We caught up with Damnation festival organiser Gavin McInally, and he put forward a case for 7 acts on the lineup who cannot be missed. Check it out below!
Last updated: 26th Oct 2023
Damnation Festival is right around the corner, and for the metalheads amongst you who will be in attendance, you may want a bit of an insight into bands you cannot be missing. Now on its 18th edition, second in the BEC Arena in Manchester, Damnation is a festival renowned for not relying on a headliner, and instead putting on a diverse, exclusive, and celebratory day of all things hard and heavy.
But with a lineup so varied, with many bands you may not have not heard of, where on earth do you start planning out who to see? Well, do not worry, as we met up with festival organiser Gavin McInally recently, and he's put forward a case for seven acts on his lineup, who he thinks should be on absolutely everyone's radar. Check them out below!
If you want to see what festival founder Gavin McInally had to say about Damnation Festival, its move to the BEC, and more, read our recent interview with him - HERE
On the booking, Gavin said: "It’s a big, and often very expensive, deal to land an exclusive album set for a festival, so the fact Damnation has both Vikingligr Veldi and Below The Lights over the weekend should not be overlooked.
"To put those sets in context, black metal debut VV headlined the 10,000-capacity Party Sans Open Air in Germany while Below the Lights isn’t just a UK one-off, but a world-exclusive performance.
"Be part of black metal history, not once, but twice, with these very, very special performances."
On the booking, Gavin said: "Pack the tissues and strap yourself in for an emotional rollercoaster as sad dads Katatonia run through one of their finest hours, Dead End Kings, in full.
"Ten years ago Katatonia performed Viva Emptiness at Damnation and it’s still talked about a decade later. This one-off show will be no different.
"And for those who enjoy the full collection of Katatonia, they’ll play a second set over the weekend of hits, not on Dead End Kings. Win. Win."
On the booking, Gavin said: "For an event that regularly books curveballs like Maybeshewill, Jo Quail, We Lost The Sea etc, it was the surprise inclusion of modern metalcore heroes Unearth that caught Damnation fans off guard.
"The fact that they’ll play their moshpit masterpiece The Oncoming Storm, is what changed the reaction from “ ah, nice” to “ah, I need to go damage myself” as 40-year-old men and women rewind the clock two decades and prepare to throw limbs.
"Deliberately booked early enough on the main stage so old people would still be active, it’s going to be a wild 43 minutes."
On the booking, Gavin said: "The voice of Made Out of Babies. The voice of Battle of Mice. The voice of Mariner. Demented genius, Juile Christmas, finally makes her UK debut as the banshee of her own project and with an arsenal of classics in her back catalogue, alongside a captivating stage presence, it will be a masterclass in noise rock and post-metal.
"And yes, a suitably eccentric dress has been commissioned for the occasion."
On the booking, Gavin said: "Metalcore pioneers Deadguy are so cult they make Botch look like Top of the Pops icons, so it was little wonder there was equal excitement and confusion when the New Jersey outfit - who broke up in 1997 - were announced for their first show ever outside North America, damnation.
"Those who knew, knew and those who didn’t soon found out what all the fuss was about with their first listen to the incredibly sinister Fixation On A Co-Worker. The iconic record, which inspired the likes of Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan, will be performed in full on the Friday before the promise of new material during a second set on Saturday.
"This one-time glimpse at the origins of metallic hardcore wasn’t supposed to be on the cards, but it is. Don’t miss it."
On the booking, Gavin said: "Nordic Giants are opening the main stage and we’ve got them on there because they use short films along with their music and that stage has a 12-meter cinema screen. It's mainly instrumental but the video feels like a part of a show.
"Walking into Damnation, maybe expecting a Thrash or Death Metal Band playing and suddenly you're struck with a Cinema wall, and these two guys dressed up in feathers, playing a keyboard and some drums… It's the moments you want to create because you want to read afterwards that, holy sh*t, I left with a new favourite band."
On the booking, Gavin said: "Fellow Glaswegians that are absolutely spectacular. Difficult to describe, black metal, avant-garde, a bit jazzy, political, they're fantastic.
Tickets for Damnation Festival 2023 or still available, secure yours before it's too late - HERE
Or, to find out more information, and some FAQs, on Damnation Festival 2023, visit the event page on Skiddle, by clicking or tapping - HERE
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