Bad news for those medieval minded metal heads out there, the recently announced Rolling Thunder heavy metal and rock festival has hit a pretty big bump in the road after the venue, medieval amusement park Kryal Castle, have this morning issued a statement claiming that promoter was never granted permission to host the festival there.
“The use of Kryal Castle imagery and our name has been without our authority and the promoter was asked to remove all reference to our venue as soon as we became aware of the pending ticket launch. We had hoped that the promoter would rectify the situation immediately, but this has failed to occur and has forced us to act to resolve the issue,” reads the statement.
“Kryal Castle has spent the last three years rebranding itself as a family friendly, medieval themed environment which is at odds with that of a heavy metal concert.”
Speaking with Music Feeds, venue site manager Serene Eldridge claimed that the venue had concerns over the viability of the festival in initial discussions, which were exacerbated by McManus’ plans to host two stages and 25 bands in the venue’s arena.
“The main issue though was after we told him no, he went out an announced the festival anyway, promoted it and sold tickets without there being any agreement in place, nothing signed, just an email chain,” she added. “We only found on Monday after he announced it because we had so many people calling us up asking about accommodation.”
Both the statement and Eldridge say the event’s promoter Robert McManus of Heathen Skulls had been “advised definitively on November 12th that Kryal Castle was not interested in hosting the event.”
McManus however alleged that it was the venue who pulled the plug on the event last minute due to their liquor license currently being under review following a violent incident at an Oktoberfest event earlier this year.
“Due to unfortunate circumstances that related to a previous event at Kryal Castle, it is with a heavy heart that we announce it is no longer possible to hold Rolling Thunder Festival at the Kryal Castle site,” reads a statement from Heathen Skulls released overnight.
Speaking to Music Feeds today, McManus said that it wasn’t until “the day after it was announced, that’s when I found out from the venue that the issue was with their liquor licensing” but later amended his story, claiming that “around the 12th of November was when we started discussing the issues around Octoberfest.”
McManus maintains says he “was told it was going ahead”, despite the language in an email obtained by Music Feeds, sent by the venue on November 12th to McManus, which stated that the venue had “taken the matter up with the owner who has advised that we have some items to address since the recent Oktoberfest event which was held at the castle a few weeks ago.
“As a consequence, we can’t consider any further requests to hire the entire castle at this stage until these items are resolved,” it reads.
Speaking to Music Feeds today McManus explained his decision to announce the event on Monday.
“I had a contract with The Sword’s agent where I had to keep certain timelines, you know announce this here, announce that there. So I needed to announce the festival on that date to link up with all the other announcements of their headline tour and so forth.”
In another twist, while the event promotion cites Young Henrys an official presenting partners, Richard Adamson of Young Henrys has told Music Feeds that while there were discussions, nothing was ever confirmed.
“It was a bit of a surprise to us, but I think the venue was more surprised than we were.”
“Heaps of this happens in the music business occasionally, but no harm to us. We were just surprised to hear it was going ahead and then we heard the venue didn’t know anything about it.”
McManus still plans to go ahead with the event, stating that “the festival is still happening, all the stuff that I had control over is all confirmed and I’m moving it to a new venue. So the event’s not cancelled. No way.”
According to a statement made on the Rolling Thunder Facebook page the event has already found a new venue, although no word yet on where it is other than it will have a campsite. The release reads “we can happily report that we’ve now found an amazing new site that alleviates one of our biggest concerns… How are our punters going to get home safely in the evening? Answer: You don’t have to leave in the evening, you will now be able to camp overnight!”
With full details of the new site, location & transport to be announced soon, anyone who’s already bought tickets will still be able to use them to gain entrance to the new site.
Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.
Rolling Thunder 2016 Lineup
American Sharks (USA)
Beastwars (NZ, only Australian show)
Radio Moscow (USA)
Kings Destroy (USA)
Salem’s Pot (Sweden)
Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene
Los Hombres Del Diablo
+ more to be announced
Rolling Thunder 2016
Saturday, 20th February 2016
Tickets: Rolling Thunder