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Dude Fest: not quite dead

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After watching Phoenix Bodies' fantastic set (which included flying chunks of curdled pink vomit and at least two penises) at the E.S. Jungle last July, I feared the worst. I feared that 2010 might have been the last year for the all-mighty Dude Fest.

It started out fairly small, the Fest of Dudes, attracting devotees of metal, hardcore and noise to the Circle City. As the years passed, it grew as more and more dudes became interested. Soon, it was a weekend-long event attracting fans of heavy music from all across the country... and the globe. The Fest peaked in 2008 with a fantastic line-up that included melodic sludge rockers Torche as well as Coliseum, Hewhocorrupts and Red Chord. Local acts Demiricous and the soon-to-be defunct In The Face of War also graced the stage. Hundreds of metal heads (if not more) swarmed on Indianapolis to participate in the mayhem.

TORCHE: go listen to Songs For Singles NOW!!!
  • TORCHE: go listen to Songs For Singles NOW!!!

2010, however, was a head-scratcher. Despite party metal gods Municipal Waste headlining, the event failed to draw the usual crowd. It takes tons of time, energy, money and passion to be able to put together and promote a festival like Dude Fest. When mastermind (and Phoenix Bodies frontman) Derek Black first started it, it was all about bringing together his favorite bands and his best friends. He put everything he had into his offspring. With so much riding on one man, the risks involved with the event increased as the fest grew.

After the low-turn out, local apathy and loss of money of 2010, I thought that we would never see another Dude Fest again. Then, through the wonder of the internet, I began to hear rumors and whispers of Dude Fest 2011! I was skeptical of the speculation at first, but then the names started rolling in. The first big name on the roster is Torche, still touring in support of the fantastic Songs For Singles EP. Playing along with them are heavy heavers Big Business, which formed out of the ashes of The Murder City Devils. Also announced are potentially permanent farewell shows for two local legends, The Dream Is Dead and Phoenix Bodies.

With Dude Fest scheduled for the weekend of July 27, we still have plenty of time for a few more surprises to crop up on the roster. I'm still holding out for my heroes Dillinger Four but I'm not too hopeful. I'm just happy Dude Fest is happening at all! You can stay updated by checking out the Dude Fest website HERE.

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