Mammothfest is becoming a great impact on the underground metal scene; with this one selling out in advance could this be the thing that helps bands from the underground scene get more into the public eye? Lotty speaks to one of the Mammothfest organisers Steve Dickson about the success of this year’s Mammothfest, the vital importance of the underground metal scene and the future of Mammothfest.
So Mammothfest is over for another year; how did it go? From what I experienced it was remarkable, it sold out in advance from what I saw.
It was better than we could have possibly imagined! The crowds came out in large numbers, we did sell out a few of the venues and i can say with utter confidence that this year’s event has cemented our position in the metal festival market for the future. This is incredible for us as it has been so hard to get to where we are now. The bands were all amazing and having since carried out a survey and got a lot of feedback from our customers we understand that it was a great experience for all.
What were the personal highlights for you? Onslaught, Stormcast, Hang The Bastard and Gehtika were mine.
Welcoming my childhood idols Onslaught on to the stage was a moment I will never forget. So much work goes into this and I find it all comes down to little magic moments that make it worthwhile. Booking the tour to make it happen for Psycroptic to play Mammothfest was another wonderful experience. Not without its difficulties but that’s life. 84 bands in 3 days was another highlight in terms of proving we can professionally hold such large events. It was all so good, what can I say other than all the bands were amazing but I knew this because that’s why I booked them!
How has the press reception been?
The press reception on the whole has not been as good as we had hoped; present company excluded of course. Terrorizer magazine were there all weekend and are our sponsor so that was great, as were you for Metal Temple and a few others running around all weekend! But I must admit I am a little bit pissed off that we didn’t get the other big magazines and more there too, after all they were invited and are always remarking about how important it is to support the underground bands yet they were not there to support the future of their own industry. We look forward to the reviews that are still to be published and those that have gone out already have again been so great to read. Maybe we need bigger bands to get their attention? If that is the case then I am worried about the state of the press around metal if they only attend bigger events. What can I say?
How was Mammothfest born?
I used to run “Tactical Whore promotions” in Brighton and with the lack of other promoters down here it seemed to run a natural course of growth and with there being no metal festival down here it made sense to step up. Mammothfest has been going since 2009.
So far so good, we are on track but we need more people to be aware of what we do and attend our events. We are growing and with the 2016 line up we have in place we can expect something very special indeed!
I have noticed Brighton and the surrounding areas have a fantastic scene for underground metal; is this why Brighton was chosen as the location?
No, I just happened to live here and be in the right place at the right time. The underground scene has progressed massively in the past 10 years. All the promoters get on well; we talk and work together where we can for the greater good of the scene rather than trying to compete. The bands are amazing and the venues we do still have provide great platforms from which we can host such events. But it is the people that support the bands that deserve the credit as it is they whom get off their back sides, pay their hard earned money and attend that keep this scene alive, without them the bands and Mammothfest would have nothing in the first place.
Brighton also has a tight nit community and a sense of togetherness; Mammothfest really enforces this bringing people from literally far and wide, with regards to the festival’s punters where was the furthest someone had travelled from? I had Nottingham.
We had people from Scotland come to this year’s event and in the past we had people come from Scandinavia so there is no doubting what we do has strong pull. Let’s not forget we went fully international in 2015 with Psycroptic from Australia, Cyclamen from Japan and more which all adds interesting flavours to our metropolitan festival.
Your passion to support unsigned bands is completely inspiring; tell Metal Temple’s readers how important they [unsigned bands] are for the community. I say they are the future of Metal.
Thank you! Well the drummer for Motörhead just passed away, Megadeth and Black Sabbath are doing their last ever shows this year and there will be plenty more of our big headline bands hanging up their guitars leaving huge spaces for the bands of the future. So if anyone is passionate about metal but has not gone to see an underground band at a local gig recently I highly recommend you do so. Not only will you hear some very interesting ideas coming from them, the prices are dirt cheap and the people that attend are simply divine. Not just that, come to Mammothfest! Support us on our quest to have an outdoor festival where we can bring you the bands you want to see!
Any secrets about next year?
First announcement 1st December 2016; a lot will be announced then but what I can say is that we have 3 massive headliners, legends in the world of metal and another huge reunion has come together for our 4th Headliner which will be the perfect nostalgic way to end Mammothfest 2016!
What is your long term goal for Mammothfest?
Our main objectives are to have a “Mammoth” outdoor metal festival in Brighton, bring the biggest bands in the world to our lovely sea side town and support the underground bands by giving them the platforms they deserve/need to grow to become our future headliners because the big boys will not be around to play forever!