Michigan Metal Festival Oigs Fest Returns with Diverse Lineup


Hate Unbound

Hate Unbound – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photo

Local Music Beat: Oigs Fest features a bevy of heavy metal bands from Michigan

Metal lovers, rejoice, as Oigs Fest is back for another year of metal mayhem. The Michigan metal festival returns to the Avenue Cafe in Lansing on April 1, featuring a blistering lineup of heavy bands from across the Mitten, as well as one Indiana act. This year’s lineup includes Throne, Hate Unbound (pictured above), The Glorious Dead, Blind Haven, Flood The Desert, The Mound Builders, Room 101, Ommnus, Witchfist, Slugchild and Misery Bay.

So, how did Oigs Fest get its start? As event organizer Bradley van Dutchman explains, it came as one annual metal event was winding down.

“Oigs Fest was conceived by the end of the long running metal fest Ogrefest,” he tells Audio Ink Radio. “My good friend David Peterman had created and curated that event for 10 years, and through trial and error, found a great flow and system for it. We were co-running the event the last couple years and he wanted to be done- understandably burnt out on running a day-long metal festival for 10 years that takes months to prepare along with other life factors at the time. So, with his permission I launched Oigs. It was a fresh fest, with a similar feel that was ran in a proven system that Dave had perfected.”

He adds, “I cut it down from being 14 to 20 bands and went for more of a shorter, consolidated fest. The goal was to keep the Ogrefest spirit alive and having some of the finest, heaviest acts from around the state. It’s a great location for the fest being in Lansing, so fans and bands from around the state can come and see a well-rounded representation for what our great musical state had to offer in a metal/rock/punk setting with some dashes of a few killer out of state bands.”

Oigs Fest took one year off in 2021 due to the pandemic. The 2020 edition actually happened just two weeks before everything shut down. Even with only one year off, bringing Oigs Fest back in 2022 was a special moment.

“Bringing it back was such an uplifting, life affirming event,” van Dutchman says. “People were there right from the doors swinging open and there was such a feeling of jubilation all evening. Live music is an integral part in most people lives that I know, and it was sorely missed for a long time.”

Looking at the Oigs Fest lineup, it’s very diverse. That’s not by accident.

“When looking at the roster for Oigs each year, I am vigilant to make sure there is not one dominate style,” van Dutchman says. “I love variety and want to make that’s represented. That being said, I look for bands I truly love in the metal and rock and punk world that I also know will be professional and play well with the other bands and work hard at promoting. I look at the whole bill to be a can’t-miss event from start to finish, instead of just relying on one or two acts. This is usually the public feedback I have always received- when people complain jokingly that there is no weak spot for them to get food or go smoke weed for a half hour, you’re doing something right.”

As for the future of Oigs, van Dutchman hopes to to branch out and bring more regional acts from Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio. “This has been touched on in the past with The Lurking Corpses, Stonecutters and Burial Party performing, and this year the intense Mound Builders from Indiana will be returning for their sophomore set on the fest,” he says. “This includes possibly booking some touring acts depending on schedules. I will continue to book bands from around our great state and make sure quality and variety is always present.”

“I am obviously stoked for the whole show, but I have not caught the newly formed Misery Bay yet, so that will be a treat,” van Dutchman adds regarding what he’s looking forward to this year. “It’s been years since I have seen The Glorious Dead out of Traverse City, so that will be killer. My good friends and possibly one of the most intense bands I have ever witnessed, Blind Haven, are coming back from a hiatus and this be their first show in three years, so I’m over the moon for that set. Throne and Hate Unbound are true pros and deliver ass-kicking sets every time, so I’m stoked to see them whip the crowd into a frenzy as co-headliners. The whole lineup flows well and should be a great time! We truly got something for everyone if your a rocker or metalhead.”

For more information on Oigs Fest and to find tickets, go here.

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Local Music Beat, Metal, Music