The inaugural Mayhem Festival was first held in 2008 and is a touring “metal music” music festival that takes place every summer across the United States as well as in Canada. Sponsored by Rockstar Energy Company since its initial touring season, the festival was put together by Kevin Lyman and John Reese, the two founders of the Vans Warped Tour as well as partners on the Taste of Chaos tour as well.
If there’s one festival that can be considered a “hard rock” festival in the United States, it’s definitely the Mayhem Festival, where almost all of the bands are heavy metal and represent a wide range of subgenres including progressive metal, nu metal, thrash metal, deathcore, industrial metal and others. If you’re into rock with a very hard edged attitude, then the Mayhem Festival is definitely for you and features some of the best in the business.
The Mayhem Festival has always featured some of the biggest names in metal rock music. For example, in 2009 Mushroomhead was there for three days and, in 2010, Avenged Sevenfold came on for two nights as well, coinciding with the release of their fifth album, Nightmare. When Megadeth couldn’t make it in 2011, Dethklok filled in for them and Testament was there also to replace In Flames who couldn’t make the tour.
Since the inaugural event The Mayhem Festival has always featured 3 separate stages including the Main Stage of course, the Jägermeister Stage and a third stage that usually changes sponsorship every year. For example, in 2008 and 2009 it was called the Hot Topic Stage and, in 2010, the Silver Star Stage. 2011 saw the third stage sponsored by Revolver and, in 2012 and 2013, Sumerian Records took over sponsorship. In fact, in 2013 Musicians Institute also sponsored a fourth stage at the festival and, this year, there will be 4 stages as well, much to the delight of fans.
While the side stages usually have 4 or 5 bands every year during the festival, there are only 4 bands scheduled to play on the Main Stage and some of them are what can only be called legends of metal. The Jägermeister Stage also features various Battle of the Bands winners every year, depending on who the winner that year was. Of course the Mental Mulisha is always on hand to entertain the fans every year and one of the favorite attractions is the public “meet and greet” that is scheduled for various times throughout the festival so that fans can meet their idols, get autographs and take ‘selfies’.
The tour’s biggest sponsor, Rockstar Energy Drink, also gives out plenty of free samples of its new products every year at the Mayhem Festival, keeping everyone as alert and awake as they possibly can be.
This year’s Mayhem Festival is the 7th year in a row that they will be putting on the tour and the headliner was recently announced to be Avenged Sevenfold along with Korn, Asking Alexandria and Trivium, all of whom will play on their Main Stage. Cannibal Corpse and Miss May will also be there, as well as rapper Ice T’s metal group Body Count. Suicide Silence will also be there this year, on the first United States tour that they’ve had since their frontman Mitch Lucker was unfortunately killed in a tragic motorcycle accident.
Most the dates for Mayhem this year will feature, as they did last year, 4 stages and 20 bands. Also this year will be Jimmy Fitzpatrick with his pro motocross exhibition called the Fitz Army. Fitzpatrick’s group includes Harley-Davidson Freestyle Riders and is a fan favorite. As usual Mayhem will also feature many surprises and other attractions for attendees and should be a phenomenal success.