Shadow Woods Metal Fest invites bands to campout in the Appalachian wilds

The concept of the open-air heavy metal music and camping fest, so popular in Europe, seems to be a rarity in America. Organizers of Shadow Woods Metal Fest plan to change that with their inaugural fest happening Sept 25-27, 2015 in Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania.

Shadow Woods Metal Fest features lead performances from Midnight, Falls of Rauros, Occultation, Menace Ruine, Velnias, Wormreich, Iron Man, Anagnorisis, The Flight of Sleipnir, Stone Breath and 24 other acts. Ninety early-bird weekend passes go on sale February 12 at noon for $82. After this initial sale, the remaining tickets will be $92. The fest showcases bands on two alternating stages all day Friday and Saturday. Workshops on topics such as runes, guitar maintenance, yoga and more will be offered and are included in the ticket price. Artists and record labels will be vending alongside several onsite food stands. Shadow Woods Metal Fest is BYOB and age restricted to 21+. Only 350 tickets will be sold. Get tickets here.


“The U.S. has big fests like Coachella that involve camping, but they don’t feature any bands I want to see,” said lead organizer Mary Spiro who runs the blog and who occasionally books shows in Baltimore, MD. “We also have great metal fests like Maryland Deathfest and Martydoom, but those events happen on parking lots or inside of venues. I wanted to experience the music I loved in a more aesthetically pleasing environment.”

After attending the California festival Stella Natura held in the Tahoe National Forest in 2013, she was further inspired to pursue her dream. “Stella Natura was a case study for me and helped me form sort of an overall vision for the event. Initially, all I wanted to do was to get a small group of bands I liked together for a weekend, maybe at a farm or something. But apparently I don’t know anyone willing to offer up their private property for such shenanigans,” she said.

It took her more than a year to find a good location to hold Shadow Woods Metal Fest, which turned out to be a camp used primarily for children’s summer programs. Mountain Lake Summer Camp caters to kids from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but off-season the owners rent to groups. The property has cabins, a lodge, electricity, indoor plumbing, a professional kitchen and cafeteria and is located adjacent to a swimmable lake. Attendees can tent camp on the grounds or bid to stay in one of six large cabins that can house up to 12 adults each.

Spiro assembled a team of enthusiastic promoters and others with expertise in fields such as sound, event security and hospitality to help make Shadow Woods Metal Fest a reality. The fest is co-hosted with Metallomusikum by Lokvlt Productions in Philadelphia, WinterForge Promotions in Pittsburgh, Leftover Pizza Productions in Frederick, MD and Slimehole/Strange Matter in Richmond, VA. Bands chosen to perform reflect some of the best in metal, experimental and neofolk in the mid-Atlantic region.

“There are not many outdoor metal festivals on the East Coast that aim to offer a variety of underground metal bands in an intimate setting. Shadow Woods Metal Fest beckons those to come witness what is brilliant and wild about metal in this decade,” said Christopher Woodford of WinterForge Promotions.

Some hope the gathering will offer opportunities to explore one’s spiritual side.

“This music fest is a crucible of underground metal, an affirmation of alternative ways of being, and a congregation of kindred spirits. To me, it is a beacon of hope and health in a dark and confused world,” said Annie C. Humphrey of Lokvlt. Humphrey will present a workshop on runes during the fest.

Leading underground record labels will vend at the fest and have shown support for its mission.

“A multi-day festival on the East Coast featuring an eclectic lineup of bands from across the underground metal, folk and experimental spectrum is a rare enough thing, but one that has been as thoughtfully curated as the inaugural Shadow Woods Fest promises to be a particularly unique and exciting event,” said Adam Wright, founder of Crucial Blast Records and a member of the fest’s planning group. “Anyone into the more atmospheric fringes of the extreme music scene should definitely be marking off their calendars for this.”

Visit Shadow Woods Metal Fest on the web at
On Facebook

Tweet about the fest with #SWMF2015

Here is the FULL LINEUP

Anagnorisis (Louisville, KY)
–American Black Metal; unsigned

Anicon (New York, NY)
–black metal; unsigned

Ashagal (New Hope, PA)
–Ritual folk; unsigned

Bridesmaid (Columbus, OH)
–Instrumental Doom-Sludge; unsigned

Cladonia Rangiferina (Lynchburg, VA)
— ritual black metal, doom, acid rock; unsigned

Dendritic Arbor (Pittsburgh, PA)
–black metal + powerviolence; Unholy Anarchy Records

Destroying Angel (Philadelphia, PA)-
–Folk music for exorcisms; unsigned

Dreadlords (Philadelphia, PA)
–Ritual black metal blues; Not Just Religious Music

Dweller in the Valley (Frederick, MD)
–Black, death, doom; Grimoire Records

Existentium (Baltimore, MD)
–melodic technical death metal; unsigned

Falls of Rauros (Portland, ME)
–folk/atmospheric black metal; Bindrune Recordings

Fin (Chicago, IL)
–black metal; unsigned

Heavy Temple (Philadelphia, PA)
–psychedelic doom; Vàn Records

Hivelords (Philadelphia, PA)
— experimental psychedelic black doom; Anthropic Records

Immortal Bird (Chicago, IL)
–black/death metal; unsigned

Iron Man (MD)
–doom metal/heavy rock; Rise Above Records

Menace Ruine (Montreal, Quebec)
–avant-garde drone black metal; Profound Lore Records

Midnight (Cleveland, Ohio)
–Black heavy metal; Hells Headbangers Records

Occultation (New York, NY)
–doom metal; Profound Lore Records

Oneirogen (New York, NY)
— dark, doom, drone; Denovali, Shinkoyo

Psalm Zero (New York, NY)
–experimental black doom; Profound Lore Records

Sentience (Woodland Park, NJ)
–death metal; unsigned

Slagstorm (Hagerstown, MD)
–prehistoric doom thrash; unsigned

Snakefeast (Baltimore, MD)
–jazz metal sludge; Grimoire Records

Stone Breath (Red Lion, PA)
–experimental folk; Hand/Eye Records

The Day of the Beast (Virginia Beach, VA)
–blackened death metal; unsigned

The Expanding Man (Baltimore, MD)
–solo improvisational electronic soundscapes; unsigned

The Flight of Sleipnir (Denver, CO)
–black metal; Napalm Records

The Owls Are Not What They Seem (York, PA)
–experimental ritual soundscapes; Eleventh Key

Tyrant’s Hand (Baltimore, MD)
–deathened black metal; Music For The Dead

Unsacred (Richmond, VA)
–savage black metal; Forcefield Records

Velnias (Denver, CO)
–blackened folk/doom metal; Pesanta Urfolk

Wormreich (Huntsville, AL & Nashville, TN)
–black metal; Moribund Records

ZUD (Portland, ME)
–bluesy outlaw black metal; unsigned

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