For the first time in its five years, March Metal Meltdown will expand to three days of metal mayhem, as the festival takes over the Cricket Club Complex in Irvington, N.J., the weekend of March 7-9.
"We wanted to get closer to the Big Apple," said promoter Jack Koshick. "As soon as we heard Convention Hall wasn't available, we found this unique gem that was a haven for metal in the late '80s and early '90s."
The decision to turn the normally two-day-long event into a full weekend was made in part because of the smaller size of this year's venue. "We wanted to be able to accommodate the 100-plus bands and give the bigger bands the opportunity to perform their full sets," said Koshick.
Koshick promises the best lineup of the festival's half-decade history, with a diverse combination of bands from the most underground death metal to classic New Wave of British Heavy Metal. STATUS QUO, the British group that has sold over 110 million singles and albums worldwide over the course of its 35-year existence, and FOZZY, featuring WWE wrestler Chris Jericho and former members of STUCK MOJO, will headline Friday night.
"In a country that is ruled by trends, it's great to know that there are still concerts where fans of heavy metal can go and tear some shit up," said Jericho. "No band is going to tear up the New Jersey Metal Fest like FOZZY will. Just think about it...America's greatest rock band surrounded by America's biggest rock fans...that's a recipe for disaster!"
New Jersey's own OVERKILL, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year with a packed show at Asbury Park's Paramount Theatre, and South Carolina's NILE, with its Egyptian influenced death metal, will headline Saturday. The show will be finished off Sunday night with Florida death metal veterans DEICIDE and the first-ever American performance by Polish death/black metal band BEHEMOTH.
Metal Meltdown 5 is an all ages event, with alcohol available to those 21 and over. The Cricket Club Complex is located at 415 16th Ave. in Irvington, N.J., just minutes away from Newark International Airport.
Tickets are on sale now. The cost is $35 for a single day, $55 for two days, and $75 for a three-day pass. Tickets are available through TicketMaster, or by sending a check or money order to payable to "Jack Koshick Presents" and a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 1626 N. Prospect Ave., Suite 1801, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (Hotline 414/225-9060).