More than 30 bands are on hook for the 11th annual Armstrong Metal Fest July 12-13. (Morning Star file photo)

Overseas bands drawn to Okanagan Metalfest for the first time

Tickets for the July 12-13 festival are expected to sell out

With over 30 local and non-local bands performing at Hassen Arena, Western Canada’s largest moshpit is coming back to Armstrong.

The 11th annual Armstrong MetalFest will be held on July 12 and July 13.

For the first time in Armstrong MetalFest history, bands will be travelling overseas to perform.

Armstrong MetalFest co-organizer Jesse Valstar, an Armstrong local who was inspired to start putting on the event after attending metal festivals in Europe, is ecstatic to have overseas acts coming to his little town.

“It’s a huge progression from where our humble roots have come from,” said Valstar. “When we first started the festival and everything, it was bands that were down the road; now it is bands from across the world.”

Betraying the Martyrs will be travelling 7,647 km away from their home in Paris, France. Within Destruction will be traveling even farther from Jesenice, Slovenia.

Headliners include Origin and Nekrogoblikon, both from the U.S.A.

Nekrogoblikon’s mascot, a goblin named John Goblikon, will even make an appearance at the festival.

“I’m super excited about our lineup this year, we’ve got some of my drumming heroes in Origin and Entheos, the super fun Nekrogoblikon, our first opportunity to have some bands from overseas in Betraying the Martyrs and Within Destruction, a few of our brothers from the states, and so many killer bands from around Western Canada,” said Armstrong MetalFest co-founder Bretton Melanson. “Our original dream of bringing the European metal fest feel to Canada is really taking shape, and I’m so grateful to still be a part of this.”

Ticket sales are very succsessful so far, with a chance of Armstrong Metalfest selling out this year.

“I had to go back and check my capacity calculations,” said Valstar.

In past years Metalfest has had a split stage system where one band is setting up while the other is performing, but this year every band will get a full stage.

A portion of the proceeds from the event go to the $500 Armstrong Metal Fest Music Bursary, which is awarded to a graduating Pleasant Valley Secondary student.

Full festival passes are available for $135 and provide holders with access to the festival grounds, thrash wrestling, camping and arena. Further information on day passes and other ticketing options can be found through the Armstrong MetalFest’s official website.

If you are interested in being part of AMF’s 2019 volunteers and receiving the benefits of a free general admission ticket along with being part of making this festival possible, inquire at armstrongmetalfest.ca/get-involved/.

Related: Headbanging lineup announced for 2019 Armstrong Metal Fest

Related: Death Metal tour kicks off in Vernon

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