By Ana Krunic
VANCOUVER – The phrase “Women of Metal” has, in the past, unfortunately been seen in magazines commonly accompanied by photos of swimsuit models with guitars they may not be too sure how to hold. This is fine in its own way, until you consider the historical lack of representation of female musicians in the metal world in any real manner. This has changed quite a bit over the years, but the gap is still there. Metalocalypstick Festival founder Kaija Kinney saw this void and sought to fill it with an event that invites metal bands with female members from Canada and abroad to showcase their music in a summer festival setting. “I saw that there were really no female-oriented metal festivals, and the ones I did find mostly focused on only vocalists. Once I get an idea in my head, I have to do it.”
Kinney herself is the frontwoman for the band Anarcheon, and no stranger to a question a lot of women in metal bands hear ad nauseum – what’s it like being a girl in a metal band? “I guess I’m sort of playing on that, too,” says Kinney, “but that’s not what I want to do with it. It’s more to showcase all the women in metal and how badass they are, especially since most of us are still playing in male-dominated bands.” Granted, in terms of proportion, there are more male musicians playing metal for whatever reason – but that doesn’t mean it was at all difficult to fill the festival’s lineup. This year’s festival includes 19 bands, from all over the world including Canada, Mexico, and Egypt. “I literally spent 18 hour days on the computer researching all these bands and just trying to get them over here.”
In addition to being a showcase for women in metal, Metalocalypstick donates profits from the festival to groups like Vancouver Rape Relief and Shelter, Earth Protectors as well as Girl’s Rock Camp. “We want to encourage women [in performance arts.] Building confidence for these girls is so important.” Girl’s Rock Camp is a non-profit society that does mentorships and workshops offering musical training and organizing performances to build self-esteem and community through music.
Visitors will be camping out while bands play from the beginning of the afternoon until late at night, with no shortage of activities such as more-than-likely-drunken baseball games and nearby lakes to swim in when it inevitably gets too hot. You’ll find Kinney running around at the festival making sure the cogs are turning.
“For me, it’s pretty hectic. Running around, making sure everything’s good and running smoothly. Being the second year, I’m thinking things will run a bit tighter and I have a few volunteers to help out.”
The festival is a great female-oriented foil to the rest of the growing metal festival scene in British Columbia. Summertime gatherings like Armstrong Metal Fest and Metallion in Prince George are gaining in popularity every year. With Metalocalypstick Festival joining the ranks, the three make for an entire summer of metal.
Metalocalypstic Festival takes place in Lone Butte, BC on July 1 and 2.