Heavy metal fans of Alberta have something to look forward to next month.
The Farmageddon Open-Air metal festival, taking place from June 11 to 14 outside of Ryley, Alta., will see 44 of Canada’s hardest-working metal acts take the stage and deliver crushing music spanning all sub-genres.
“It’s the largest English heavy metal open-air in Canada. This is our third year running,” said Tyson Travnik, event organizer. “There will be everything from black metal to death metal to power metal to folk metal, you name it.”
Travnik said a big reason for the festival is to lend a hand to bands he feels put the most effort into their musical goals throughout the previous year by giving them a chance to gain exposure with fans they otherwise wouldn’t be able to play for. They’ll also get the opportunity to play with more established groups who will be headlining on the main stage.
Farmageddon doesn’t necessarily look for acts that draw the biggest crowds, but for those who meet the festival’s set of criteria, the most important of which is how hard they promote themselves and how much material they produce each year.
“(Also) keeping a good relationship with your sound techs and your promoters and other bands, don’t over play, don’t under play, be professional with your setup, all that good kind of stuff,” said Travnik.
The concept for the festival came about when Travnik, who is also a studio engineer, owns his own heavy metal production company and plays drums for two of the bands on the weekend’s lineup, worked as a sound tech at the Metal Mountain Festival in Hinton.
After seeing the amount of interest in that event he came up with the idea of Farmageddon as a chance to support local independent acts, as well as bring in bigger out-of-country bands that don’t normally play Canada.
“Most of the support bands are from Canada, but our headliners, we want to surprise people every year with who we’re bringing in so it’s almost a shock. Bands that never play here or rarely play here,” he said. “Our three top tier bands are Grim Reaper from the U.K., Incantation from the States and Pall Bearer, who are from the States as well.”
Some of the new features this year will include a Nintendo 64 tournament that will be held at the festival grounds and a major increase in food vendors. There will be a few surprises that he wouldn’t elaborate on as well but he said the biggest draw is how much they’ve increased the lineup in the last few years.
The festival is also 100 per cent mosh friendly,Â so if you’re a heavy metal fanatic, head to Ryley next month and prepare for a weekend in the pit.