It was a chilly Saturday morning in May last year as campers and ticket holders slowly ascended on the newly constructed Northern Invasion venue. No one had any idea what magic would unfold as they entered the gates. The excitement was palpable as the crowd grew, and that was before one note had been played by any band. The sky was the bluest I had seen in ages, and the temperature perfect. The food vendors were quick and courteous, and every member of the event staff was friendly and genuine. The bathrooms never became gross, and the onsite police were actually very cool. The organizers had showed up with their A-game folks, and they followed through well after Slipknot’s last note faded into the Wisconsin night.
Why am I reveling in the memories of a past festival you may ask? Simple, Northern Invasion 2016! The festival has been expanded to two days of the best Metal bands in the industry. The awesome starts on May 14 and continues into May 15 in Somerset WI, nestled in the same acoustically amazing countryside as last year. The talent has been revealed, but, just like last year, the specific stage times of each band will not be released until close to festival time. Last year the geniuses in the tech department at camp Northern Invasion gave all of us the option to download the Northern Invasion App that gave us all the times and all other info straight to our mobile devices, and it was indispensable. I hope they make that an option again this year, I referred to it constantly during the entire festival.
This year’s Northern Invasion has crafted one of the most well rounded and creative lineup of the 2016 festival circuit. There are bands that will be gracing the stage on those two days in May that have not stepped foot in Wisconsin for many moons, and sadly may not return for as long or longer. There are no filler bands on this bill, each are well established, and are solid draws independently. Granted, there are some greener bands like City of The Weak, but even Slipknot was green band at a festival once. On a side note, make sure you catch City of The Weak, Stef with an “F” is a front woman to watch, that girl has some pipes! Other newer bands include Ashes to New who have toured with some of the biggest names in Metal this past year, and Red Sun Rising. Those attending will be treated to the solo Lacy Sturm and Adam Gontiers new group, Saint Asonia. The dynamic front woman duo of Heidi and Carla bring the rest of the Butcher babies to school listeners on how hard Metal Chicks can rock. Clutch has humbly decided to come on out and treat fest goers to some of the infectious new songs from their most recently released album. Lead singer Neil Fallon is one of the most enigmatic front man of our generation, as is Randy Blythe of Lamb of God, who will also be appearing.
The fest also has brought in some individual rock/metal legends with their current groups, that sometimes get overlooked. Sixx A.M., Nikki Sixx’s talent-packed side project no doubt will change the minds of many die hard Motley Crew fans that feel Nikki couldn’t top what he did with M.C. Chad Grey and Vinnie Paul, each famous in their own right, along with the rest of Hellyeah also will be present and ready to shake the hills. Along with revamped legends, music lovers will love the freak factor that has been tapped in to at this year’s fest. Energy charged Avatar is known for their unique stage presence and creative appearance as is Ghost. This will be Ghosts first appearance is Wisconsin since their Grammy win and are known to try to rile the crowd with controversy. The Sunshine state will be well represented with 3 Florida born bands, Trivium, A Day to Remember, and the constant crowd pleasing Shinedown. A mini British Invasion will occur with Metal Core group Asking Alexandria and Bring Me To the Horizon. Northern Invasion also is gifting fans with a rare for the area performance by the once chart topping Chevelle. Festival goers should remember to bring extra lighters for Seether’s set. The South African band will surely play their newest chart topping Anthem “Save Today.”
The heavy hitters of this 2 day festival are glaringly obvious, and will defiantly be main stage prime time slot performers. I would hate to be the scheduler for the coveted closing time slot for each night. How do you chose between Rob Zombie, Korn and Disturbed? Have David Draiman, Jonathan Davis, and Rob Zombie draw straws to see who plays last? Each is a headliner in their own right, and fest goers get all three, plus a couple dozen other uber-talented acts for competitively priced tickets. There are many different packages available that include camping and both days of the fest. Just like last year, packages started selling out the first week, but there are still many options available. I will caution those of you that like to wait til the last minute to get tickets for shows, don’t do it with this festival. I advise you sell a kidney if you have to in order to raise the money. Last year, Northern Invasion sold out over a week before the show, and no one, I mean zero people were selling their tickets.
Last year’s Northern Invasion was memorable, this year’s Northern Invasion promises to be astounding. Please take a second and click on the link provided for every little morsel of intel your will need to plan your trip to Northern Invasion 2016. ~Skullgurl Metalchick~