(LINTON) - Because organizers of the Linton Music Festival know metal's precious to a sizable segment of their fanbase, Oct. 20 will see the debut of Rocktoberfest.
Mark Stalcup, of the Greene County Daily World reports, the six-band show, slated from 4 to 11 p.m. at the Linton National Guard Armory that night, will essentially transplant the Friday night hard rock show which once served as the festival's opening salvo.
Slated to perform at the inaugural Rocktoberfest so far are Icon, Tenstrip, Nail Driven and Demolition -- all bands which have performed previously at the Music Fest or else appeared at the Christian music festival Lamb Jam.
Rocktoberfest will differ slightly from the music festival held each Labor Day weekend in Humphreys Park. Admission won't be free, but rather paid. The money raised, however, won't benefit the Music Fest, but rather solely support covering the costs of the show.
"We will charge," said festival founded Jared Albright. "But it will just go to the event itself, not to the music festival. We're not going to rob from Peter to pay Paul here."
This year, for the 8th annual Linton Music Fest, tonight's opening metal and hard rock show has also been replaced with a more diverse slate of artists.
However, the actual reduction in hard rock bands performing Friday only halved last year's line-up.
"There will still be hard rock bands playing Friday," Albright said. "It's just that now there will be three, instead of six."
Those trims, cutting the performances in half, are in line generally with the festival's reductions to its roster this year.
While the number of acts reached an all-time high last year with 50, concerns arose about bands performing at the same time being harder for fans to hear, and distracting from one another.
"We knew, even going into it, it was going to be a problem last year," Albright said Wednesday. "We don't do this show every week, and we don't do it on the fly. When we experiment, like we did last year, it's a once-a-year thing."
Accordingly, performers were reduced from 50 acts down to 30, stages were cut down from three to two, and performances were staggered so musical performances each start and finish without overlapping with any other acts.
Remaining on the festival's roster this year for today are Awaken, Diesel and No 1 Zero, who close tonight's main stage just as it did last year. All the hard rock acts remain the focus of the festival's main stage during the opening night.
Other rock bands, meanwhile, appear on the tent stage, making tonight's show centered more on rock n' roll than the festival's other two days, even if the evening's no longer categorized by a specific genre.
Instead, organizers say they'd like to see a more diverse array of performances.
That diversity, which has long been the standard for the other two days of the three-day free festival, was necessary, Albright explained, to draw a crowd.
"We had seen the crowds growing on Friday nights," Albright explained, but when a crowd of 800 perhaps has only 200 who enjoy a certain style of music, such as metal, then a broader appeal must be sought for the main festival stage.
Meanwhile, Albright said, the shift away from an evening specifically dedicated to a genre clears the path for a special concert dedicated especially to heavy metal and hard rock bands: Hence, Rocktoberfest.
"We believed that the metal fans translated to a strong audience, and a solid audience," he said. "Now, we have the chance to do things up right and have a real, solid hard rock and heavy metal show."
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