Imagine setting sail on a four-day cruise, surrounded by 3000 fellow metalheads and 60 bands, all sharing the same passion for heavy music. This is 70000tons of Metal, an epic journey that was sadly cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many wondering if this one-of-a-kind experience would ever return. And it did! This time, the cruisers boarded a new ship, the Freedom of The Seas, and set sail from Miami on January 30, 2023, heading to Bimini, Bahamas, and back on February 3, 2023., with a promising lineup of 60 bands. It was everything fellow cruisers had hoped for and more. The weather was perfect, but a few technical delays didn’t dampen the spirits of the metalheads onboard. The people coming together after such a long absence made this journey one of the happiest moments many hadn’t experienced in three years. This year’s lineup was nothing short of epic, with a mix of platinum-level acts like Amorphis, Kamelot, and Nightwish and exciting new additions such as Abysmal Dawn, Cryptosis, and Empress. From extreme death metal to power metal and everything in between, there was something for every metal fan to enjoy. 

One of the highlights of the cruise was the unique sets that bands put on just for the cruisers, such as Rotting Christ’s Sakis Tolis joining Insomnium on stage for a powerful performance of “White Christ.” The guitar solo in the hot tub by Dragonforce was also a moment to remember, one that didn’t get disrupted by mother nature. Fans witnessed incredible performances from artists such as Cammie Beverly of Oceans of Slumber, Merel Bechtold of Dear Mother, Kreator, Batushka, Belphegor, and many more! Aside from the music, the cruise allowed fans to connect, creating new friendships and rekindling old ones while enjoying the nonstop Metal and sleepless nights. Metal Insider is proud to support 70000tons of Metal and participating bands. We eagerly await next year’s voyage and another chance to join the global metal community on this unforgettable journey. 

We caught up with some bands onboard, and they shared their experiences with us. Metal Insider will highlight all sixty acts throughout the year, so stay tuned for much more! For many, the destination was secondary to the journey of sleepless nights and nonstop Metal. This was a chance to embrace live music to its fullest extremities, with costumes!


Charles Elliott of Abysmal Dawn:

Our first time on the boat was a great, surreal and sometimes exhausting experience. So many bands to catch and so many things to do. Our schedule was a little hard to navigate sometimes and since it was our first time, we signed up for as much stuff as we could i.e. signings, hosting a kayak trip, judging a belly flop contest, dinners, etc. We were operating on only a few hours of sleep at times but it was well worth it. It was great to see so many friends, bands and fans we met on tour again. We even did one of our sets in pirate outfits for fun. A unique experience through and through.”


Alexander Krull of Atrocity:

“70000 Tons of Metal is a very special and unique festival experience for every metal fan and musician! It feels like to be in a crazy metal paradise – almost surreal especially after the painful Corona years without live events. For Atrocity it was even more exciting as we could celebrate our release shows for the new OKKULT III album and playing the new material for the first time live on stage, a world premiere in the Caribbean – it can’t get any better than this! It was also a big pleasure to host again the All Star Jam, this year together with the wonderful Clementine of Visions of Atlantis. Thanks to the whole 70k family for an amazing adventure!”



“70,000 tons of metal was one of the craziest experiences in our career. Who would have thought that an orthodox black metal band from Poland would suit a festival on the cruise? Yes, we neither. From playing on the pool deck for all the beautiful people in jacuzzies, through the cupcake decoration course with our friends from Deathless Legacy, up to doing an interview in the jacuzzi with the robes on – it was a wild ride. Being a part of such an amazing cruise was just phenomenal. And meeting old friends from all of the bands wearing Hawaiian shirts just before they hit the stage to bring extreme metal to the people is just priceless. The whole idea of no VIP/Backstage area was pretty challenging for us, but to be completely honest, it felt so good to be so close to the people! We are extremely thankful to the 70k festival and Napalm Records for making it possible it was our first time on the cruise, but hopefully not the last one! That’s one of a kind experience that every metalhead should be a part of! We all hope to be there with you again soon!”


Dear Mother’s Merel Bechtold:

“When we got booked at 70000tons of metal for our first festival show ever, I couldn’t believe it! Being on the cruise twice before with Delain and MaYaN, I was extremely excited to return to the boat with my band DEAR MOTHER. I feel very passionately about this event, because it’s the only event where metalheads from all over the world meet. And because there is no backstage, you have the opportunity to meet and connect with so many people it’s just awesome.”


Deathless Legacy: 

“70k is an experience every metalhead should live in their life, at least once. For a band, to play in such an incredible environment, is like a dream coming true. The crew, the bands, the people, everyone is there just for one reason: metal. You can breath it in every corner. Our first show was at a “normal” time, 15:30 pm. But the second one was at 4:30 am, and we would have never expected to see so many people waiting till that crazy time to attend our show. Terrific experience, unforgettable, and we’re beyond grateful for having had that chance”


Destruction’s Schmier: 

“The first cruise after the pandemic, how will it be?  I was curious how it would turn out, because this is already my 4th getaway on the ultimate Metal ship. Also we played different boats before and this is surely the most spectacular one. Ok, this is the first time that it was not completely sold out but that did not bother me at all, it was actually nice to have some more space at the packed shows and the crowds were still smoking and burning for it. To all the skeptical people, I can tell you that the 70k cruise is for sure a “one hell of a lifetime experience” – the atmosphere, the ship, the catering, the flawless organization and all the METAL, it is as overwhelming as my first big Metal festival many, many years ago. So YES this is an amazing adventure, even that is not my first time, I recommend it to all my interested friends and I also see many sailors that return frequently, cause it is that bad ass!  We only live once right? This is definitely one to remember for a very long time – I am processing all the amazing impressions now, it takes a while, I will make sure the #PCD will not take over and move my ass to a gig. Thanks for having us – it was a true honor and a pleasure once again!”


 Alicia Vigil of Dragonforce:

“70k tons cruise was genuinely some of the most fun I’ve had in ages! Met so many new, fun people from all over the world who all shared this love of metal. It was also pretty special to break some records with my bandmate, Herman Li, by both water sliding and hot tub snorkeling underwater while playing. What a blast it all was!” 


Madeleine Liljestam & Rikard Ekberg from Eleine:

“It is a special feeling when  high expectations gets met. We have been wanting to play this cruise since we heard about it a couple of years ago, and to finally set our feet on this cruise with such a professional crew and production was truly something else on a positive note. It is a very unique experience. This was our first show across the Atlantic, and both we, and our new- and old fans, made sure that this didn’t go unnoticed. The opportunity to see so many international bands, whenever you want, and meet so many metal heads at the same spot – THAT is what makes this so special. You feel safe, surrounded by metal brothers and sisters, and the one goal is to have fun and create new memories together. Which is what life is all about.“ 



“We’ve been following the past editions of the 70k Tons of Metal Cruise from a distance, hoping that one day we could be part of what seemed to be a one of a kind situation. This year we got their call and we couldn’t be more excited. It hasn’t only been an incredible experience for us, but it was an honour living for 4 days on this huge boat, being part of this special community made of fans, tech guys and bands united, all together in the same boat, all eating and drinking in the same places, checking the shows together and having a great time breathing metal 24/7.”


Barbara Blackthorne of Empress:

“70k has been a dream of all of ours to play for years, and the one word that seemed to come up a lot when discussing the band’s time on the boat was “surreal”. It was pretty wild to walk right from your room and directly into a venue, then finish playing and race up to the pool deck to catch Warbringer and watch the sunrise. Or experience fine dining in a room full of metalheads with death metal playing in the background. The whole week felt like a total fantasy and every metalhead owes it to themselves to experience it at least once.”


Jorg of Eshtadur:

“Imagine to be taken out of civilization, to be removed from the matrix of daily matters, rental payments, insurances, taxes, work duties, family drama… And suddenly find yourself among the best musicians and bands around the globe, the best roadies, the best gear, amps, drums, equipment, anything you want, and in addition to that to find yourself in the middle of the ocean with 4 different venues and bands playing until 6am every day. For a band to be able to play 2 shows for such a versatile crowd, with people from all around the world, all kinds of nationalities, metalheads with all kinds of ears, it sounds like heavy metal paradise.”


Jarne Hodinsson from Feuerschwanz:

“70.000 tons of metal was one of the craziest experiences in our band history. The sheer size of the ship with all its stages, pools, restaurants, bars and casinos is just mindblowing. Our artist escorted shore excursion was a hell of a ride and a real adventure! What I loved the most about 70k was the interaction with the “70k family”. Everyone was so nice, welcoming and just happy to be part of this crazy, sleepless experience. 70k is like Metal Disney Land for Headbangers!”


Matic of Hei’An:

“For Hei’An, 70000TONS OF METAL 2023 was an absolutely surreal experience. We had the release show for our debut album “imago”, which was actually our first ever live show as Hei’An, in Ljubljana, Slovenia on the SAME NIGHT of our flight to Miami, and our 70k sets were only the second and third live shows in our career! We were very pleasantly surprised and humbled to see so many people show up to our sets, our Meet&Greet (we expected like 10 people for the shows and 1 person for the Meet&Greet, but there were waaaaaay more), a surprising number of people told us they knew us from before, wanted to take pictures etc., so it was quite a magical experience and a great start to our career as a live act. We are immensely thankful for 70000TONS, and everyone involved, for having us, and hope to be able to be there again in the future!”


Niilo of Insomnium:

“70,000 Tons remains the best floating festival in the world. Everyone in the boat seemed to be in a great mood, enjoying the bands, food, drinks, pools and the sun. It’s a killer concept!”


Piet Sielck of Iron Savior:

“70.000tons is awesomeness in it’s purest form! Not only have we performed (well) in front of so many great, hearty and totally crazy people at Studio B and the Poolstage, we also had the opportunity to meet all our fans and friends on board and just hang with them. The ship itself is insane, but what makes this event so very special is the people, the guests/fans, the awesome crew of 70.000tons but also the Royal Caribbean team that constantly gives their best to make all aboard happy. All in all this has been an experience of a lifetime and we hope to return to 70.000tons asap! Heavy Metal Never Dies \m/”


Jimmy Mattsson of Isole:

“It was truly a surreal and wonderful journey. Just the fact that there were waiters serving appetizers during Kreator massive pool deck set says quite a lot about the bizarreness of the whole cruise. You never know what you will experience. We have wanted to play onboard for so long and finally the stars aligned. Two epic sets on the open sea. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?”



“What a ride!! 70 000 Tons of Metal is the best festival you could ever imagine! To play rock n’ roll and party with all fantastic fans and bands 24/7 is amazing and like a dream come true. We have been blessed to play this cruise twice and each time have been a blast and for that we are so very thankful! For those of you who haven’t cruised yet – JUST DO IT!!!”


Francisco Haussmann guitarist of Nuclear:

“It was definitely a huge experience for all of us. To be honest we didn’t know what to expect but once on board, everything became clear. We had 4 days full of metal, friendship and good times ahead of us. We enjoyed both shows, met tons of people and I think people who saw us enjoyed as much as we did. We were trying to get this chance since 2013 and it finally happened this year! We cannot be happier and hopefully there’s a chance to come back there one day” 



“We had such an incredible and positive experience on 70k this year. We learned a lot watching and being around our idols and heroes as well as being around different bands of many styles, business and culture. We have many stories that we will gladly share and some we will only tell when the brews come out around the fire! Though there were many Canucks on the ship, we were proud to fly the maple leaf and represent our nation as the only Canadian band on board performing. Overall, we would love to come back and perform one day and hope everyone enjoyed our sets!”


Sight of Emptiness:

“Speechless with the reaction and positive feedback we continuously received everyday from people from all over the world after our first concert on day 1 and later on Thursday, what we consider a perfect show with an unique atmosphere on day 4 at the Royal Theater. It was magical indeed, we consider this concert as one of the most special ever in the band’s career. Being the first band ever from Central America and Costa Rica playing in the World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise, did come with a BIG responsibility but with immense honor and an everlasting satisfaction. We’ll be back 70000 Tons of Metal | Thank you so much for all the love and support! We are SIGHT OF EMPTINESS. After 18 years of consistency as a 100% independent band, four albums of original music (a fifth one in the making), video clips and hundreds of concerts inside and outside the country (Japan, Iceland, UK, Spain, Portugal, US, etc), we are presented with this unique and invaluable opportunity that recognizes our long history in a beautiful way. There is no doubt that this opportunity will continue to open new doors for us in the near future and confirms that all the conscientious work for so many years has not been in vain.” 


Morten of Sirenia: 

“70.000 tons of metal is the ultimate dream event for every musician and every fan. Sirenia had the pleasure of performing on this amazing cruise twice, and it was an absolutely amazing experience both times. Every metalhead should experience this. The atmosphere and the setting is just pure magic. I can’t wait to come back, whether as a performing artist or as a fan.” 


Emilio of Skiltron:

“We were so looking forward to playing 70000 Tons of Metal and we were trying to imagine how it would be, but to be honest the experience was far beyond our expectations! Everything was amazing. It is so different from what a normal festival is, you have plenty of activities to do on board, from visiting the gym, permanently meeting with fans and enjoying amazing food to all kinds of entertaining activities. We already want to come back!!!”


Vicious Rumors’ Geoff Thorpe:


“Vicious Rumors started the year in style with 2 featured sets on the pool deck and Theater on 70,000 tons of metal cruise! We’ve rocked the boat before but this time was special! This was our first show in years! We’re starting a new chapter in our line up. The staff, bands and fans are on an adventure together. The first after years of the plague. It’s an honor to be invited . This cruise just has something special for everyone! Seeing old friends , the atmosphere is undeniable. This time we played with the legendary Uli Roth for me, meeting him and seeing him play was like meeting Jimi Hendrix! I made sure to tell him.

It’s a community of fans and bands enjoying the music and lifestyle together with no  barriers between us… its truly a unique festival that ends too fast but at the same time when it’s done you feel like you can use the break! We start 40 pluse shows in the US/ Europe and Japan this year … kicking it off at 70,000 was inspiring and when we hit the road March 8Thwe’ll start with the full power and love of our art! Fired up from the cruise! I asked the Skipper if when VR comes back if I could drive the ship for a few min.. he shook his head no and said I’ll make a request. ( so don’t worry if you come abroad lol )

My guitars didn’t show up in time. It was a bit stressful but the cruise had a nice Gibson les paul and a sweet Gibson SG and the staff was fantastic to work with like always. It’s a great time and if you have the strength you can see up to 60 bands play 2 sets all in 4 days! Keep it heavy and see you on the road! Rock on!”


Michele Guaitoli of Visions of Atlantis:

“The moment in which you step on the cruise is the moment in which time stops and the dream begins: this is exactly how we all felt – once again – while sailing on the 70k. There’s this magical atmosphere surrounding you and it truly feels like you could wake up from one moment to the other. All the struggles of daily life are suddenly gone and a full-immersion in a huge, seemingly endless metal party begins. Being lost in the middle of the ocean, performing our music in front of so many sailors…as pirates, doesn’t it sound so damned right?”


Vreid’s Jørn Holen:  

“This was Vreids second time onboard the 70k cruise, and hopefully not the last!! As in 2017 it was an amazing experience, with two great sets, good slots, good venues (Pool deck & Ice Rink), with great audiences. A perfect day on Bahamas was also kind of needed as a break from the cold Norwegian winter. We were lucky to bring our old keyboard-player Gaute “Righ” Refsnes and got to perform some old Windir-classics as well. Big hails to our crew, and the local crew on both stages. Personally I noticed that the technical equipment on the 70k was of the highest standard, which made the shows really, really good! Thanks to the 70k-organization – we will gladly be back!!


70000tons of Metal Round 11 2023:




Metal Insider managed to do the impossible by photographing at least one set of each band. Here is at least one photo for each act. Stay tuned for individual artist spotlights throughout the year!


70000tons of Metal 2023 full lineup (photos in alphabetical order as well):

Abysmal Dawn, Amberian Dawn, Amorphis, Atrocity, Batushka, Belphegor, Bodyfarm, Cancer, Cryptosis, Cynic, Dark Tranquillity, Dear Mother, Deathless Legacy, Destruction, Dragonforce, Edge of Paradise, Eleine, Elvenking, Empress, Eshtadur, Evergrey, Fallujah, Feuerschwanz, Fractal Universe, Freedom Call, God Dethroned, Hei’An, Hideous Divinity, Hypocrisy, Insomnium, Internal Bleeding, Iron Savior, Isole, Jungle Rot, Kamelot, Keep of Kalessin, Korpiklaani, Kreator, Månegarm, Melechesh, Nightmare, Nightwish, Nothgard, Novembre, Nuclear, Obscura, Oceans Of Slumber, Osyron , Rotting Christ, Sight of Emptiness, Sirenia, Skiltron, The Crown, Uli Jon Roth, Vicious Rumors, Visions of Atlantis, Vreid, Warbringer, Wolfchant, Wormed