Heavy metal band Slipknot has announced the debut of Knotfest, the hard-hitting summer music festival that will be curated and headlined by the masked musicians.
Billed to wreak havoc in Midwestern U.S. — in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Friday, August 17, and Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday, August 18 — the band is returning to their roots (they formed in Des Moines) with big ambitions. Coordinating a festival is something Slipknot has always wanted to do, percussionist and founding member Shawn Crahan told Rolling Stone. “Now, after 15 years, things feel right, things feel complete, things feel like we can accomplish anything. And I love challenges,” he reflected.
“An apocalyptic world of fire and madness awaits you as you enter the gates to sinister surprises,” forewarns knotfest.com, the festival’s official website. “No one is safe.” Both shows have slightly different line-ups and attractions, so be sure to check the website for details. Along with Slipknot, scheduled bands include Deftones, Lamb of God, Dethklok, Prong, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cannibal Corpse, and more. Fans should expect a sensory overload. “I’m talking about smells, sights, hearing, your body, everything is overloaded with stimulation, because that’s what Slipknot does,” Crahan continued, in the Roling Stone interview.
Along with the music — which is predominantly NWOAHM, or the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, a genre that grew from the 1990’s and has characteristic hardcore aggression and death metal barking joined with the precision and melodies of traditional metal — festival goers can expect a menacing carnival of attractions. Featuring a big top filled with Slipknot memorabilia, interactive art installations, drum circles hosted by band members and involving junkyard cars, burlesque performances, graffiti, and a noteworthy quantity of fire, Slipknot is excited for an event devoted to their mindset and ideas.
When performing, each of Slipknot’s members wears a matching jumpsuit with a mask unique to their stage alias, and a simple number — it started during a rehearsal when Crahan, #6, wore a clown mask. Lead singer Corey Taylor, #8, elaborated on the meaning of their anonymity in an interview with NYrock.com. “It’s our way of becoming more intimate with the music,” he reflected, “A way for us to become unconscious of who we are and what we do outside of music. It’s a way for us to kind of crawl inside it and be able to use it.” The masks remain similarly themed though have evolved with the band — each new album has yielded new costumes and a matured sound.
Atop the festival’s website, it boldly declares that this upcoming event is “The first annual Knotfest,” implying fans should expect a new summer tradition. “It’s something that we want to be in control of so much that it can exist without us,” #6 reflected to Rolling Stone.
While Knotfest is the first festival that Slipknot has hosted, the Grammy Award-winning octet is seasoned when it comes to performing at them. Having commanded the stage at similar hard rock events like the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, Sonisphere Festival, and Rock In Rio, they are known for seamlessly delivering to large crowds.
Tickets for Knotfest go on sale Friday, June 8 at 10 a.m.