Read more thoughts/impressions BELOW and see band pics from Warped and Mayhem (RIP).
While yes, you can exclaim “Who cares!? we have Knotfest in October!” — the truth is, you SHOULD care. Everyone in this scene should care. Here’s why: Mayhem Festival was one of the last large touring METAL festivals in the United States. It coming to an end means what for our genre? Having someone like Kevin Lyman blame the actual scene for a failing metal festival means what? It means that as a scene we have not made a huge amount of progress. Perhaps we can blame heavy metal elitists or the younger kids for ruining metal, or the old folks for not liking metalcore, point is, this summer, there has been a lot of playing the blame game and not nearly enough people taking responsibility for their actions, for failing ticket sales, for failing the metal scene and community as a whole.
If the scene continues to divide amongst itself our scene will die. More and more metal festivals, tours, and bands will fail. There will be nothing left, and yes, that sounds like a joke NOW, but when’s the last time you heard a new Disco group come out? You haven’t. Because it’s dead. That could potentially be metal if this scene doesn’t clean it’s act up. If bands like Slayer don’t actually ever meet bands they’re touring with only because they’re playing the smaller stages, if band members don’t draw the correct line in the sand between underage fan and lustful interest, if mental illness is unsuccessfully addressed within bands, and if bands allow themselves to be destroyed by drug or alcohol addictions.
pics by June Aispuro and Marcus Meyer