August 1, 2013

Montreal fest has headbangers in mind

MONTREAL — For the next two weekends, Parc Jean Drapeau is one big outdoor-musical-fest kind of place.

This weekend, indie music lovers will flock there to enjoy Osheaga from Friday to Sunday. Organizers recently announced a sold out festival — to the tune of some 40,000 tickets daily. This marks the second consecutive year Osheaga has sold out in the best of possible terms.

Evenko, the fest organizers, aren’t in a rush to strike the outdoor stages. Up next on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 and 11, is Heavy MTL, a festival dedicated to the headbanger in us all.

For fans of the heavy-metal genre — and the variety of metal substyles that it includes — Heavy MTL is a dream come true. This year’s edition features 42 bands with an impressive lineup that includes Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, Megadeth, Danzig with Doyle, Mastodon, Black Label Society, Children of Bodom, Godsmack, August Burns Red, Wintersun, Steel Panther and Machine Head to name a few.

“This is definitely a more niche event compared to Osheaga,” said Heavy MTL artistic director Nick Farkas, who holds the same title for Osheaga. “But we’re one of the bigger metal and hard-rock festivals in North America right now.”

Farkas said he’s seen a nice progression of Montreal metal history with Heavy MTL, which this year marks its fifth edition.

“We get a lot of tourists for this one,” he said. “It seems like with Heavy (MTL) we get a lot of people who have never been to Montreal before. And they’re pretty impressed when they get here.”

Farkas said that seeing hard rock and metal in a big outdoor venue is a good way to go.

“We like taking this genre to the fest level,” Farkas said. “We like when the audience says, ‘Wow, that’s big, that’s powerful, and that’s the way we want to hear this music.’”

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