How much does it cost to do a metal festival?

Every day there are more options for metal festivals in Mexico, the dream of every lover of the genre in our country. Names like Hell and Heaven, Domination, Metal Devastation, Mexico Metal Fest, Candelabrum, Force Fest, Night of the Living Death and a long etcetera are increasingly common in our slang, but have you ever wondered how much it costs to carry out one of these festivals?

The answer to this is not easy to answer and depends on several factors, starting with the fact that not all of them cost the same but in no case will it be cheap. Of course, it is not the same to organize a Hell and Heaven or a Domination, as a Total Death Over Mexico or Mexxxicore Death Fest and we do not say it to demerit any event, but common sense dictates that Manowar or Misfits cobran mucho más – y es mucho más caro de producir – que Lvcifyre.

Gojira at Hell and Heaven 2018

Un festival de tamaño “pequeño” – por decirlo de alguna forma, tiene como ventaja que las bandas que generalmente forman parte de sus carteles no cobran un sueldo exhorbitante que no pasa los 5 mil dólares o incluso hay ocasiones donde se puede negociar que las bandas no cobren un sueldo como tal, ¡ah! pero no te engañes, de todas formas hay que cubrir sus gastos de transportación, hospedaje, comidas y lo que sea que venga en el contrato. También hay que considerar los costos de backline, microfonía, luces y sonido en caso de que el lugar donde se lleve a cabo el show no cuenten con ello, así que por mucho que intentes ahorrar, estos festivales no cuestan menos de 150 o 200 mil pesos, si es que te va bien.

Speaking of larger festivals where an attendance of between 10 and 30 thousand people is estimated, as in the case of the region Mexico Metal Fest or Candelabrum, things start to escalate. For starters, the cost of the bands is much higher, fluctuating between 15 thousand and half a million dollars for bands in the category of Overkill, Moonspell or Emperor. Sí, es muchísimo dinero. El tema de la producción igualmente se eleva porque además generalmente se usa más de un escenario, además de una serie de commodities, actividades – muchas veces pagadas por patrocinadores, también hay que decirlo – y por supuesto, la sede, la cual ya no es tan fácil de encontrar como en el caso de los festivales más pequeños, pues necesitas un espacio lo suficientemente amplio para meter todo lo referente al festival y no te costará nada por debajo de una cifra con cinco ceros. ¿Tienes un presupuesto por ahí entre 10 y 30 millones de pesos? Vas.

Emperor in Mexico Metal Fest IV

Now, if we talk about the big leagues of the festivals, things go to infinity. Hell and Heaven, Force Fest and Domination They handle much higher budgets because the bands that present them require it. Do you want to introduce Metallica, AC DC, Guns N´Roses, Tool, Rammstein, Slipknot or KISS? No problem! But prepare to disburse between 1.5 and 5 million dollars for each one, plus the costs involved in the transportation of your human and technical team, the production costs and of course, how many demands they make to you, either from the moment you sign the contract or whenever they please, they are finally rockstars and if they want the moon, you have to lower the moon so they don't throw a tantrum!

Tras definir el asunto de los headliners que gustes tener en el festival para el cual tienes estimada una asistencia entre 70 y 120 mil personas va el asunto de rellenar los otros tres o cuatro escenarios para lo cual deberás tener un promedio de 50 bandas de nivel medio – alto como Korn, Gojira, Marilyn Manson, Behemoth or Bullet For My Valentine which will cost you between 20 thousand and half a million dollars each. Multiply! These bands of course will not accept anything less than a five-star hotel, transportation in luxury vans for themselves and their team, etc., etc.

Having a festival that will receive so many people also implies having a bigger venue and that the costs of security and logistics will rise. Adapting such a spacious venue is extremely expensive unless you have an agreement or your own and / or sponsored space. If we add up all these factors, a massive festival can exceed 200 million pesos in cost, also considering advertising costs. For this reason, it is necessary that the promoter companies seek the support of sponsoring brands that help make the events affordable and profitable, either by selling or promoting their product within the event, that is why a beer costs you 100 pesos, for example.

Let us value more the effort of all the people who in one way or another have made the dream of having a wide variety of metal festival options in Mexico come true. Do you still find it expensive to pay 800 pesos for a subscription?