Mammothfest 2017

author MAK date 14/10/17

Mammothfest has returned to Brighton for the fourth consecutive year since its reincarnation in 2014. Each year the festival has gained size in both popularity and capacity. In 2014, Mammothfest was a two-day event featuring Martyr Defiled and Savage Messiah as headliners at The Green Door Store, which is possibly no bigger than a 100 capacity venue. Three years later, Mammothfest had secured international icons in underground metal; Greek black metallers, Rotting Christ, avant-garde Italian metallers, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Belgian doom outfit Amenra. All of these acts were festival exclusives too. Not only that but 2017’s home for this festival was at The Arch, which is roughly five times larger than The Green Door Store. It’s a sign that Mammothfest is growing at a good rate. I should note that while this is the first time I’m covering Mammothfest for Rockfreaks.net, this is my third year attending the festival, and I have seen this rapid growth over time.

All photos courtesy of Luke Bateman , full gallery here

DAY 1 - FRIDAY

The opening day was the day I was least looking forward to as the theme was pretty much just black metal, with the odd extreme band. As far as metal goes, these styles aren't really my thing, but I turned up anyway, mostly out of curiosity for the acts kickstarting the weekend.

Even though Mammothfest is an inside festival, the fact the weather was good was helpful in uplifting the moods and creating a good start to the weekend. The look of the festival has improved, in which The Arch’s smoking area was transformed into a space for market stalls, which included Safe Gigs For Women and Holy Roar Records along with a lot more things all before you got to the band and festival merch stalls inside. All the options were great to see.

When It came to the queues, they were impressively long for the first time in festival history, it was long enough that people were still waiting to get in when the second band had started. Judging from previous years, the extremely busy start was not something that the festival had really anticipated, as doors had only opened 20 minutes before the first band. This is another clear sign of the festival’s growth.

Vehement - The Arch @ 18:00-18:30

Was the busy start a testament to Vehement's popularity? It’s not often you see an opening act of an entire festival pull a large crowd, yet the south coast extreme metallers managed to pack a good portion of the floor early on. It was a set that opened in a soft and melodic manner, easy going drum patterns and calming hooks before Vehement launched into a wave of savage riffs. This was essentially an album release set as the band released their sophomore album ‘Ashes’ that very day. We were treated to Ferocious shouting vocals and beastly roars on top of a mixture of intense blast beats, crunchy guitar hooks, and intense melodies. The tone was rather progressive with melodic instrumental segments introduced and eerie elements to the set and a layer of mist spread around the venue from stage add to this effect. The reaction from the crowd was positive but rather minimal. It was expected though for a warm-up act. Either way, it was not a bad way to kick the weekend off at all. [6]

Necronautical - The Hub @ 18:30-19:00

Over on the second stage, I caught Necronautical already underway into their first song by the time I got there. This performance felt more terrifying, as each member had the typical black metal corpse paint. It was more sinister, and the music was a lot more intense. The blast beats were faster and the music was a lot less atmospheric, making it closer to death metal in sound. The hub is a lot smaller than The Arch main stage, everything felt a lot more intimate and direct. Necronautical delivered crunchier riffs and the deepest of growls in the vocals. Due to the structure of the festival set times, the stages alternated, with semi clashes, so I left halfway through to catch Infernal Sea on the main stage. [6]

The Infernal Sea – The Arch @ 18:45 – 19:15

As The Infernal Sea took to the stage, several hooded figures came out carrying lanterns and just stood between the band and the crowd. It was rather surreal, everyone on stage had cloaks on and covered faces, showing no expression. One member even had a mask that looked just like the protective gear medieval doctors wore with the big beak. Much like the previous sets, it was like something out of a horror movie as smoke flooded the room with the sound of feedback exacerbating the creepy vibe. The sound of blast beats soon pummelled your chest before a wave of double-pedal bursts and dragged our atmospheric riffs assaulted your ears. The vocals weren’t shouted, they were just gruesome like they oozed from the vocalist’s mouth. As the venue continued to fill, the crowd became more responsive, “MAMMOTHFEST RAISE YOUR HORNS FOR SATAN” erupted from the stage in which most of the crowd showed their appreciation. The set was laden with mostly chaotic beats, though the occasional simple 4/4 rhythm and catchy atmosphere found its way into the performance. [7]

Tsjuder – The Arch @ 19:45 - 20:30

Norwegians, Tsjuder, had crucifixes placed at either side of the stage and rocked the corpse paint along with huge spiked wristbands. Flashing strobe lights just messed around with your senses, even more, creating a real sense of dread. The set was dominated by chaotic shreds and yet more blast beats, though to counter this, Tsjuder unleashed the odd quirky segments of funky grooves along with impressive mind-melting guitar solos. It was an erratic discharge of noise with vicious vocals. The venue was rammed at this point and the heat had risen greatly as more bodies packed out the room, yet that didn’t stop the first mosh pits of the weekend. [7]

Rotting Christ – The Arch @ 20:50 - 22:

Before the black metal icons, Rotting Christ hit the stage, deep atmospheric noised echoed around the venue, it was rather chilling. Even though Tsjuder had already packed out the place, more people had managed to squeeze into the venue, surely hitting capacity, it certainly felt like it. Members of Rotting Christ came out with a sample of chanting, in which the vocalist roared methodically in an evil manner; the crowd punched the air in time to his roars. Deep bassy chugs and huge crashing cymbals swamped the room; you could feel the kick pedal through the floor. The double pedal blasts and killer shreds hit you like a wave and from what I could tell, the crowd loved it. Horns and pints were repeatedly in the air, heads banged and long hair flailed in the audience. The balance between the slower, atmospheric undertone and up-tempo death metal influences was impressive; it made the heavier segments stand out so much more. While I’m not very knowledgeable about the band’s catalog, it was clear that Rotting Christ unleashed endless anthems, followed swiftly by huge cheers after each song. Those cheers got louder as Rotting Christ agreed to an encore, which followed a wave of chants for the Greeks to return to the stage. [9]

Sorrow Plagues – VIP Stage (The Arch) @ 00:00 – 01:00

As part of the VIP party, Sorrow Plagues were recently announced to replace The Crimson Brigade. The local atmospheric black metal band may have actually been the better choice considering their popularity around Brighton and Worthing. The Hub stage was semi-packed out, which considering how late this performance was it wasn’t surprising that a lot of people decided to go home at this point. Unlike most of the black metal bands on show throughout the evening, this wasn’t influenced by eerie tones, it was mostly melodic musicianship, with huge "wall of sound" noises. The set was dominated by tracks from the band’s recent album “Homecoming’”, in which we got to hear the technically impressive “Isolated”. It was a decent set, and those who decided to catch this late performance seemed to enjoy the performance, with more roars of approval from the crowd. [7]

DAY 2 - SATURDAY

I was more excited for Saturday as there was more variety of styles throughout the day, instead of just one subgenre of metal like the night before. The one downer was the weather was grim as the day started. The sky was grey, it was incredibly windy, and as the venue was on the seafront, you could see how choppy the sea was. That, however, didn’t put off any early arriving punters though. I do give credit to the people running the stalls outside for braving the weather.

Kill All The Gentlemen – The Arch @ 14:00 - 14:30

Kill all the gentlemen kicked off the day with a Slipknot-like intensity, they weren’t too different in sound, just a little stripped back in comparison. It was a performance laden with neck breaking grooves, hard-hitting beats and a vocalist with a ferocious set of lungs on him. The Saturday started a lot earlier than the opening day, so it was little surprise that the Exeter lads had a modest-sized crowd at best. One amusing moment was the band suggested an “Indifference pit” in which the crowd just stands there with crossed arms and headbang, it’s simple enough definitely something the early attendees felt like they were up for at this point instead of moshing around. A track that stood out the most was “Sin For Me Sinner”, towards the end of the set, mostly because the chorus was so repetitive. This was a good "wake up" set for the day, a nice wave of grooving heavy metal to blow away those cobwebs. [6]

Bleed Again – The Arch @ 14:45 – 15:15

Worthing metallers, Bleed Again was the only band on the Mammothfest bill to have performed the festival for three consecutive years. Last year the quintet pulled out one of the most impressive sets of the weekend so I was rather excited to see this performance as they had progressed to the main stage. Sadly, the set started with some awful sound; the bass levels kept fluctuation for a few songs, with waves of deep noise just invading the performance. It was eventually fixed and the flow of the set improved. We heard plenty of classics and a lot of Bleed Again’s most recent album, “Momentum”, such as “Icarus” and “Happy Never After”. We witnessed the first moshes of the day and bassist Jon Liffen came out into the crowd to rock out with the few rowdy punters. The highlight came from closing track “Through My Eyes” when the vast majority of the crowd sang along to the “OOOWEEEOOO” chant. It stood out more right at the very end when the band stopped their instruments and all you could hear was the crowd. Shame about the start, but the back end of the set was fantastic. [7]

Death Remains – The Arch @ 15:30 – 16:00

I’ve seen Death Remains a couple of times this year already, and certain things just didn’t sit right with me. A lot of it was that the sound was just “loud” with little to differentiate the actual musicianship. This time it was a lot crisper, the riffs and beats were still forceful, but I could tell the rhythms perfectly. The grooves were there, the monstrous roaring vocals were spot on and the outright intensity had vastly improved; this was without a doubt the best time I’ve heard the London act. The response from the crowd was the best I’ve seen for them too. Some fans were really enthusiastic, there was a small circle pit, we even possible the most comically mistimed wall of death ever as everyone missed the drop. It was a very impressive performance, and considering the band had just traveled from the Netherlands to be at that show, I’m amazed Death Remains had the energy they did to be so full on. [8]

Synaptik – The Hub @ 16:15 – 16:45

Over on the little stage, I caught a couple of songs from Norwich metallers, Synaptik. Having reviewed their album, “Justify & Reason”, earlier this year, I was intrigued about how they might sound live. Sadly, not many people shared my curiosity and perhaps only twenty people were in The Hub at best. This was unfortunate as the performance and sound were sublime, each song sounded like they did on the album. John Knight’s voice was as powerful as expected. Tracks such as “The Incredible Machine” and “Human Inhuman” showed both the band’s ability to be technically awesome with lots of instrumental intricacies, but also the ability to be catchy, anthemic with nice sing-along choruses. Considering more people were over at the other stage watching Abhorrent Decimation, I only stayed for about 10 minutes before checking out the fuss elsewhere. [7]

Abhorrent Decimation – The Arch @ 16:15 – 16:45

London death metallers, Abhorrent Decimation, were far more savage in sound and approach. The guitar tone was deep, the vocals were deeper, the drums were chaotic, it was an extreme sound. The crowd was impressively rammed and frontman Ashley Scott had everyone eating out of the palm of his hand. He incited all kinds of pits, wall of deaths, "oi" chants and fist pumps. Everyone got involved and it was great to see the crowd had properly woken up now. Much like the night before, smoke erupted from the stage, adding to the sinister atmosphere. Laser lights shone through the smoke too which was a pretty cool visual aspect. This was a bit extreme for my tastes, but I can’t fault how dominant the musicianship was and how great the crowd response was, it was brutal on every level and pretty much everyone in the room loved it.[8]

I caught some of Meta-Stasis before taking a much-needed food break, this was the first time I’d seen them without keyboardist and sampler Steve Dickson, who is, in fact, the mastermind behind this whole festival. Without him the band sounded a lot heavier, compensating for the added element that was missing it seems. The shredding riffs were more ferocious, it was louder and woke you up a hell of a lot more.

Lawnmower Deth – The Arch @ 17:00 - 17:30

I got back just as Lawnmower Deth, were under way into their set. The thrash legends were one of the most enjoyable bands of the day. Their tone was a lot less serious, somewhat jokey with the banter between songs. Musically we got a lot of short fast songs, distorted riffs and erratic beats. It was almost punk influenced really in the whole atmosphere. At one point it was announced the drummer had thrown up on stage due to playing so fast, whether that is true or not and just part of the act I can’t confirm. I think the highlight came when from a random “oo ah, oo oo ah” chant from the crowd towards the stage. I’m not quite sure where it originated but it was rather amusing. [8]

Dragged Into Sunlight – The Arch @ 19:30 – 20:20

Surrounded in mystery, Dragged Into Sunlight created the most surreal atmosphere I saw all weekend. The stage was swamped with more smoke than any other band, the lighting was dark, red and gloomy and huge cantle lit ornament was stood in the middle of the stage. A tension building deep-sounding drone echoed around before the band hit the stage with their backs to the crowd. That’s the gimmick for this band, you only see the singers face as the rest of band performed turned away from the audience. Waves of "wall of sound" style riffs pummelled our ears as strobe lighting attacked our vision. It was quite the nerve-racking experience. I can understand the idea of being anonymous, being mysterious and creepy, but after five or ten minutes it felt like we got the point and the music was a tad tedious, it was just loud and obnoxious, and even though I like heavy music, personally not my thing at all. A lot of the crowd seemed to dig it though, hearing huge cheers after each track. Maybe I just didn’t get it properly. [6]

Fleshgod Apocalypse – The Arch @ 21:20 – 22:20

Exclusive headliners for the evening was Italian avant-garde metallers, Fleshgod Apocalypse, who were delayed due to some technical issues. Though once they were sorted, the set was an explosion of epic death metal. The Italians produced a sound that that was theatrical and operatic. Crushing riffs, and machine gun like drum patterns backed up by coarse throaty roars and intricate piano melodies. Once again I’m not entirely familiar with the material, but checking back "The Violation" sounded recognizable from the impeccably fiddly guitar solos and high pitched singing, along with the symphonic melodies in the background. The crowd was hugely responsive, the cheers were deafening after each track and the action during the songs was so energetic. Fleshgod triggered the most impressive wall of death I’ve seen at a Mammothfest event, it was brilliantly chaotic. The one song I definitely knew prior to this performance was “The Fool”, which when performed was an absolute masterpiece. The sound of the symphony strings in the intro followed by a blast of distorted riffs and an onslaught of blast beats was so impactful. The overall performance was immense. [9]

Lagerstein– VIP Stage (The Arch) @ 23:00 – 00:00

Kicking off the VIP after party was pirate folk metallers, Lagerstein, all the way from Australia. I walked into the Hub to see the singer and guitarists headbanging in a synchronized manner, rocking back and forth to the rather joyful riffs, violin and I’m pretty sure there was an accordion. This was by far the happiest sounding set of the weekend, it was full of party vibes, lots of drinking from beer bongs, singing along to silly songs. dancing around. In general, everyone was having lots of fun. At one point the “captain” of the band came into the crowd and people followed him around in a circle like it was a slow conga line. It was quite obvious a lot of the after party crowd was there for the Aussies, plenty of people knew the songs and showed a great response to everything Lagerstein threw at them. The crowd became rowdier and louder as the set progressed, with crazier pits and some people getting on their mates shoulders, we learned quickly that security didn’t like people doing that and dragged the wilder fans back to the floor. I hadn’t seen much about these guys before, but it was highly enjoyable and up there with one of the best sets I saw all weekend. The Aussies know how to put on a good show and the pirate gimmick doesn’t get tedious at all. [9]

Seething Akira - VIP Stage (The Arch) @ 00:30 – 01:30

Putting Seething Akira after Lagerstein was possibly the only bad booking decision of the weekend. That sounds a bit dramatic, but when I say it was obvious that a lot of people were at the after party purely for Lagerstein, I meant it. The crowd dropped from possibly 50 odd VIP ticket holders to about 15 for the closers of the night. The downside to this was because Portsmouth party metallers, Seething Akira were incredible and many people missed an amazing set, it was just too late for a lot of punters. Those that stayed were clearly mates with the band, but that didn’t stop any of them from having a whale of a time. We were treated to an intense blast of rappy synth rock that takes influence from the likes on Enter Shikari or Magna Carta. It was full on, had barrels of energy, and those few stragglers rocked their socks off to the likes of “Backlash” and “Strikeback”. Singers Kit Cuntrad and Charlie Bowes were in fans faces, and those fans sang right back and danced with them to the funky rhythms and synth melodies. We even had a small, silly wall of death. The band was incredibly appreciative of those that stuck around, but obviously very gutted that more people weren’t there. It was still very fun regardless. [8]

DAY 3 - Sunday

Sunday was doom metal day, not my favourite to say the least. Luckily for me, The Hub stage was hosting Rikstock. This is possibly the best thing about Mammothfest. Rikstock is home to some of the best emerging metal bands in metal, and the festival basically gives these bands a leg up to attract some new fans. A lot of the acts tend to be local, but commonly you would see bands from all around the country.

Mutually Assured Destruction – The Hub @ 12:30 – 13:00

As each day progressed, the starts got earlier; it was roughly midday and Brighton’s Mutually Assured Destruction was already on stage performing to a few eager punters. It was hardly surprising that more people hadn’t turned up as the general vibe surrounding the festival was “hungover”. M.A.D unleashed a very old school kind of heavy metal; the vocals were more sinister than monstrous, and they were backed by killer shredding riffs. The drums ranged from blast beats to erratic patterns. Musically it was good, but you could sense the lull in the crowd, that it was perhaps a bit too early to start bands. Much like every Sunday at a festival, everyone was non-committal. [6]

Pensevor - The Hub @ 13:15 - 13:45

The crowd grew for Hampshire doom act, Pensevor, but that non-committal vibe sludged through. We had doom over on the main stage so I was a bit confused why we got some here too. The mood was mellow for the doom infused blues rock; occasionally we had some riffy segments, but for the most part, this set was completely melodic. Not quite what was needed to wake this Sunday morning crowd up. Doom really isn’t my thing so I didn’t stick around much longer than a couple songs as I was in danger of falling asleep.

Confronted – The Hub @ 14:00 – 14:30

As a polar opposite, Confronted are one of the most exciting bands to come out of the south coast at the moment, purely for their wild behavior. Watching and hearing the Chichester act was like your dose of caffeine in the morning and was sure to pump adrenaline through you. Right off the bat, vocalist, Ryan Hull, was in your face, screaming at the top of his lings, running around like a madman as his band delivered crunchy crossover hardcore style riffs. Musically the band was ferocious, but your attention was on the frontman who patrolled the venue like a predator, climbing on the bar, getting up in everyone’s grill. At one-point, Hull went outside The Hub and started screaming at terrified passers-by, then dragged a floor tom with him to treat the beach to a performance. By the end of the set, the vocalist had broken the tom's skin and was wearing it on his head. To close the performance off in style, we were treated to a cover of Soulfly’s “Seek & Strike”, in which some fans happily shouted along. So much went on in this set it was hard to keep up; from fans pouring beer down various musicians throats to Hull ruffling the sound technician’s hair as she did her job. This was all round entertaining and just what I needed. Possibly the best set of the weekend. [9]

Thuum – The Hub @ 14:45 – 15:15

In contrast to Pensevor, doomy heavy metal act, Thuum, was perfectly placed to give us a breather from what we just witness from Confronted. This was perhaps a lot more up-tempo than the doom I’m used to hearing, but the melodic slow burning elements really balanced out the set. The riffs were incredibly crunchy and hard-hitting when they were unleashed properly though. This gave Thuum the real punch needed to captivate me fully. The crowd was fairly minimal at first, but it soon picked up. The basslines were nice and chunky, plus the rhythms were quite funky in places. There was a level of the heaviness and intricacy that’s reminiscent of early Mastodon. I don’t think the set won me over to check them again later, but it was decent enough [7}

Negative Measures - The Hub @ 16:15 - 16:45

“Come Closer, I wanna get beat up a little bit” spat vocalist, Jack Warning as he was surrounded by friends and fans. Negative Measures unleashed the rawest sound of the weekend, stripped back hardcore punk as the real backbone. The guitars were gritty, much like the shouted vocals, it was truly hard-hitting, especially for a new song which I think was called “Rat-a-tat-tat”. After the last time I saw them at the hub, I was expecting a more chaotic set, more pits, more angst, but instead, I witnessed what was a more progressive approach from Negative Measures. It was angry and loud, but some moments were really dragged out, and the odd melodic instrumental segments seeped through in the mix. It seems like a growth in musicianship from the band, but I think I preferred when it was all out aggression. [7]

Operation Kino – The Hub@ 17:00 - 17:30

Operation Kino was kind of last minute additions to the lineup, and the response for that was fairly positive. So, I wasn’t surprised at all to see a pretty packed out room for the band that describes themselves as post-hypnotic jazz cum punk. Much like Confronted, the Brighton act was very much all up in your grill from the get-go. Vocalist Alec Greaves came out into the rather busy crowd and screamed in people’s face and grabbed all of our attention. The grooves flowed, and the rhythms kept switching from a simple 4/4 to time signatures. It was funky like Refused. You could try to headbang along and just get thrown off by the pattern. The performance was as frantic as the music, in which the guitarist came out to rock out with the people at the back of the room, going crazy right in front of the bar. It was a set that was heavy, aggressive and packed full of energy. It was rather fun to watch. [8]

Enslavement – The Hub @ 17:45 - 18:15

Brighton death metallers, Enslavement are popular in the local area, so as expected the Hub stage was rather packed out. In a similar stance to Abhorrent Decimation on Saturday, Enslavement was outright brutal. I’m talking death metal with the odd influences of grindcore; mostly from the intensity in the delivery. Danny Yates blast beats and double pedal technique was so full on, a real onslaught. The riffs were savage, the vocals varied from grunts, pig squeals, monstrous roars. The mood was evil, and frontman Harry Jones expanded on this with menacing stares throughout each song; his stance was terrifying. The response was strong for the local lads, huge cheers all the way through the performance, which got stronger as the set went on. [8]

Thermit – The Hub @ 18:30 - 19:00

It was time for a double wave of Polish acts, the first being thrashers, Thermit. When I say thrash, I mean pure 80s shreds that were clearly inspired by the likes of Metallica and Megadeth, topped off by some incredible melodic lead guitar snippets. The vocals were on the high end though, somewhere along the likes of Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, even Rob Halford of Judas Priest, the tone really pricked the ears. The tempo was high from the start and rarely slowed down, the sound had the same consistency, just a wave of heaviness throughout. Initially, the crowd was small, but it picked up over time; waves of people came in towards the end to witness some impeccable fretwork. Those that were in the room headbanged almost the whole way through the set. It was a fantastic response to a really talented band. [8]

Vigil @ 19:15 - 19:45

The second of the Polish acts was Vigil, who I previously caught at the Vader show hosted by the Mammothfest team. Sadly, that set was hindered with sound issues, so I was eager to see a proper set from these lads who mix groove metal and nu metal. It was a real blend of the 90s and 00s. Think Korn meets Pantera; full on riffage with a creepy undertone. This set clashed with one of the most popular main stage acts of the day, Vodun, so the crowd was a bit empty for the most part and the response was a tad flat. This was a shame as musically Vigil were possibly one of my favourites of the weekend. They unleashed pure headbanger after headbanger. It was relentless and deserved a much better crowd. This didn’t hinder the performance that was laden with some of the most ferocious roars and neck-breaking grooves of the whole festival. [7]

Core of iO - The Hub @ 20:35 – 21:10

Not the final band, but the last band I decided to watch at this year’s Mammothfest. I decided to end it on a high with one of the most impressive bands on the bill. Core of iO is known for the intricate songwriting, weird time signatures, and mind-melting technique, and that’s exactly what we got here from the headliners of the Rikstock stage. Every time I see this band they make me question my own talent; the solos, the amazing drum patterns, it’s enough to send your brain into overload at what exactly you are witnessing. I’m not overly familiar with Core of iO’s work, but I do know that the set was split into two parts, older material followed by the tracks from their yet to be released EP, “Part II: Europa”, which initially is a lot riffier, and somewhat less technical at first. You could actually headbang in time to it before the intricacies took over. The crowd was packed, though Core of iO are regular performers at Mammothfest events, so it wasn’t shocking with the reputation they have built. Everyone loved the performance, it’s not really the kind of music to rock out to, more to just stand back and appreciate the talent, so that appreciation was shown with huge applause and a cheering ruckus at all opportunities. This was a great set to end my weekend with. [9]

AFTERTHOUGHTS

Once again, Mammothfest continues to impress with the bands that it books. Even if they weren’t all entirely to my tastes, it shows that the festival is catering to various flavours of metal, and opening its doors to wider branches in not just metal, but heavy music as a whole by pushing the likes of Confronted and Negative Measures as hardcore bands. The size of the bands such as Rotting Christ and Fleshgod Apocalypse is an amazing leap from last year, where the big draws were Textures and Venom Inc, and it paid off in pushing the brand of the festival. Whether financially the festival can keep up with growing at this rate, we will have to wait and see. Having an event like this an hour from where I live is incredible and a real testament to heavy music in the south of the United Kingdom.

The Good

  • Location of the venue, The Arch was right on the seafront. This made it easy to find.
  • Everything in one place was convenient, previous years the venues had been scattered about Brighton.
  • Food options around, lots of choice being in a city centre was great.
  • Sound, for the most part, was top notch.
  • The overall organisation, the team running this event looked like a well-oiled machine, and near enough any issues that was thrown their way was rectified.
  • The vast majority of sets I did watch were really enjoyable.
  • Good merch options and stalls.
  • VIP party: this was good and bad… so here is the good: It was a great idea and people had fun. It was a good place to chill after watching the main bands.

The Bad

  • Finding the second stage: lots of people seemed confused about where it was or how to find it. Even though there were signs, there needed to be clearer signs and directions on how to get to The Hub.
  • VIP Party: It did run rather late and it was quite clear that not everyone was up for watching bands as late as 1:30 am. Future plans should be one VIP act a day and finish bands earlier and leave whatever time after for partying or sleep. It seems so heartbreaking for bands like Seething Akira to play to mostly an empty room because people are tired.
  • Themed days: In previous years this worked when stages were aimed at fans of a specific genre, black metal, doom, etc because there was always another option. If you didn’t like black metal, there was an alternative, like tech metal or something. However, this year on Friday it was just black metal. As a non-black metal fan, it would have been nicer to have an alternative to watch instead of two stages of the same style.
  • Toilets: They were disgusting, I’ve seen cleaner toilets at an outdoor festival, and that’s saying something. One of the male toilets didn’t even have a toilet seat, which is just grim. I’m not going to fault Mammothfest on this as The Arch really should have been on top of this when over 400 people attended their venue for three days in a row. Note to Mammothfest is to whichever venue they use next, this needs to be brought up with that useable toilets are a must all weekend.

You can check out this highlights video of the weekend below:

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