Calgary Metal Fest IV
June 3-7, 2015
Review and Photos by Monika Deviat
The fourth installment of the annual Calgary Metalfest (CMF) spanned June 3-7, 2015 and included a free kick-off party, three official nights of bands over three venues, a charity auction and a hangover party to end everything off (we unfortunately missed the Hangover Party at the Distortion). The festival focus is the celebration of Canadian underground talent, but was spawned because founder Nate Renaud of Big Nate Productions wanted to throw himself a birthday party with some great bands. Since June 2012, the festival has grown as has the notoriety of headlining acts. This year Kobra and the Lotus headlined Saturday night at Dickens pub and although they are considered a local band, they have toured Europe extensively and have opened for big name acts such as KISS and Def Leppard. The majority of the 40 bands on the bill were from the Calgary area and mixed in were bands from B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
An annual charity auction is held at the festival. In addition to the funds raised for the Make A Wish Foundation of Southern Alberta, there was another fundraising cause on the Thursday night of the festival at Vern’s. Cash Bearchief from After the Prophet, a band that was slated to play CMF this year and had played last year, had been missing since May 24, 2015. Family and friends of Bearcheif had started a kickstarter fundraiser to raise money to help search efforts. At Vern’s the CMF staff helped collect donations to efforts. Unfortunately on June 6 the word went around that Bearcheif had passed away. Metal-Rules.com would like to extend condolences to Bearchief’s bandmates, friends and family.
This year the charity auction had a few more items donated by various people. The large 4 x 6 foot Calgary Metalfest poster signed by all the bands was up for auction again. Our editor JP Wood donated a copy of his heavy metal trivia game. I donated a photo of Cronos from Venom playing at Noctis V in 2012, printed on aluminum metal (metal on metal!). The big item this year was the Schechter Twin Tribal Double Neck guitar donated by Reverend Rock of the Metal Nation Radio program “Too Metal for Church”. The items auctioned totaled up to a $2200 donation to the Make A Wish Foundation of Southern Alberta.
The event has become a family gathering. There are always new acts on the bill but also some repeats from previous years. Renaud, his family and his crew make everyone feel so welcome and take care of the bands very well. CMF is a chance to meet new metalheads, catch up with friends and metal bands in Calgary and also to be able to see the people who have become the extended part of the family in other provinces.