Kevin Lyman, co-founder of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, was recently interviewed by Detroit Free Press about the festival, and said that it is “at risk of going away at any given moment.” He claims that one of the main reasons is due to the greed of the top bands that actually have headlining potential.
Here’s what he had to say:
“The bands at the top all demand a certain level of fee to be on tour. Unlike punk rock, metal never knows how to take a step back to move the whole scene forward. That’s how punk rock was. That’s how we nurtured punk rock. Bad Religion would take a little less than they could on their own to bring the whole scene forward, so we could make sure we had a good [touring] package around them. Metal doesn’t seem to have that concern, never has, never has since I was working in the clubs in the ’80s. It’s always about a ‘me, me, me’ thing.”
He went on to say that that audiences have been shrinking as bands age:
“What happened was metal chased girls away because what happened was metal aged. Metal got gray, bald and fat. And metal was about danger. When you went to a metal show, it was dudes onstage; there was some danger in it.”
He also added the following about this year’s lineup:
“We had to condense it. The expenses of putting on those shows had gotten high, so we had to push it all into the concourses. They [the venues] don’t want to build a fence outside [for third and fourth stages] anymore. Those things cost money,” he said. “It was the best available for what we had to work with. We had pressure to keep the package at a certain price and make that work, and we had pressure on headliner expenses.”
He even went on to say that Slayer almost dropped off the tour, until King Diamond was added, so this year was really hard in terms of getting a solid lineup.
With that, it seems we may be witnessing the demise of Mayhem. It will be interesting to see how things play out next year.