Human Rights Watch states the following about Myanmar:
“Since staging a coup on February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military has carried out a brutal nationwide crackdown on millions of people opposed to its rule. The junta security forces have carried out mass killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, sexual violence, and other abuses that amount to crimes against humanity. Freedom of speech and assembly face severe restrictions.”
Imagine functioning as a politically conscious metal or hardcore band under these dark clouds? But that is exactly what has been happening in the country with bands like THE REBEL RIOT, TALKING DOGS, DEATH BY SYSTEM, and metal acts like NIGHTMARE. There even was a special compilation released entitled Myanmar Resistance featuring many of these bands as well as worldwide bands who joined the comp to stand in solidarity.
This past year, the members of Myanmar-based metal band NIGHTMARE, decided it was time to put a metal festival together to unite the folks of this community – called METAL FEST. The festival which dropped its inaugural event this past August is about to launch its second event.
The brainchild behind the fest, Aungmyolinn (guitarist of Nightmare), was kind enough to send us some information about the festival. “Ever since COVID 19, metal shows have completely stopped in Myanmar. We were just tired of this and decided it was time to restart and rebuild our community and that’s why our first event was called ‘The Return of Yangon’ which took place this past August. It was our attempt at trying to keep metal alive.” As you can imagine in a country like Myanmar with all of its social/political upheaval, the organizers of this event were doing this completely on their own. “We have zero sponsors for our events but we will keep doing this for as long as we can,” he states passionately.
The second edition takes on November 26.
Eventually, he has said he would love to have overseas bands come take part. If you’re interested to get your ass down to the paths less traveled – hit them up!
Keep yourself up to date at this link here: https://www.facebook.com/metalfestygn
Bands taking part this edition: