The year of 2015 has seen some tectonic shifts in the continental metalscape, and most particularly on the Southern Hemisphere. In April, the first all-metal festival in it’s class of line-up hit Johannesburg, South Africa with Witchfest hosting no less than a dozen extreme metal bands from Europe and the Americas along with a horde of local acts. In July, the legendary Banger Films (A Headbangers Journey, Global Metal, etc) arrived for the first time on African shores to acknowledge a growing scene in this part of the world. In September, Zimbabwe experienced it’s first known heavy metal concert as result of a bold initiative by local band Dividing The Element. And all the while, movement between neighbouring countries by metal bands has increased so much that now, the largest convergence in African history will descend upon Wolmer Bush Lounge on 31 October with Gorofest: Crossing Countries.
Once again, 2015 proves to be a landmark year in the unfolding history of the metal genre on a continent which has been, until recently, largely forgotten by those who do not live on it.
The man whose vision is soon to be realized is a Mozambican metalhead with grand ideas and a truckload of passion, based out of Maputo, the capital city of the South-East African nation. He describes how, when the local scene in Mozambique was at a dead end some years ago, he felt the compulsion to do something about it.
“The Gorofest comes from a long story. Goro organized the first edition to bring back the metal and raise it up, and it was called Metal Blast Back. Then Goro gather some bands to join and the event boomed above expectation.” ~ Goro Edgar Fast (event coordinator, Gorofest)
Goro went on to explain that how, upon the success of the first event, musician Stivie Kapoorchand of the local band Self Esteem proclaimed to the audience that since Goro had organized the event, his event series should thereafter be named Gorofest instead. And it has been known as such now since 2007, growing to stimulate and encourage the local scene, but also has begun to include metal bands from neighbouring countries as well.
“We are now going to make the Gorofest: Crossing Countries, where we will be having bands from many African countries with the aim to ‘internationalize’ the festival in Africa and worldwide.” ~ Goro Edgar Fast
Goro’s reasoning for hosting the Crossing Countries edition festival in South Africa rather than in his home stronghold of Maputo is more of a practical matter. Wolmer Bush Lounge, nearby Pretoria and Johannesburg, is within easier reach of major air and land transport routes for the bands coming in from various cities from a spread of countries including Mozambique, Botswana, Angola, Kenya, and possibly also from Namibia and even Egypt if those arrangements can be confirmed in time. He is also not stranger at the venue, having toured South Africa and performed there already with his own band SarcotrofiA.
“I, as a band member, felt cosy there. Years later I exposed the idea to Hein Van Der Walt and he embraced and supported the idea of getting together the African metal bands and bring something unique to Wolmer.” ~ Goro Edgar Fast
It sounds as though the concert represents a large risk to Goro and his participating bands. However, there is definitely a spirit reflected by all who are participating of a strong desire to bring the African metal scene together in a meaningful way and to network across borders, languages, and cultures. We believe, quite rightly as Goro has told us ~ “who never skittish never gain” ~ a phrase which might seem a little awkward in translation, but holds meaning that communicates very clearly.
Bands participating in the event are listed here in order of the event schedule:
14h00 – 3M (Mozambique)
14h40 – Last Shout (Angola)
15h30 – Skinflint (Botswana)
16h20 – Ovni (Mozambique)
17h10 – Desolation (South Africa – Durban)
18h00 – Dor Fantasma (Angola)
18h50 – Damning Cloudiness (Mozambique)
19h40 – Overthrust (Botswana)
20h30 – Imperial Destruction (South Africa – Cape Town)
21h20 – SarcotrofiA (Mozambique)
22h10 – Last Year’s Tragedy (Kenya)
23h00 – Demogoroth Satanum (South Africa – Johannesburg)
23h50 – Dark Necropoly (Mozambique)
00h40 – Adorned In Ash (South Africa – Pretoria)
Entrance fee will be virtually a giveaway at the low R80, which can be settled in cash at the gate and includes an overnight option for those who wish to bring a tent and sleeping bag. Reasonably priced food and drink will be available on site at Wolmer Bush Lounge. For further event and venue details, please visit the official facebook event page.