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‘Mayhem Festival’ Co-Founder Kevin Lyman Says Greed & Age Of Metal Bands Could End The Fest


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Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival‘ co-founder Kevin Lyman (who also heads up the ‘Vans Warped Tour‘) gave a rather blunt assessment of this year’s edition of the ‘Mayhem Festival‘ and its future to Detroit Free Press. As Lyman put it: “I mean, Mayhem, it’s at risk of going away at any given moment.” Further delving into this years struggles, which have included cancelled shows and downgraded venues, he explained:

“The bands at the top all demand a certain level of fee to be on tour. Unlike punk rock, metal never knows how to take a step back to move the whole scene forward. That’s how punk rock was. That’s how we nurtured punk rock. Bad Religion would take a little less than they could on their own to bring the whole scene forward, so we could make sure we had a good (touring) package around them. Metal doesn’t seem to have that concern, never has, never has since I was working in the clubs in the ’80s. It’s always about a me, me, me thing.”

He further suspects age and the lack of new talent ascending the ranks also plays a role:

“What happened was metal chased girls away because what happened was metal aged. Metal got gray, bald and fat. And metal was about danger. When you went to a metal show, it was dudes onstage; there was some danger in it.”

In regards to the lineup being smaller than past years, he explained:

“Yeah, we had to condense it. The expenses of putting on those shows had gotten high, so we had to push it all into the concourses. They [venues] don’t want to build a fence outside [for third and fourth stages] anymore. Those things cost money.”

Given the strength of other package tours such as Slipknot and Lamb Of God‘s ‘Summer’s Last Stand Tour‘ and lack of available headliners, Lyman also revealed that Slayer nearly walked from the package until King Diamond were also secured. Speaking further on the smaller bill, he stated:

“It was the best available for what we had to work with. We had pressure to keep the package at a certain price and make that work, and we had pressure on headliner expenses.”

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