As soon as they announced the lineup of last year’s Orion Music + More Festival. it was apparent that Metallica were doing things differently. While anyone could have slapped together a solid two-day lineup of heavy bands, the world’s biggest metal band brought country, plenty of indie rock and a brass band to play the inaugural version of the Fest, along with a healthy dose of heavy bands. And somehow it worked. This year, there were even less heavy bands, with reunions, more indie rock, and even a whole tent of dubstep the order of this past weekend. Yet in its new home of Detroit, the fest worked well once again. Metal Insider’s Kodi McKinney and Bram Teitelman were in Detroit this weekend, and while we’ll be bringing you interviews from the heavy bands that played there soon, here’s our take on the Fest:
Bram: Here’s why I think the Fest was a win once again. It took some of the best parts of last year (a diverse lineup, an extremely well-run festival courtesy of promoter C3, Metallica’s presence all over the Fest) and expanded on it. While Atlantic City was an ideal setting for us East Coasters, Detroit is central for just about everyone. And although it seemed like there was even less metal this year than last, that made it easier for metal fans to see all the heavy bands, or expose themselves to newer bands, many of which seemed game for more exposure. Even the trash disposal was innovative, as anyone bringing a recyclable bag full of cans and bottles was rewarded with a custom Orion t-shirt, leading to some strange sightings of concertgoers stumbling around with trash bags.
There’s one place where the Orion failed, and they admitted it right away: getting to the Fest and getting back. Taking place on Belle Isle, the only way to get there other than walking (which we were told you DID NOT want to do), was by taking a schoolbus shuttle from Cobo Hall. And picking up your ticket in a long line and waiting for a bus, which stretched around an entire city block, definitely took well over an hour. And for those that stuck around on Saturday, the wait to leave after the Red Hot Chili Peppers played was over an hour as well. However, not only did the organizers own up to it, the line to leave after Metallica last night was almost non-existent.