By Brent Mattson
VANCOUVER – In a summer filled with outdoor EDM and folk fests, the elusive Vancouver metalhead is normally relegated to its nocturnal habitat of black light basements and dives. Vancouver promotion and artist management company Art Signified founder Mitch Ray wants to summon headbangers from their dank pit.
“We want to throw the party of the summer for the local heavy music community, with a good mix of local and touring talent,” he said of the inaugural Out for a Riff festival on August 26. “There aren’t many, if any outdoor events for heavy music in Vancouver, so this is intended to fill that void.”
The event, created by Ray, Art Signified co-founder Taya Fraser and Scott Bartlett of Black River Productions, has expanded 14 of the heaviest acts they could find and tossed them into the Waldorf’s parking lot with 500 rabid metal fans. At the top of the bill are stoner kingpins Weedeater as well as soon-to-be local legends Black Wizard.
“The lineup this year is one legitimate banger after another,” Ray said. “When measured against any of the lineups we had in the past for Burger Fest, this one is a substantial leap forward, even though we’re very proud of all previous lineups as well.” Burger Fest was another collaborative festival between Art Signified and Black River.
Also in the lineup are Serial Hawk, Heron, Neck of the Woods, Wormwitch, Hedks, Satan’s Cape, The Hallowed Catharsis and Craters.
The event also includes food from The Heatley. And beyond sun, snacks and supreme riffage, Bartlett also emphasizes Out for a Riff’s goal of fostering a sense of community in the city’s metal scene.
“It’s about bringing the scene together for a giant summer party celebrating heavy music in Vancouver [and] cramming many skids as we can into the parking lot of The Waldorf. Everyone is welcome.”
Out for a Riff Vol. 1 takes place on August 26 at the Waldorf in VancouverArt Signified, black river productions, Black Wizard, burger fest, craters, festival, haggatha, HEDKS, Heron, jackalope’s, Metal, Neck of the Woods, out for a riff, Satan's Cape, serial hawk, summer, the hallowed catharsis, The Heatley, the waldorf, Weedeater, What's Up? Hot Dog!, wormwitch