Mayhem Festival hit San Manuel Amphitheater again this past weekend for full day of metal. In past years, this staple of metal has started it’s run in San Bernardino, but this it kicked off in San Diego. I am not sure why that change was made, or if it was responsible for the change in atmosphere I felt, but this was not the Mayhem of the past. The lineup was really good – SLAYER! Along with Slayer, the Main Stage featured King Diamond, and Hellyeah. The secondary stage had the likes of White Chapel, Jungle Rot, and local Inland Band Contortion – who was the Coldcock Band Winner. Photographing Slayer was a bucket list moment, and it lived up to the hype.
This was my third year shooting Mayhem, and I have always loved the energy, but this year’s event was smaller – both in form and fans. The typical multiple secondary stages was changed to just one – The Victory Records Stage. That lone stage was up the hill behind the main stage, instead of in the side field as usual.
The real obvious change was the crowd. Gone were the seas of people that made walking difficult. The crowd was good, but not huge. As I was waiting in the pit to shoot the first Main stage act, The Devil Wears Prada, the amount of empty fixed seats was obvious. It has me wondering if this festival will continue. I hope so, I really do. No where else in So Cal, let alone the I.E., can you get this collection of good metal music.
Whatever happens next year, I am glad I was able to capture this event so many times, and if it does come back in 2016… go. Don’t miss out on a day of good fun, and great music.
Below is a gallery of photos, and as always, let me know if you went – and what you thought of the show!