American touring festivals lack diversity according to Hellyeah guitarist

Posted by on February 17, 2015

We’re approaching two full months into 2015, and we’ve yet to hear a lot about the annual North American touring festivals like The Mayhem Festival and The Uproar Festival. Ultimately, it’s still anybody’s guess what bands will be booked on the various bills. But in a recent interview with In The Now Magazine, Hellyeah guitarist Tom Maxwell (formerly of Nothingface) revealed that while they may be on one of said festivals, they may be reluctant to jump on board. Maxwell elaborated by stating that many of the festival bills become repetitive with every year, booking the same or very similar sounding bands. While he stated that Hellyeah has plans to tour Europe and play some U.S. radio destination festivals, he has issues with how the touring festivals are operated:

“There’s word, and they’re talking about us maybe doing one of the summer tours here, but when we saw I don’t know, man… To me, these summer tours that are… Ozzfest did it right. A lot of great bands broke from that. And I’m not saying that the bands that are playing the summer tours now aren’t good, but I just don’t think there’s enough variety. It’s like, you get the same fucking bands year after year after year, it becomes just kind of stagnant to me. I would rather just pair up with a couple of other bands and go do our own tour and not worry about all the bullshit. There’s a lot that I don’t agree with on summer tours… ‘festival tours,’ they call them.

It’s such a racket, you know. The promoters, everybody are just fucking robbing the bands blind. You know what I mean? Some bands, they wanna do it, because it’s, like, there’s all these people there, so you’re almost forced that you have to say, ‘We’ve gotta play,’ even though they’re fucking shorting us big-time. It’s just a racket.

They [Ozzfests] were cool. It just seemed like there was, like… Every year you were looking forward to seeing who was on the bill. You always knew that Ozzy was going to headline, so there was no fucking pissing match of who’s this and that. Or Sabbath . So it was cool, man. I was fortunate enough to play that one year [with Nothingface], I think it was 2003 that we did it, and it was just great. It was so much fun.”

One of the most common complaints fans have with festivals like Mayhem is that bands are often repeated. And even if they’re not, the bills often reflect the same fan base and audience. Those audiences can and do change however, which is why you also see festivals (both destination and touring) attempt to diversify their lineups. You can view the entire interview for yourself below, but the bottom line is this: If you were planning on catching Hellyeah on an upcoming U.S. festival tour this summer, don’t be surprised if you don’t get the opportunity.


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Categorised in: News, Touring