The already eighth installment of the Czech metal feast MetalGate Czech Death Fest, which took place June 16 to 18, 2016, on the usual crime scene of autocamp Brodský in Červený Kostelec, is passed and so we of the organizing team would like to invite you to a small ex post reminiscence on the matter from our perspective.
When we started preparing MGCDF vol. 8 last autumn, a decision was reached to innovate. No that the usual festival format were any bad, but on the other hand, it would be a shame not to work with and move forward this already established festival which during the seven years of its existence gained a firm place on the Czech metal scene and a loyal fanbase. That said, one should not be overtly excessive with innovations, and we as well had no intentions to implement drastic changes, especially so that we do not resign on or downright eliminate the unique, family-like even, atmosphere that came to be on MGCDF. Thus, under the motto of moderate progress within the bounds of reason, we got on with it.
The first area targeted for change was the festival catering; a move necessitated by experiences from previous installments wherein the catering left much to be desired. This year, we thus took it fully into our own hands and despite some bugs that need to be iron out in the future, we can attest to an improvement of the catering quality (for we ourselves ate the same food you did). Additional novelty in this area was the implementation of the festival currency, which hopefully did not inconvenience you much.
Next we modified the festival dramaturgy in the sense of giving more space to foreign guests, while searching for unusual acts, in which we succeeded to a degree, if we take into account THE GREAT OLD ONES, ARALLU, LYCHGATE, MAAT or VENDETTA FM. Even so, the rest of the roster belonged to a quality selection from the Czech metal scene, for that also is one of the marks of MetalGate Czech Death Fest.
Since we are on the subject of bands, there are several things of note worth mentioning. For example, the Czech metal-soul icon SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION introduced on this year’s installment the new album “Simple” that was released by MetalGate Records intentionally around the time of MGCDF. Another title, the vinyl version of the current album “Wareligion”, arrived with the thrash-death metal company ANTIGOD, whose performance featured guest appearances of two vocalists. The show of RETURN TO INNOCENCE brought a guest appearance of Gulesh, currently a member of MINORITY SOUND, who played with RTI in the band’s early years.
Even the foreign guests had an occasional surprise up their sleeves. For instance, the British founding fathers of grindcore, the iconic NAPALM DEATH, appeared already on Thursday instead of Saturday, whereby the whole eighth installment can in a way be seen as a NAPALM DEATH show with a big two days long afterparty, spearheaded by the Norwegian black metal cult DØDHEIMSGARD that incorporated into its setlist untraditionally a song with clean vocals, and by Spanish death metal pack AVULSED. Something extra came also from the French heralds of the Lovecraftian cosmic chaos THE GREAT OLD ONES, who introduced two brand new songs on MGCDF 2016 (these were the first two ones of their setlist).
The final area to have been innovated, substantially, was the festival services and accompanying activities. For the first time, we had on site a two-day program for kids, so that you would not have to worry about babysitting and since we claim to be a family-friendly festival, and from your feedback we are delighted that you found this novelty very useful, and thus will take place again next year. The rest were leisure activities designed to fill idle moments or as evening entertainment after the music shows were done for the day. And so we had a festival campfire, a nailing contest, a dart shooting gallery, as well as the Gorgan Brothers Amazing Cinematograph that suffered from technical glitches (as it so happens with new technologies), but ultimately managed to screen all that was planned (from what we heard, you particularly enjoyed the screening of the South Park movie). What we liked about these, was that we could then make more or less (rather less) serious video presentations about them.
Well, as you can see, there were quite a few changes and it is our hope that these did not spoil, rather improved, your stay on the eighth installment of our/your Czech metal feast. What new is coming to the next installment you will find out in due time. In any case, we are looking forward to see you all in June 2017 again in Autocamp Brodský on the ninth sequel of MetalGate Czech Death Fest!