Badger Fest 2017 Preview
Badger Fest seems to be the event on everyone’s lips right now. Whichever of the hideouts for underground rock and metal you go to of late, the perennial question “you going Badger Fest, mate?” echoes all around.
Assembled by Impavidus drummer John Badger, the one day event which takes place at The Star & Garter at the end of the month – Saturday 30th September – is marked by a fierce line-up of some of the local area’s hungriest and heaviest acts. From the snarling, rhythmic attack of guest headliners Krysthla to the thrash of Manchester band's Amethyst and Beyond Salvation to their weird but wonderful Kringer & The Battle Katz and Liverpool Metal 2 The Masses 2017 winners Reaper, there is an abundance of forceful and creative music ready to go for your jugular on the day.
After the success of Impavidus’ tour with Deified and God Shaped Devil, arranged by Badger, the sticksman seems to have been bitten by the promotion bug.
Says Badger: “When Iwas looking at suitable venues I got advice from some respected festival promoters, Jason Maguire at Breaking Bands, Steve Dickson at Mammothfest and Simon Yarwood at Uprising Festival about the best way to approach and promote it. They all said you have go out meet people face to face, especially when this is new and no one has heard of it. Don't just hideaway behind social media like most do. It's about getting out and connecting with people. So I did.”
With such a wealth of Manchester bands to choose from, as well as bludgeoning acts from outside the border who too would be perfect for a gig like this, how difficult was it for John to both assemble a line-up and in turn, how hard was it to not just put on every single great local band? There must have been some tough decisions along the way?
“Believe me if I could have put every band on the bill I certainly would have, but as everyone knows it's just not possible. So yes, it was very tough. I decided to bring in a headliner from outside, so that way it wasn't just another local festival with all local bands, and that is no detriment to the talent of bands we are surrounded in, but have a headliner who's got the experience and been around the block.”
“I originally booked Divine Chaos, but unfortunately soon after they had to pull out due a conflict with another gig already planned. Simon Yarwood at Uprising Festival recommended me Krysthla. They’re an exceptional band with lots of experience, great stage ability and killer music. They were very keen when I approached them and signed up straight away.
“The rest of the line-up was tough to put together, most are bands I've had the pleasure of playing alongside and wanted to bring them together. Any promoter will tell you it's very difficult putting a line-up like this together.”
Through solid, determined promotion, a filthy line-up and simply put, the fact that Badger’s an amazing, friendly and talented person who loves the metal scene like it were one of his own children, the inaugural Badger Fest has now sold out. An amazing feat.
But it’s not just about the music. Badger has a great attention to detail.
“There's something for everyone aside from the bands and beer. We have a raffle to win some great prizes such as a free tattoo and band merchandise, a competition to guess the teddy badger's name, again with great prizes, plus a Burrito Van to feed us all, so that can't be bad. I want people to fully enjoy themselves and live on to tell the tales.”
There’s already talk of a second Badger Fest, but for now, let’s just focus on the end of the month and what promises to be a blisteringly fun day of great music with great company.