There is a lot happening in the world of music this year. The pandemic is behind us now. Mostly. Probably. And even though live music was becoming more regular last year, it is really opening up in 2023.
The decisions you have to make this year are not so much about which shows to see as which ones to skip, because there are just too many out there to catch them, all. Here at Shardik Media, we have that problem, too. With a finite staff and a modest budget, we are making some tough choices.
Here, then, is a list of festivals we plan to cover this year. Things change, so this list probably will as well. Let’s call it aspirational. In chronological order …
Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival, May 25-28. Taking place in the center of the country, Columbus, Ohio, Sonic Temple has only been around a short while, and it has skipped the past three years because of covid. It is labeled an art and music festival, and it truly is. The last instantiation had art installations and beautiful banners all over the grounds. This year’s music line-up is a big one, with headliners Tool, Avenged Sevenfold, Kiss, Queens of the Stone Age, Rob Zombie, Deftones, and Foo Fighters leading the charge. The festival also has an incredibly strong undercard, including Jawbreaker, Puscifier, Trivium, Knocked Loose, Beartooth, Anti-flag, and tons more. This is a big one, folks. Don’t miss out. This will be the only Danny Wimmer Productions fest Shardik Media will attend, but the others will be good too: Aftershock, Louder Than Life, Welcome To Rockville, and so on.
Buy tickets here: https://sonictemple2023.frontgatetickets.com/
Upheaval Festival, July 14-15. After relocating to Chicago this Spring, we are focusing attention more in this area of the country so Upheaval Festival is a good choice. It is the same weekend as Rock Fest in Wisconsin, but this one is a two-day event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and it fits the bill. Performing bands include Bring Me The Horizon, Lamb Of God, In This Moment, Halestorm, Falling In Reverse, Ice Nine Kills, and many more.
Buy tickets here: https://www.upheavalfest.com/tickets
Michigan Metal Fest, August 19. This one is a single-day event in Battle Creek, Michigan. It is held at Leila Arboretum, which is a fantastic venue for live music. There are forty bands across three stages in a gorgeous setting, including Born Of Osiris, Upon A Burning Body, Cultus Black, Casket Robbery, Hemlock, Psychostick, Raven Black, and the list goes on.
Buy tickets here: https://michiganmetalfest.bigcartel.com/category/tickets
Blue Ridge Rock Festival, September 7-10. Returning to the Virginia International Speedway in Alton, Virginia for a second year, this event has turned into one of the biggest rock and metal festivals in the US in the past couple of years. This will be our third year at Blue Ridge, and we are starting to feel like one of the crowd. Headliners this year are Slipknot, Pantera, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, Till Lindemann, Megadeth, Limp Bizkit, and Evanesence. And Danzig, Machine Head, Biohazard, Highly Suspect, Overkill, Black Label Society, Jinjer, Tallah, Lamb of God … it is a long list. There will be four stages this year, which is a nice set-up. I don’t know if the Kate Bush Hill will be between them this time or not. It will be a good weekend no matter what.
Buy tickets here: https://blueridgerockfest.com/festival-passes/
Power Trip Festival, October 6-8. Held at the grounds of the Empire Polo Club in the vicinity of Indio, California, the biggest festival of the year has only six bands: Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, and Tool. Mushrooms in GA, whattaya say.
Buy tickets here: https://www.axs.com/festivals/476616
LA’s Gates Of Metal Festival, October 14-15. Back for the third round, this festival focuses on epic, traditional, speed, and thrash metal. The line-up includes Riot, Hail Mary, Heathen, Sadistic Intent, Evil Dead, Hellfire, and more than a dozen more. This will be a great weekend in Garden Grove, California.
Buy tickets here: https://www.ticketweb.com/event/las-gates-of-metal-festival-garden-amphitheatre-tickets/13054735
Photos by Wayne Edwards, Aftershock Festival, Sacramento.