This November, 20 heavy bands will take over the Gramercy Theatre as part of the first-ever, two day Metal Suckfest, an irreverently titled celebration of noise.
The festival is being organized by the heavy metal-loving duo behind the music blog MetalSucks.
The site’s name is a bit misleading. Editors-in-chief, Vince Neilstein and Axl Rosenberg, love metal.
When they started the site in 2006, they drew a lot of flack from fellow fans who didn’t appreciate the humor behind such a title.
“Our view is that if you don’t have the sense of humor to understand that the title is a joke, then you’re probably not going to like the site anyway,” said Neilstein, who lives in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn.
The editors, who work out of an office they call the MetalSucks Mansion, decided to organize Metal Suckfest because they wanted to add to what they feel is a relatively limited list of heavy metal rock festivals in the United States. Both native New Yorkers, they felt strongly about basing their new addition in the Big Apple.
“We saw a niche that needed to be filled, and we thought it would be a fun thing to do to just put together our own super metal show,” Neilstein said.
The blogging duo started pushing hard for a concert in January.
They approached Live Nation, the online entertainment and ticketing company, and secured the Gramercy Theatre, on East 23rd Street between Lexington and Park avenues, as their venue.
The space holds about 650 people, which Neilstein said will be a good starting size.
“For this first year, we just wanted to do something that was a little bit more manageable to get our feet wet and establish ourselves as a legit festival,” he said. “Ideally in future years, we’ll do it at bigger venues.”
Finding a concert space was a key component in the process, but the most time-consuming piece has been finding bands, Neilstein said.
The editors can’t afford to fly bands in and host them at New York City hotels, so the acts have to be close enough to drive in for the day.
The bands also have to fit into the festival’s price range. Neilstein said they will charge $30 per day for the event, which excludes higher-priced acts.
Municipal Waste and Cynic, the two headlining acts, fit all their criteria. Now Neilstein and Rosenberg are working to finalize their full, 20-band roster.
“It’s finally coming together,” Neilstein said. “And we’re really happy with the way it's turning out.”
The Metal Suckfest will be held at the Gramercy Theatre, Nov. 4-5, 2011.