Johannesburg, South Africa: who will ever forget the trembling of steel roof rafters to the sounds of glorious Metal in the old theateresque Bassline which played host to the Witchfest of 2015; where South African extreme metal history unfolded in it’s unparalleled thunderous glory? Never before had this nation witnessed such a grand assemblage of as many local extreme metal bands in one place over a single weekend, and an equally impressive dosage of renowned names from other parts of the world.
Whilst the dream of reliving these precious moments in the foreseeable future is unfortunately governed by matters of an unsteady economy, the players within the South African Metal arena have to navigate treacherous waters. It has come into question the affordability of pursuing Witchfest 2017 as an open air event in Johannesburg – a decision which was already also made for Cape Town many months ago. The festival promoter, Witchdoctor Productions, has announced today that the festival will return to the fond embrace of it’s old home in Newtown, Johannesburg to relive the glory of it’s yesteryear at the venue now known as The OBB (The Old Bassline Building) under new ownership.
This time, USA’s DevilDriver, Germany’s Mantar and UK’s One For Sorrow will lead the international charge at both events of the dual-city festival on the weekend of 14-15 April. They will also be accompanied by locals from various South Africa cities such as Zombies Ate My Girlfriend (CT), Theatre Runs Red (DBN), Boargazm (PTA), Bleeding Spawn (MP) as well as Vulvodynia who will be taking the South African flag on tour to Europe in the near future. Other highlights for the Johannesburg installment only will be a rare viewing opportunity with Wrust visiting from neighbouring Botswana, local legend SacriFist which recently celebrated it’s 25th year milestone and will be offering one of it’s final performances, Insidious Reign which has just returned to the stage after a recording hiatus and on the tail of it’s recent Fictitious Obsession release, and Demogoroth Satanum with it’s roots from Soweto. For connoisseurs of the heavier ilk, this presents an opportunity not to be missed!
Tickets already purchased will remain valid for the new venue. Purchases can also still be made via Computicket or the promoter’s own website at the price of R780. Active True Believers members are invited to purchase tickets and/or memorabilia Witchfest 2017 T-shirts (pre-order only & closing 31 March) via their membership and to take advantage of a monthly installment offer to make a bundle.
Whilst factors beyond the control of us mere citizenry continue to unfold as unscrupulous politicians continue to run rampant, we endure the storm with horns raised high and brothers and sisters by our side. The Metal must prevail.