MEXICO — Make sure to have a set of earplugs on hand. Mexico is about to get loud again.

The Mexico Metalfest, which has been on hiatus since 2009, is making its return on Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Mexico Recreation Park with several bands already scheduled to perform, said Nick Graham, the Mexico resident responsible for creating the music festival nearly a decade earlier.

“The original Mexico Metalfest was about building a community,” Graham said. “A lot of shows nowadays seem to be about bringing in bands and making money. Metalfest was never about that. It’s all about building that community of fans, getting the bands together, playing some music and hanging out.”

That idea of camaraderie and community is what drove Graham and his death metal band, Hatred Alive, to form the Metalfest in the early 2000s.

“It was an annual event for a while,” Graham explained. “We missed a couple years here and there, but for the most part, we hosted the festival at the Mexico Recreation Park every year. We have a small metal scene in Maine, but our fan-base is really passionate.

The Metalfest went on an indefinite hiatus in 2009, Graham said.


“There were some changes with the Recreation Center, and my band, Hatred Alive, went on hiatus for awhile, so things sort of fell off,” Graham said.

Five years later, Graham said he was contacted by the Mexico Recreation Center about reviving the dormant music festival.

“I know that they’ve been doing a lot of work up there to improve the place,” Graham said of the Recreation Center. “It’s been a last-minute endeavor, but so far, the response to the return of Metalfest has been surprisingly big. There’s a lot of people who are excited to see it come back.”

The return of the festival is bringing other long-dormant bands from the local music scene back to life, Graham said.

“We’re coming back to perform at this year’s Metalfest,” Graham said. “A lot of the bands who played at the first Metalfest that don’t play together anymore are doing a reunion just for this one show.”

Graham said that the recent fire at the Mexico Recreation Park that eradicated the snack shack building put a snag in the plans to revive the Metalfest, adding that “the festival will still take place on Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Recreation Park.”


“The fire caused some disruption, but we’re dedicated to keeping the Metalfest there,” Graham said. “It’s always been held at the Recreation Park, so it’s hard to imagine holding it elsewhere. Plus, it feels like with the snack shack burning down, it’s more important than ever to hold this. We usually donate proceeds back to the Recreation Park and Recreation Center as a thank-you. This year, we’re probably going to put out a donation pail to help raise funds for the snack shack.”

Although bands performing metal music may be seen as inappropriate for children, due to the intensity of the music or the content in the lyrics, Graham said that he has always gone out of his way to make sure that the festival remains “family friendly.”

“I talk with all of the bands performing about keeping the profanity down in between songs,” Graham said. “I know that metal shows draw a certain crowd, but I’ve always tried to make sure that things are safe for children, whether it’s by making sure bands don’t use profanity or keeping the show chem-free.”

The 2014 Mexico Metalfest doesn’t begin until Aug. 3, but Graham said he already has his eye on the future.

“I was talking with Wayne Sevigny, the Recreation Center director, and mentioned to him that we should hold a multi-day music festival for the area,” Graham said. “On one day, we could have the Metalfest. On another day, we could have another group of bands. He said he’d be open to the idea moving forward.”

“Eventually, I’d like to be able to bring in some big-name bands to the festival,” Graham said. “We haven’t even held this year’s Metalfest, but I like to think forward.”

The entrance fee for the Mexico Metalfest is $3. Bands will begin performing at noon, Graham said, adding that dogs will not be allowed at the Recreation Park.

For more information about the Metalfest, visit the event’s Facebook page.

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