"VIP/Backstage tickets for the Edison stages:
Every year, people ask if we will have something like this available, but we never have until now. A limited amount of 50 weekend (Fri-Sun) VIP/backstage tickets valid ONLY for the 3 stages at the Edison Lot will be available on our website tomorrow, February 26th at 2 PM (EST). This is a separate ticket that is needed in addition to general admission tickets for the Edison Lot. When you receive your VIP wristband at the entrance when you arrive, you will also be given vouchers that can be redeemed for 3 free drinks and a MDF T-shirt in the design and size of your choice."
With this announcement, the Maryland Deathfest has officially “jumped the shark.”
|I trust that y'all understand the reference.|
I don’t make this, or other criticisms regarding aspects of the festival, with the intent of being an overly negative keyboard warrior or backseat driver who somehow thinks he could do it a million times better. I certainly have ideas that I think would improve the festival but I can’t say that the organizers haven’t also considered the same ideas, weighed pros and cons, and determined them to be less than feasible. They invented the thing, so that’s sort of their right.
But I am someone who has been to at least a few days of every edition of what’s America’s biggest metal festival; corporate rock touring fests like the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest notwithstanding. I’ve seen the event grow from its origins at the Thunderdome through the House of Rock in White Flint to its time at Sonar in downtown Baltimore. It’s always been a good time despite occasional miscues such as when Pestilence couldn’t make it (extra Bolt Thrower appearance that year!), Dismember getting cut off early by city curfew, the pepper spray incident, and I managed to even survive last year’s issues with the frightening security hired to basically beat and rob the festival attendees.
|Just a typical experience for concert goers on Day 3 of the Maryland Deathfest.|
Ticket prices have also crept up aggressively each year; I understand that 2014’s edition of the festival would never be as affordable at 2003; when a 3 day pass to see almost exclusively American death metal bands cost me $40 bucks. Still, to attend every venue this year where bands are playing costs $255 bucks per attendee; since those passes sold out obviously the market is willing to bear that cost. Even for three days at the main stages (which are in an outdoor parking lot that’s a 15 minute walk away from the other venues, wtf?) the bill is $160 per fan for Friday-Sunday. The math for M and I= $320 bucks before parking, food, etc. Even with higher profile bands, that’s way beyond any rate of inflation. I might have the means to pay, but that's merch I'm not buying, beer I'm not drinking, and other shows in 2014 I won't be attending as a result. And that fucking sucks.
Now tack on the idea that for an additional $100 bucks per fan, you basically get to go backstage at the main venue (where I imagine therewill be a “lounge” tent or area for the bands), 3 free tickets for watered down macrobrews in a plastic cup, and a t shirt. Even the most appealing aspect of this, access to a clean bathroom, is bogus: this is a parking lot and your bathroom is probably a porta-potty. But you get to sport a “VIP wristband” and act like you’re better than other fans. It’s both a bad deal AND fosters the bullshit rockstar/diva attitude that I say has no goddamned place in the scene.
|Typical Metal Divas being all VIP-like.|
I’ll still end up going to this year’s festival because I dunno when I’ll have a chance to see My Dying Bride, At The Gates, or Unleashed any other time in the near or distant future. But looking at the direction the organizers want to take things, I unfortunately imagine that the Maryland Deathfest is going to implode in the next few years; destined to fall by the wayside just as the Milwaukee Metalfest before it.
|Promoting the 2016 edition of the Maryland Deathfest?|