RPM Fest to be held this weekend

  • A musician performs at last year's RPM Fest in Millers Falls. Contributed Photo/Alex Lindsay

Staff Writer
Published: 8/29/2019 8:32:18 AM

Don’t be surprised to hear a driving bassline and guttural screams drifting across the Connecticut River this Labor Day weekend — dozens of rock, punk and metal bands will take the stage at the riverside Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club for this year’s RPM Fest, which has become one of the largest heavy metal festivals in New England.

According to organizer Brian Westbrook, the festival, which will run Friday through Sunday, was started in 2014 in Greenfield, stemming from the region’s vibrant and tight-knit metal music scene. Since its inception, the event has grown dramatically. Its first year, about 200 people attended. This year, the lineup features more than 50 bands and hundreds of people are expected to attend. After a year-long hiatus in 2017 because of noise complaints, the festival moved from Greenfield to Millers Falls, expanding its capacity.

Besides music, there will be food trucks, craft breweries and venders as well as cornhole, whiffle ball and various yard games. Other activities include karaoke, metal yoga and a late-night dance party.

This year’s musical lineup is as follows: Inter Arma; Psychostick, Byzantine, The Absence, Swashbuckle, Moon Tooth, Mobile Deathcamp, Bask, Thoughtcrimes, Lich King, Stonecutters, Extinction A.D., Hivesmasher, Wasted Theory, Leather Lung, Netherlands, Carnivora, Harborlights, Problem With Dragons, Goblet, Protean Collective, My Missing Half, Heavy Necker, Inverter, Shadow Witch, Kindling, Husbandry, Crimespree, Disguise The Curse, Oroboro, Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre, Gwell-O, Cyperna, Conforza, Travel Amygdala, Cry Havoc!, Black Absence, Necronomichrist, Jeopardy, Thunderforge, Virus of Ideals, High N’ Heavy, Bone Church, One Ton Tommy Gun, Deranged Youth, PWRUP, Matriphagy, The Steelface Circus, DNZL.

The festival was moved to Labor Day weekend — a week later than it’s historically been held — to help with the noise. Additionally, music will end at 10 p.m. all three days — an hour earlier than before — and will start an hour earlier. RPM Fest’s music will start on Friday at 5 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Before and after music there will be quiet activities, like yoga and whiffle ball. Sound-dampening structures have been added to the stages. The main speakers all face south (away from Turners Falls). One stage, which was covered by a canopy last year, will be covered completely by a tent with a sound-absorbing back wall. For the main stage, a truck will be parked behind it with sound-absorbing panels. The third stage is under a pavilion, and only ran until 8 p.m. last year, so it probably wasn’t an issue.

Those who plan on attending are encouraged to bring along Frisbees, beach balls, inflatables, badminton, volleyball, bocce ball, tabletop games or Magic cards. Weekend tickets are $50 and tent camping is included with admission. Day admission is $20 for Friday; $30 for Saturday; and $30 for Sunday. Tickets and more information can be found at rpmfest.org/tickets.


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