Official press release:

The concept of the open-air heavy metal music and camping fest, so popular in Europe, seems to be a rarity in America. The organizers of Shadow Woods Metal Fest hope to change that with their inaugural fest happening Sept 25th – 27th, 2015 in Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

Shadow Woods Metal Fest features lead performances from Midnight, Falls of Rauros, Occultation, Menace Ruine, Velnias, Iron Man, Anagnorisis, The Flight of Sleipnir, and Stone Breath along with twenty-seven additional acts throughout the event. The fest showcases underground black, doom, death, and noise and experimental metal bands on two alternating stages all day Friday and Saturday. Camping and workshops on topics such as runes, guitar maintenance, yoga and more will be offered and are included in the ticket price. Artists and record labels will be vending alongside several onsite food stands. Shadow Woods Metal Fest is BYOB and age restricted to 21+. To keep the fest intimate, only 350 tickets will be sold, and the fest is already 1/3 sold out. Tickets are $92 (plus a 99 cent processing fee). A limited number of group cabins will also be available.

Shadow Woods Fest Lineup:

Anagnorisis (Louisville, KY – black metal)

Anicon (New York, NY – black metal)

Ashagal (New Hope, PA – ritual folk)

Bridesmaid (Columbus, OH – instrumental doom-sludge)

Cladonia Rangiferina (VA – ritual black metal, doom, acid rock)

Dendritic Arbor (Pittsburgh, PA – black metal / powerviolence)

Destroying Angel (Philadelphia, PA – folk music for exorcisms)

Dreadlords (Philadelphia, PA – ritual black metal blues)

Dweller In The Valley (Frederick, MD – black, death, doom)

Existentium (Baltimore, MD – melodic technical death metal)

Falls of Rauros (Portland, ME – folk/atmospheric black metal)

Fin (Chicago, IL – black metal; unsigned)

Heavy Temple (Philadelphia, PA – psychedelic doom)

Hivelords (Philadelphia, PA – experimental psychedelic black doom)

Immortal Bird (Chicago, IL – black/death metal)

Iron Man (MD – doom metal/heavy rock)

Menace Ruine (Montreal, QC – avant-garde drone black metal)

Midnight (Cleveland, Ohio – black heavy metal)

Molasses Barge (Pittsburgh, PA – traditional doom metal)

Occultation (New York, NY – doom metal)

Oneirogen (New York, NY – dark, doom, drone)

Psalm Zero (New York, NY – experimental black doom)

Sentience (Woodland Park, NJ – death metal)

Slagstorm (Hagerstown, MD – prehistoric doom thrash)

Snakefeast (Baltimore, MD – jazz metal sludge)

Stone Breath (Red Lion, PA – experimental folk)

The Black Moriah (Dallas/Fort Worth, TX – Western occult black/thrash)

The Day of the Beast (Virginia Beach, VA – blackened death metal)

The Expanding Man (Baltimore, MD – solo improvisational electronic soundscapes)

The Flight of Sleipnir (Denver, CO – black metal)

The Owls Are Not What They Seem (York, PA – experimental ritual

Tyrant’s Hand (Baltimore, MD – deathened black metal)

Unsacred (Richmond, VA – savage black metal)

Velnias (Denver, CO – blackened folk/doom metal)

Wormreich (Huntsville, AL & Nashville, TN – black metal)

ZUD (Portland, ME – bluesy outlaw black metal)

Lead organizer Mary Spiro who runs the blog and who books shows in Baltimore, Maryland says:

“The U.S. has big fests like Coachella that involve camping, but they don’t feature any bands I want to see. We also have great metal fests like Maryland Deathfest and Martydoom, but those events happen on parking lots or inside of venues. I wanted to experience the music I loved in a more aesthetically pleasing environment.”

After attending the California camping and music festival Stella Natura, held in the Tahoe National Forest in 2013, Spiro was further inspired to pursue her dream. She says:

Stella Natura was a case study for me and helped me form sort of an overall vision for the event. Also, the way that Under the Black Sun in Germany is set up is inspiring. Initially, all I wanted to do was to get a small group of bands I liked together for a weekend, maybe at a private farm or something. But apparently I don’t know anyone willing to offer up their property for such shenanigans. I didn’t want something huge though. I didn’t want it to have thousands of people. I wanted it to be intimate, relaxing, manageable and most of all allow attendees to see all of the bands, if they wanted to.”

It took her more than a year to find a good location to hold Shadow Woods Metal Fest, which turned out to be a camp used primarily for children’s Summer programs. Mountain Lake Summer Camp caters to kids from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but off-season the owners rent the property to groups. The well-maintained private property features cabins, a lodge, electricity, indoor plumbing, a professional kitchen and cafeteria and is located adjacent to a swimmable lake. Attendees can tent camp on the grounds or bid to stay in one of six large cabins that can house up to twelve adults each. Attendees may also drive from home or stay off site in a hotel in one of the neighboring towns.

Spiro assembled a team of enthusiastic promoters and others with expertise in fields such as sound, event security and hospitality to help make Shadow Woods Metal Fest a reality. The fest is co-hosted with Metallomusikum by Lokvlt Productions in Philadelphia, WinterForge Promotions in Pittsburgh, Leftover Pizza Productions in Frederick, Maryland and Slimehole/Strange Matter in Richmond, Virginia. Bands chosen to perform reflect the diversity of the underground music scene in mid-Atlantic region plus a few from across the country and even Canada. Christopher Woodford of WinterForge Promotions said:

“There are not many outdoor metal festivals on the East Coast that aim to offer a variety of underground metal bands in an intimate setting. Shadow Woods Metal Fest beckons those to come witness what is brilliant and wild about metal in this decade.”

Some hope the gathering will offer opportunities to explore one’s spiritual side. Annie C. Humphrey of Lokvlt said:

“This music fest is a crucible of underground metal, an affirmation of alternative ways of being, and a congregation of kindred spirits. To me, it is a beacon of hope and health in a dark and confused world.”

Humphrey will present a workshop on runes during the fest.

Leading underground record labels will vend at the fest and have shown support for its mission. Adam Wright, founder of Crucial Blast Records and a member of the fest’s planning group says:

“A multi-day festival on the East Coast featuring an eclectic lineup of bands from across the underground metal, folk and experimental spectrum is a rare enough thing, but one that has been as thoughtfully curated as the inaugural Shadow Woods Fest promises to be a particularly unique and exciting event. Anyone into the more atmospheric fringes of the extreme music scene should definitely be marking off their calendars for this.”

Shadow Woods Metal Fest 2