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Metal in Good Mettle

The Athiarchists
The Athiarchists

After seven years, Eugene Metal Celebration — a multi-night event held at Black Forest in downtown Eugene — is gaining attention from metal acts around the region and across the country.

“This year we’ve had a lot of bands from California and as far away as Boise, Idaho, hitting me up about playing,” says Black Forest booking agent Skyeler Williams.

“This time of year, it’s a high touring climate,” Williams says. “We get a lot of nationally touring metal bands that are looking for places to play. They end up playing the event. They have a great experience and then they tell other bands.”

Williams says EMC got its start back in the days of Eugene Celebration. Heavy bands struggled to find a place to play. Now Eugene Celebration has gone dormant but Eugene Metal Celebration lives on.

This year, Williams says, there’s an even mix between local and touring bands. “We want to showcase high quality bands that deliver a really powerful performance,” he continues. “The other thing I’m listening for is metal sub-genres. I want each corner of the metal community to be a part, to be involved.”

But more than anything, Williams says he hopes Eugene Metal Celebration helps support the strong local metal scene. He says all the acts “watch each other’s bands and support each other and have a great time.”

For a full lineup of this year’s Eugene Metal Celebration, search facebook.com. Eugene Metal Celebration will shred your shit all day, 7 pm to 2 am Friday and Saturday, July 28-29, at Black Forest; FREE, 21-plus. — Will Kennedy