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby mrmetal » Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:33 am

That is why you need to join the dark side. There are always metal show going on in the underground. ;)

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby PoetsandMadmen » Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:55 pm

mrmetal wrote:That is why you need to join the dark side. There are always metal show going on in the underground. ;)


Very true. There's more metal happening that people are aware of, but they still want to be fed by MTV/VH1 and it just isn't going to happen.

By the way, Symphony X has landed on the Billboard top 200! I'm very proud of our boys! \nn/ I'll be seeing them in Atlanta, along with Sanctity and Echoes of Eternity soon!

Mr. Metal, are they coming to Houston?

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby mrmetal » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:01 pm

Yes indeed, but I am not sure if I am going to be here or not. Will have to see.

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby PoetsandMadmen » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:05 pm

It should be a killer show! Check out Echoes of Eternity if you haven't already. It took me a couple of spins to get into it, but once I did, I loved it!

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby Gutterflower » Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:48 pm

Giving this post a BIG bump - will you be attending this, Metalhead? :P

TRIUMPH REUNITES FOR SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL

January 18, 2008

TRIUMPH REUNITES FOR SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL 2008

In 1975 Rik Emmett, Mike Levine and Gil Moore formed the Canadian power trio Triumph. They built a large and loyal fanbase by the late '70s on the strength of their non-stop touring schedule throughout Canada and the USA and the success of their classic albums, 'Rock & Roll Machine' and 'Just A Game.' But it was in the 1980's when Triumph truly became a force to be reckoned with, as a string of gold/platinum-certified albums ('Progressions of Power,'Allied Forces,' 'Never Surrender,' and 'Thunder Seven') and classic hits ("Fight the Good Fight," "Magic Power", "Lay It On The Line") solidified the group as one of rock's top concert attractions.

www.triumphmusic.com

TICKETS TO SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL 2008

The regular 3-day and 1-day tickets will be released no later than January 25.

Until then, you can still buy the special "December-Ticket" where you will get a free special CD and be a part of the competition where you can win very nice prices!

This ticket is for all 4 days and limited to 10.000.

CONFIRMED BANDS SO FAR:

JUDAS PRIEST (UK)
DEF LEPPARD (UK)
TRIUMPH (CAN)
WHITESNAKE (UK/US)
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA (US) former members of ELO and ELO Part II
BLUE OYSTER CULT (US)
SAXON(UK)
TESTAMENT (US)
JOE SATRIANI (US)
TESLA (US)
AT THE GATES (S)
DERRINGER BAND (US)
MINISTRY (US)
HAVANA BLACK (FIN)
THE BLUES BAND (UK)
COHEED & CAMBRIA (US)
CARCASS (UK)
HENSLEY/LAWTON & LIVE FIRE (UK)
DARE (UK)
ULI JON ROTH (D)
SHAKIN' STREET (FR)
ELAKELAISET (FIN)
GOTTHARD (CH)
MUSTASCH (S)
SABATON (S)
LIZZY BORDEN (US)
BONAFIDE (S)
SONIC SYNDICATE (S)
GLYDER (IRL)
FASTWAY (UK)
AXEWITCH (S)
FIVE FIFTEEN (FIN)
ASTRAL DOORS (S)
AVATAR (S)
VOLBEAT (DK)
H.E.A.T. (S)
NEGATIVE (FIN)

Buy the limited 4-day ticket here

Courtesy of www.swedenrock.com
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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby BigD » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:29 am

Wow! What a line up.

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby MetalHead » Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:16 am

I could go only to see At The Gates :twisted:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=8OsNh-l_e9g
"Spend less time chasing tones and more time just playing music." - Marty Friedman

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Re: HEAVY METAL FESTIVALS ROCK EUROPE

Postby Shadow » Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:35 pm

Yeah, what an pretty impressive list of music artists/bands at this Music Fest in Europe so mentioned above: for sure JUDAS PRIEST is the headliner! Peace. :o 8O

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