Something’s brewing this year in New England, and from the looks and sounds of it, it’s bound to be heavy. Adam Straughn, long-time basshead and active member of the electronic music community, has joined forces with NV Concepts to cook up something truly exciting for this fall! His dream was to bridge the gap between the genres of music that helped shape his life and his business ventures: dubstep, heavy metal, and hip-hop. Combining these three communities, he’s slated to debut Heavy Fest, a one-day event celebrating all things heavy, this November in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The genesis of Heavy Fest actually stems from Straughn’s decision to attend college close to the Worcester Palladium music venue. As he was growing up, he described the Palladium as “a mecca for metal music.”
“A big deciding factor for me in school was definitely my love for (the Palladium), and all the music that came through that venue.” But it was while he was living in Worcester that he also began listening to electronic music, and booked his first show. “I did the best with what little money I had to work with, but I learned what it took to run a show, and had a great time with some of my best friends.”
Fast forward to graduation: Adam had picked up a camera and hit the ground running. “It didn’t take long before I was traveling all over to take photos for festivals.” As a fly on the wall, and in contact with many of the personnel behind the scenes, Straughn began to pick up on more and more of the little things that helped make festivals and events tick. As his network grew, and so did his photography business, he began producing merchandise for bands, DJs, and record labels as a way to make money while not having to spend it all on his constant traveling.
That’s where everything “comes full circle (pit)” says Straughn. After 5 years balancing his businesses and running around the country, he’d finally found himself in a position to give back to the community that has shown him so much love. “Right where my journey started, producing events in Worcester, at the music venue that I grew up with musically: The Palladium.”
“In so many ways, Heavy Fest is a reflection of my musical journey. It’s a passionate expression of what I believe a good festival should be with the vision of the event being influenced by my years of attending and working events.”
Earlier this week, Heavy Fest began slowly rolling out its inaugural lineup, and it certainly does seem to fit the theme that Straughn has hoped to curate. Current artists confirmed for the event are metal-step up-and-comer Sullivan King, electronicore quartet I See Stars, and conscious rap duo The Underachievers.
In terms of the lineup, and strategizing what exactly constitutes as “heavy enough” for Straughn, his formula seems pretty straight-forward: “when we chose a dubstep DJ, we wanted to make sure that they had roots in metal, or played metal songs in their sets. The same goes for metal bands. We wanted to find acts that use futuristic techniques like sampling or scratching. When it came to rap, we just wanted the heaviest, most hardcore acts available. Stuff that metalheads and bassheads would appreciate.”
Tickets went on-sale today, and the full lineup is set to release in early October.