Grow out your hair, tear off your shirt sleeves and get a tattoo: Armstrong Metalfest has revealed its 2017 bands.
The ninth annual festival, scheduled for July 14 to 15 at Armstrong’s Hassen Memorial Arena, is B.C.’s largest celebration of heavy metal music and culture.
The set-list boasts more than 30 bands, including Vancouver-based reggae-metal fusion headliners Ninjaspy, who will be playing at The Green in Vernon’s Village Green Hotel April 30 to promote their new album Spüken.
“The team members of West Metal Entertainment poured their sweat and blood into making this year’s lineup for Armstrong Metalfest the best year yet,” said festival co-founder Jesse Valstar, who plays bass and sings with Armstrong’s power and thrash metallers Odinfist.
This year, a large portion of the festival’s bands will be releasing albums.
“The fact that so many (metal) bands in Canada are able to write and record quality material is a real testament to the thriving metal scene we have,” said Valstar.
“The band submission process is a grueling gauntlet of awesomeness, but personally I love every second I dedicate to the brilliant artists of Canadian metal.”
Headlining the festival alongside Ninjaspy is Boston’s technical death metal thrasher Revocation, who Valstar says he is excited to see.
“Their style is hella fitting for the festival and I know they will be well received,” he said. “I’ll be front row centre screaming my heart out for sure.”
Other headliners include Canadian thrash legends Aggression and Broken Neck Radio’s People’s Choice winners The Golers. Local acts performing include Odinfist, Vernon-born blackened death metal band XUL and Kelowna’s psychobilly trio the Dragstrip Devils.
Starting off as a backyard metal party in 2009 with 11 local bands, Armstrong Metalfest pulls inspiration from Europe’s world-renowned festivals and encourages the celebration of Canadian heavy metal culture.
“I am very proud of the work our team has put into year nine of Armstrong Metalfest,” said Valstar. “As a community, we built this festival from the ground up, (and) as the festival grows, so does our community.
“We are all proud of this big beautiful beast.”
Weekend passes are available prior to the event for $120, or for $160 at the festival gates, both include camping. Day passes will be available at the gates for $70, with an additional $20 per night for camping. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit armstrongmetalfest.ca/tickets