Armstrong Metal Festival returns to Hassen Arena

Rock on with metal heads from around Western Canada at fourth annual Armstrong Metal Festival returning to Armstrong, B.C. this summer.

Those who like to turn their amps up to 11 will want to be in the North Okanagan this summer when the West Metal Entertainment Society stages its fourth annual Armstrong Metalfest, July 20 to 22.

Formerly known as Armstrong Open Air, the festival started in the summer of 2009, and was inspired by the summer outdoor metal festival circuit in Europe.

“What started out as a small word-of-mouth gathering on a rural farm just outside of Armstrong, drew approximately 300 people out to see 11 Okanagan metal bands rip up the stage made out of a pair of flatdeck trailers,” said Jesse Valstar, who is with Armstrong band Odinfist and is president of the newly formed West Metal Entertainment Society.

Moved indoors to the Hassen Arena last year, this year’s festival not only features such Okanagan bands as Odinfist, Xul, Anthrosiore, SFS and Cast Into Ashes, but some of B.C. and Alberta’s biggest, and loudest, metal acts.

“The Armstrong Metalfest 2012 is going to be the biggest step yet for B.C. heavy metal festivals,” said Valstar. “People from all over Western Canada show up in Armstrong on Friday morning and set up camp for the weekend. During their stay, they will experience the best heavy metal Western Canada has to offer.”

The festival is also offering Thrash Wrestling title matches outside the Hassen Arena on the Friday as well as a medieval sword demonstration tournament set up by Blood And Iron on the Saturday.

Fully catered, with security provided, the event is open to all ages, however, those under 16 or under will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Information and weekend passes,  which include two nights of camping, can be found online at