Saturday, July 25, 2015
Rob “the metal guy” Rants About Metal #11
This week’s rant is going to be more focused on the business side of the metal industry, so if you were looking for me to poke fun at hair bands and analyze rockstar tantrums...you’ll have to wait until next week.
After reading comments Kerry King from Slayer made about why the Mayhem Festival wasn’t as successful this time around, I wanted try to figure out where the problem might be. I do know after Kerry King voiced his opinions about the Festival’s turnout, the co-founder of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival also voiced his thoughts about the issue. There seems to be this consensus that the bill wasn’t that strong and how the two stage set up did not really offer fans a great variety of bands.
When I looked at the Mayhem 2015 tour package I was impressed by the first two acts, Slayer and King Diamond. After those bands I did not find any other really compelling reason to attend. No offense, HELLYEAH is not a band that you would have so high up on a festival bill. Personally, I do not think they are a horrible sounding band, but I felt a more established and well recognized band should have been in the third slot. That might have added an extra boost of potential ticket buyers.
From what people associated with the festival seem to be saying, tickets were just not selling as expected. Supposedly, Slayer was able to sell out a venue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when they played with Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus, but with the Mayhem Fest they did not sell out the same venue. This continues to lead me to question why this festival failed to meet their target expectations?
I do have some possible theories that I will put forward here. First off, Slayer cannot save a festival alone. As the main headliner I do not believe Slayer was able to draw out all their fan base with this tour. I think some Slayer fans could have been dissatisfied with the billing and they know Slayer will tour around some other time with a smaller and more exciting tour package. Having King Diamond right behind Slayer was not a bad idea in the least bit, except for the fact that a good majority of the bands at the bottom part of the bill lacked major draw potential. King Diamond alone might have influenced me to attend the show nearest to where I live, however, I already saw King Diamond last October. Also, I did not have to sit through four or five bands I am not really into to finally see the King.
Now, the co-founder from Mayhem defended the smaller billing and fewer bookings of superstar metal acts by stating a current issue plaguing the music industry...lack of funds. Well, certain major labels are not exactly hurting and those pop stars are able to brainwash millions of their flock to come out to a show and hear a digitally fixed up performance. The metal industry, especially in America, just seems to be searching for a fair business model that can put together a strong festival to influence the common day metal fan to buy a ticket and feel like they are getting their money's worth.
So, does the Mayhem Festival’s failure to hit a finical home run mean the metal world is falling apart? No! I think local scenes are doing decent and most tours from your midlevel metal acts tend to bring out plenty a those headbanging fanatics. Right now I do not believe that the European style metal festival structure can be brought to America, but if a carefully crafted business strategy is put forth I think one day there might be a stronger possibility.
Alright folks, there is what I think about the whole metal festival business related topic. What is the correct answer to fixing this problem? Is there one? Let me know by leaving your comments below.
Cheers! Rob “the metal guy” \m/