"Don’t call it a comeback." reads the official Instagram page of Mayhem Fest, with the hashtag #mayhemfest2020. It looks like the fest is definitely coming back next summer.
Here is the social media post:
The bio for the Mayhem Fest page also teases a return: "“hindsight is 2020.. and so is the return of mayhem. 🧐”
It's been four years since Mayhem Fest toured the United States. For the late '00s and early '10s, it was the biggest metal event of the summer, playing ampitheaters across the country, anchored by headline acts like Slipknot, Slayer, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie and then featuring a smorgasbord of underground bands on the side stage from Cannibal Corpse and Hatebreed to Suicide Silence, In This Moment, The Red Chord, and Veil of Maya.
The promoter of the festival, John Reese, questioned fans earlier this year, asking if the fest should come back. In our own polling, 60% of the nearly 2,700 fans said they would go no matter what with virtually everybody else saying they would go dependent on the lineup.
Mayhem Fest went away in 2015 after disappointing ticket salesand a big PR mistake by co-founder Kevin Lyman who gave an interview bemoaning the lack of headliners in the genre (not wrong) but then also calling metal "old, gray and fat," which resulted in backlash from headliners and bands not even on the tour, John Reese, the other co-founder of the fest confirmed that this was the last year for the festival and tried to call for a truce in the scene.
It will be interesting to see who the fest has as headliners. It seems like Slipknot would be available and big enough to warrant the undertaking.
Previously, Mayhem Fest organizers have tried to book the Pantera reunion and desperately tried to book Rammstein – so perhaps we can see either of those in 2020 as well. Obviously, it wouldn't be a "reunion" for Pantera, since Vinnie Paul has passed, but Zakk Wylde has expressed interest in tribute shows with surviving members Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown. Maybe the newly announced Rage Against the Machine reunion can headline?
What would be your dream Mayhem Fest 2020 bill?