Punk Rock and Metal Fest rolls into Holyoke Aug. 18

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE Attention all head-bangers: Holyoke will be a must-visit location for Aug. 18. The second annual Holyoke Punk and Metal Fest will roll into town with 12 bands providing nine hours of music.

Co-present Gabriel Bon explained to Reminder Publications that he wanted to people to know that western Massachusetts has a "good music scene."

This year the festival will be featured at Holyoke Heritage Park at 221 Appleton Street. It starts at 11 a.m. and will go through 8 p.m. the show will go on rain or shine, he said.

The show is technically free, but raffle tickets costing $5 will be sold to help underwrite the costs of the show.

Bon said the first show drew between 400 and 500 musical fans to Holyoke's Waterfront Tavern. This year he wanted to move the festival to someplace to accommodate a larger audience. He also liked to idea of musicians have the chance to perform outdoors and being at a venue where younger audiences were welcomed.

There will be pizza sold at the festival, but there will be no alcoholic beverages.

Most of the bands are from the Bay State and the majority is from the Pioneer valley, he said. He described the music as "hard core, a genre of punk." Bon also said he tied to program a variety of metal acts.

The bands scheduled to appear include: Shoot To Kill; El Machete Negro; Five Across The Eyes; Mannequin Cameltoe; Gone By Daylight; Fight Till The End; Sexual Powder Keg; In Dire Need; Shapes; Sundown; Harvey Gone Rotten; and Black Days Dawning.

Bon and Marvin Quinones are financing the event themselves and Bon said the event "is becoming bigger than expected to be." He said that he and his partner work "$8 an hour jobs" to make the festival a reality.

Bon is a Holyoke native and said his hometown "has a lot of potential."