I love metal destination festivals, and you can usually find me traveling around the world for one. From what I've seen. Europe has been doing it right since the beginning. In recent years, the U.S. is just starting to catch on in a big way, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Traveling for a metal fest might be one of the best experiences of your life and I want to explain why.
In partnership with the Exit 111 Festival, which is set to take place in Tennessee this October, I wanted to talk about the best reasons to get off your butt and visit a festival. The inaugural Exit 111 features Slayer on their farewell run, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Ghost, Gojira, Deftones, Coheed & Cambria, Black Label Society, Whitechapel, Power Trip and Graveyard alongside classics such as Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top. And that’s just a sampling of all the bands scheduled to play! Tickets are available now, with a special offer for installment plans open until August 16th for as little as $55 down.
1. EXPERIENCE A NEW PLACE IN THE WORLD
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Traveling is one of my biggest passions in life. Nothing excites me more than visiting a new part of the globe and immersing myself in a new culture, especially in the name of heavy metal. This may be one of the more obvious items on the list, but if nothing else, you get to visit a new place in the world, and provide essential tourism dollars to the community you’re attending. It won’t always be Paris or London, or a bucket list vacation spot, but no matter where you end up, you can experience the best of any situation. Nearly every city in the world has something worth checking out close by. Attending a destination festival gives you the reason you may never thought of to travel somewhere different, and see a culture at least slightly different than your own, even if it's just a few states away.
Unlike touring festivals, destination fests usually provide something unique to the their home town. The promoters understand this may be someone's first impression of the location, and try to immerse you in their cuisine and culture without having to leave. This is something you can never get from a tour coming through your town.
2. LIVE THE METAL LIFE 24/7 Reasons You Should Travel For A Metal Festival" width="700" height="467" srcset="https://cdn-p.smehost.net/sites/7f9737f2506941499994d771a29ad47a/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2018-Rockfest-Crowd-5-750×500.jpg 750w, https://cdn-p.smehost.net/sites/7f9737f2506941499994d771a29ad47a/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2018-Rockfest-Crowd-5-300×200.jpg 300w, https://cdn-p.smehost.net/sites/7f9737f2506941499994d771a29ad47a/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2018-Rockfest-Crowd-5-768×512.jpg 768w, https://cdn-p.smehost.net/sites/7f9737f2506941499994d771a29ad47a/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2018-Rockfest-Crowd-5-83×54.jpg 83w, https://cdn-p.smehost.net/sites/7f9737f2506941499994d771a29ad47a/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2018-Rockfest-Crowd-5-450×300.jpg 450w, https://cdn-p.smehost.net/sites/7f9737f2506941499994d771a29ad47a/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2018-Rockfest-Crowd-5.jpg 2000w" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" />
A destination festival, especially one where camping is an option, is a fully immersive experience you need at least once in your life! Just imagine waking up in a tent full of heshers, eating, breathing, drinking, laughing and living your favorite music come to life among thousands of like-minded people. When it's over, you continue the party until you crash on site and wake up to do it all over again the next day. It's a truly unique thing I believe every metal head in the world should feel at least once, and the memories you create, and friendships you make will probably last you a lifetime.
3. WATCH BANDS PERFORM UNDER THE BEST CONDITIONS
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The absolute best place to watch your favorite artist perform is on a giant stage performing to tens of thousands of screaming fans. Depending on the size of the band they're averaging a few hundred to a couple thousand each night on tour, but when they're met with the opportunity to bring their show to a sea of tens of thousands, the dynamic completely changes and you will never see that band push harder. These types of festivals usually provide a band with an hour change over to provide them with ample time to put on the best show they can for you. There is no artist in the world who doesn't perform differently to that size crowd, bringing all they have to the stage, and it's an incredible feeling to be part of it.
4. MEET METALHEADS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE
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Traveling for a festival will always mean meeting new types of people, as the festival attendance is made up of residents, but it also means meeting fellow travelers who hail from all walks of life. I can not tell you how many Europeans I've met at American festivals and vice versa. When you're surrounded by tens of thousands, chances are you are going to make a friend or two that is unique. The great part is, you already have a bunch in common based on your adventure alone! The ice breaker is pretty easy. You can definitely meet metalheads with group trips like party bus rentals in Bakersfield, CA.
5. NO TOLERANCE FOR BOREDOM
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It's absolutely impossible to get bored at a destination festival. While touring festivals are usually made up of one or two stages with a rushed change over, a destination fest generally goes all out with multiple stages, food stands, and experience areas that can run anywhere from cinema tents and motorcross shows, to art galleries and discussion panels. There is so much to do and experience at these types of fests, I assure you the hardest part, will be trying to cram it all in to your short time there.
The inaugural Exit 111 Festival will take place in Manchester, Tennessee (on the same site as Bonnaroo) from October 11th through 13th, 2019. Tickets are on sale now.