Major Metal Festival Teasing a Comeback


Summer concert festival. Now, a major metal festival is teasing a comeback, and when it happens, it'll be huge.

A major metal festival is teasing a comeback  РAuthor Anne Erickson, Photo via Anne Erickson

Music can bring up all sorts of feels, good and bad, and it’s always rough when a beloved music festival calls it quits. But, on the other side of that, it’s a great thing when that music or metal festival makes a comeback. Now, a major metal festival is teasing a comeback, and when it happens, it’ll be huge.

Metal Festival Teasing a Comeback

This particular metal festival has been absent since 2015. So, it’s been almost a decade since it rocked the states. At the time, it was one of the biggest, and only, touring metal festival.

Mayhem Festival is that touring festival. The annual touring run took place from 2008 to 2015, and now, organizers are teasing its return. In fact, organizers wanted to bring it back a few years ago, but that was right before the pandemic hit, putting a stop to touring for years. Back in 2019, festival organizers said a return was in the works, but it all got stalled during the pandemic.

Past performers on Mayhem Festival included King Diamond, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot, Cannibal Corpse, Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage, Behemoth, Amon Amarth, Megadeth, Godsmack, Rob Zombie, Butcher Babies, Memphis May Fire and many more.

Currently, the festival is being organized by Sumerian Records‘ Ash Avildsen, who is resurrecting the Summer Slaughter tour. So, expect plenty of Sumerian artists on this metal festival.

To get fans pumped up, the Mayhem Festival Instagram page posted an Instagram story showing a grinning blue skull with glowing green eyes with the text, “announcement next week [crystal ball emoji]” near the middle of the graphic. The official Instagram account’s bio also reads, “announcement next week” and “settle the score in ’24.”

The most recent Mayhem Festival lineup brought Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah and The Devil Wears Prada on the main stage. The second stage that year features Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, Jungle Rot, Sister Sin, Sworn In, Shattered Sun, Feed Her to the Sharks, Code Orange and Kissing Candice.

I’ve attended the Mayhem Festival many times, and I have to say that I believe there has been a void in metal touring festivals since it went away. What made Mayhem so unique was that it featured both classic acts, usually on the main stage, and then up-and-comers on the second stage. Plus, even though it was a metal festival, some of the side acts were in some neighboring genres, so it was always interesting to discover new sounds on the tour. Finally, Mayhem Festival was a day-long event, which is rare when it comes to touring festivals. That’s another aspect of the festival that I really enjoyed. So, having Mayhem Festival back will get two thumbs-up from me. But, as much as I like Sumerian artists, especially Bad Omens, I hope Avildsen branches out and is open to booking acts outside of the Sumerian roster. It will really add to the festival experience to have a range of different acts, and labels, represented on the bill. It would be great to feature some indie metal bands, too.

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Metal, Music, Rock News