Opinionated Metalhead: Las Vegas Deathfest….Is this the end?
I have internally debated whether or not I was going to write about this since the news broke on social medial. However, I feel it my duty to the scene to post this. This has been a developing story that is near and dear to my heart and has been part of the beating heart of the Las Vegas metal scene for over a decade.
Las Vegas Deathfest 12 will not be happening in 2020 at this time. On December 14th, Michael Gordon aka Big Mike made a public announcement via social media to inform the masses of the unfortunate news.
The Las Vegas Deathfest page also made a statement the same day from their end.
With this announcement, there has now been a proverbial line drawn in the sand via social media posts and business page bans. Fans feeling conflicted between loyalty to the metal scene and this festival by name and their loyalty to Big Mike in some cases. While this is not a tabloid by any means (we aren’t metalsucks.net ) , I will say that the level of professionalism from one side of the line to the other is night and day. Long rants that have since been taken down by page admins such as Josh Figg from Smash Magazine to responses to page followers comments who voice support for Big Mike being told to remove themselves or being blocked from the page. To what end? How on earth does this lack of professionalism and childish alienation of BDM fans who look forward to this festival every year benefit anyone? The short answer ….It doesn’t and is in poor taste.
Originally this article was meant to stay neutral and objective, but throughout the course of witnessing these interactions I regret to say I was left with little choice and it saddens me greatly. It could have been left alone but then there were things like this….
The full statement on the LVDF page on December 18th that has since been taken down:
The additional statement looks like a person weighing in on a strangers argument to make themselves feel important and does nothing to defuse the situation. All while the other side of the fence remains fairly silent. Big Mike has not made numerous lengthy
rants or told people to go unlike the page or not attend any event they chose to host, he merely stated he was parting ways and does not permit further use of the LVDF name for future festivals. When confronted with negativity in comments you can see that he prefers not to air dirty laundry in public and would rather keep any personal issues between him and his previous partner Chris Filthy behind closed doors. That is the way it should be. Disagreements between business partners happen every day between personal conflicts and disagreement in the direction business decisions are taking the thing they partnered up to do in the first place. That’s just how life works.
Now I could spend a bunch of time inserting a bunch of screen shots I have gathered of the back and forth drama infused conversations on the LVDF page or those where people have chosen to go on Big Mike’s personal page and berate him while he holds his ground but no one really cares about seeing all of that bullshit. Although that would make for a much longer and drama infused post, it defeats the purpose of what I am going to say in the coming paragraphs.
I am happy to say that Big Mike will be teaming up with Roger Beaujard from Mortician to collaborate along with a few other stakeholders in order to host a slightly smaller event at Fremont Country Club this coming year. June 11th is tentative, however, June 12th is confirmed for 2020. The festival will rise out of the ashes made from the roots of LVDF and evolve into something bigger and better over time. Holding strong to leave yet another footprint on the Brutal Death Metal scene. With new partnerships come new opportunities for more vendors and sponsorship in the years to come and a new name that has yet to be announced. The Other stakeholders will be more involved in the 2021 event from our understanding.
The 2020 event will be at the same venue with the same vendors and the same level all welcoming ultimate brutality slamming and melting faces from the stage. The word is that the lighting on the FCC side of the house will be getting tweaked for a better show experience to boot. While the doors close on LVDF in a lot of people’s minds a new door has opened and I am looking forward to a brighter future for the BDM community I call home here in Las Vegas.
While I wait for the upcoming festivities I will be traveling abroad to take part in another festival in Switzerland, Rock the Hell. Rock The Hell Comes highly recommended by Big Mike and I feel it’s about time I went and saw for myself. Whether it’s a double fest feature or one by one coverage I’ll be sure to circle back with reviews of both experiences. In the meantime, rage on and happy moshing.
Update 06.08.2020: Due to COVID-19 Rock the Hell fest and my trip to Europe was postponed until 2021. In regards to up and coming deathfests things are gearing up to be rescheduled for October at this time.