Today brought an official announcement I’ve been waiting on for months, ever since hearing early hints that it would be happening: Two of America’s best underground labels — Gilead Media and 20 Buck Spin — are collaborating to present a metal festival on August 12-14, 2016, in Olympia, Washington — the first (and we hope not the last) Migration Fest.
The initial line-up of confirmed bands announced today is, in a word, fantastic. It primarily showcases bands from each label’s roster, but also includes “other affiliated and respected artists, highlighting the distinct and contrasting styles that makes each label stand out”. Check this out:
The Body & Krieg collaborative performance
Dead To A Dying World
Full Of Hell
Kowloon Walled City
Approximately six bands remain to be announced, including some headliners, but that’s one hell of a list already.
The festival will take place at the historic Capitol Theater in downtown Olympia, and there will also be separate after-shows to occur at a smaller local venue, to be announced at a later date.
Selfishly speaking (which is mainly how I speak), the location could hardly be better, since Olympia is a short drive south from our home base here in the Seattle area. Granted, for most people outside the western part of the country, it might be a hike to get here — but one that would be well worth it. And, selfishly speaking, the fewer of you, the more room for me.
(Somewhat against my selfish interests, I should mention for those of you who haven’t been to this part of Washington in August before, the weather is pretty dependably glorious that time of year.)
Apart from the ideal location, I’m especially excited for this because I had such an absolutely amazing time at the last Gilead Fest in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, two summers ago. It seemed like a family reunion of like-minded metalheads and friends. It was very well-run, very warm and welcoming — and the music was spectacular. I’m expecting something similar for Migration Fest. Here’s some more info from the announcement:
20 Buck Spin was founded in early 2005 in the East Bay Area of California and has been based in Olympia, WA since late 2007. The label has released approximately 80 records during that time steadily increasing its yearly output and range.
“I’d heard Adam (Bartlett, Gilead Media boss) was thinking of coming West to do the next iteration of Gilead Fest. I’d been thinking of doing something similar myself for years but never had, and so suggested we join up and do something together. Adam was immediately receptive and the idea for Migration Festival was born right then.” said David Adelson, 20 Buck Spin founder. “Olympia felt right since I’m already based here, and because of its small size and walkability this is a great place to have it, both for locals, and for out-of-towers.
Gilead Media was founded in 2005 in Toledo, Ohio, and in 2007 relocated to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the hometown of founder Adam Bartlett. Since its inception the label has focused on releasing thought-provoking art from across the spectrum of dark and heavy music.
Says Bartlett, “After two successful installments of my own Gilead Fest in this small Wisconsin town it seemed like the time was right to branch out and try something different. The idea to work with Dave and his label on a collaborative event makes perfect sense given our similar music backgrounds and diverse, but complimentary label families. And Olympia serves as the perfect central location for this type of festival.”
Ticket information, including price and on-sale date, will be announced in the near future. A full list of suggested local Olympia hotels, bars, restaurants, and other businesses will also be published soon, and I gather that nearly all of them will be within walking distance of the venue. Watch these spaces for more info: