Ravage, the traditional heavy metal/ thrash band from Boston, MA USA recently had to cancel the final date of their midwest tour due to a widespread power outage caused by a tornado that hit the Columbus Ohio area 2 days ago. Ravage’s singer, Al Ravage, issued the following statement regarding the canceled Fort Wayne appearance and the near disaster that was avoided at the Warriors Of Metal Festival near Columbus.
We just got back from our midwest mini-tour which was not without incident. After a successful show in downtown Columbus on Thursday night at the Warriors Of Metal Pre-Show, we proceeded to the campground where we partied deep into the night with the early-arriving hardcore traditional metal elite and prepared for the oncoming festival. The beginning of the festival on Friday went down without a hitch – fantastic sound, great bands, and a surprisingly large and dedicated crowd for a traditional metal and thrash fest happening in a forest in the middle of nowhere. As the evening wore on though, our bassist’s wife fell ill, and we drove her into town to a motel so she could stay in some air conditioned comfort. When we returned, Rich and his wife sent me a text message that said they had seen on tv that a hail storm was about to hit our area. I was in the camp ground at the time and I began to walk across the field toward the merchandise area to alert Tony “Metal Duke” Canillas from Iron Will, who was coming in the opposite direction. All of a sudden, the sky instantly darkened and a huge rush of wind swept out of the trees that surrounded the field next to the stage. Tony and I ran for cover toward the camp ground, while what was apparently the edge of a tornado swept across the field and direcltly hit the stage area. Massive branches were ripped off trees and hurtled toward the stage area and the crowd – which quickly dispersed and headed toward the camping grounds. Pieces of the sheet metal crowd coverin front of the stage were torn off and flew into the woods. A huge tree branch crushed the wooden staircase leading to the second camping area. Another branch came down directly on the powerline which fed the stage. Miraculously no one was seriously injured – in fact, the only injury was to Datis, the festival promoter, who twisted his ankle while helping people from the stage area.
Meanwhile, just as we were reaching the campground a huge branch hurtled off of a tree and crushed our two tents. We jumped in the car and drove into a large nearby barn for shelter as a torential rain came down – followed by persistent lightning, thunder and more winds. We were soon joined by much of the fleeing crowd who crammed into the barn while the storm continued. Luckily this barn tuned out to be some kind of service shed for the ranch and it had a power outlet, a lightbullb, and a fireplace, which we were able to get going to warm the crowd. After a couple of hours, the rain let up and the winds died down. We headed out to survey the devestation, thinking there was no way the show could possibly continue. It seemed like it was going to be a major bummer because Manilla Road had just showed up before the storm and Twisted Tower Dire had been ready to play.
The second miracle happened however, when after a few hours more, the crew was able to clear away much of the debris and downed trees and deem the stage area safe, and amazingly despite the powerline being hit by a tree, power was not lost and the show was able to continue around 11pm – though many sets were cut, and Twisted Tower Dire had already left. Exxplorer played a short set and Manilla Road played without a hitch.
On Saturday the Festival went on as planned with a great headlining appearance from Helstar, but we learned that much of the surrounding area and perhaps much of the state was without power and a state of emergency had been declared. We also learned that unfortunately power had been lost at the club we were to play at in Fort Wayne on Sunday evening and despite some late efforts to secure an alternate venue, the show had to be cancelled. We appologize to our friends and fans in Fort Wayne, as we would very much have liked to get back there, but it will have to wait. Our thoughts an concerns go out to everyone who has been affected by the storm, we hope to get back to the midwest again soon, hopefully under better circumstances, but for now we have been confirmed for next years Warriors Of Metal Festival, so we’ll at least be heading back to Ohio.