Machine Head Vow to Skip Festival Shows During ‘Bloodstones & Diamonds’ Touring
As with most things, there are pros and cons to playing major festival events, but in a new blog posting Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn reveals that the band has decided to turn down all festival offers as they get ready to promote their 'Bloodstones & Diamonds' album.
In his lengthy posting explaining the band's reasoning, Flynn writes, "We're going to stop doing festivals. As it stands now, we have passed on a headline slot on Wacken, Soundwave Festival in Australia, Download U.K., Sonisphere U.K., Knotfest, Hellfest and a plethora of other festivals throughout the world. In fact, we have made a decision to not do ANY festivals for the entire 'Bloodstones & Diamonds' album cycle."
Simply put, Flynn says the band is burnt out on playing the festival circuit. He reveals that the overload of festivals has become too much, adding, "In 2012, we did three months straight of 'summer' festivals in Europe, but summer in Europe doesn't really start until September, so for the most part, we were playing outdoors to a lot of people, yes, no doubt, but these people are watching Machine Head at 5PM in the freezing rain with bitter winds ripping across the festival grounds and don't forget the fatal lightning strike too. Half the time, both the band and the audience are in cold/wet survival mode and to be honest, when it's like that, no matter how awesome the first Black Sabbath album starts, it's the lamest environment for a heavy metal show."
The vocalist says that the money for festivals is almost too good to pass up, but that it sometimes doesn't amount to much when factoring in all the expenses. "On that 2012 tour we earned more money than we had ever made, some shows were great, a lot were kinda “meh”, but because of fly-dates galore, days-off galore, and some mind-bogglingly bad budgeting we spent all the money we made. Imagine working your ass off for 3 months and not coming home with anything to show for it?"
Flynn says the idea of festivals or opening for other bands is that it will introduce you to more people and likely grow your fan base for when you return the next time around, but he adds that it's been his experience that that's no longer the case for his band.
"It used to be delivering a killer festival set could be a game changer. But I haven’t seen that happen in a while," says the vocalist. "For most bands it used to mean, slaying the huddled masses would pack ‘em in next time the band headlined. And ya know what? Maybe it does happen for some bands (though I haven’t heard that recently) but it just isn’t working for us anymore."
The rocker says there are good things about playing festivals, like hanging with other bands and rocking out for large audiences, but they've also enjoyed their own headlining shows where they know the crowd is there specifically for them.
That being said, Flynn says the band is anxious to headline their own dates and adds that they are planning some "An Evening With Machine Head" shows where there's no opening act.
"We are really excited about the idea, playing longer sets, throwing in some deep cuts, and just having our own world," says the frontman. "Promoters in the U.S. seem really stoked about it. Some have said it feels like an 'event.'" At present, the band will play some shows in Europe before the holidays, then expect to return stateside in January for a U.S. tour leg. Dates for the run will be revealed next week. In the interim, check out their currently booked shows here. And you can go ahead and order Machine Head's 'Bloodstone & Diamonds' album at this location.