Christian Organization Tries To Shut Down Missouri Heavy Metal Festival

Jeremiah Tucker of Missouri's The Joplin Globe reports that despite a week of setbacks, Zombie Fest III — a heavy-metal music festival set for today and Sunday — will continue as planned, though in a different location.

The event was originally scheduled to be held in the Cesspool, a music venue located inside Feebletown Skatepark, 1039 S. Joplin Ave.

City of Refuge Ministries, a Joplin-based Christian organization had announced earlier in the week that they would be protesting the show.

On Tuesday, the Joplin Fire Department did an inspection of the Feebletown and the Cesspool. The fire marshal and building inspector returned Thursday and shut down the skatepark and the Cesspool for building- and fire-code violations.

Justin Wesson, co-owner of the Underground Revolution Theater, where the show is now taking place, said that he was most concerned about the protesters who had promised earlier in the week that they would picket the event and hand out leaflets.

"We're thinking about inviting (the protesters) in for free and letting them see what they're protesting," he said. "They should know what they're actually protesting, otherwise there is no substance to what they're doing."

Jordan Metcalf, co-owner of the URT, said that some of the bands attending the festival could stage their own anti-protest protest.

"Officially we're not going to do anything, but there are several bands that have things planned," he said.

Evangelist Dan Anderson with City of Refuge Ministries said earlier this week that while he didn't know much about Zombie Fest III, other than what he had read in the newspaper and on fliers for the show, what he knew was enough.

"Basically, our biggest complaint would be the issue of bringing this type of music and making it available to kids of any age," Anderson said. "We just don't believe this type of negative music is beneficial to young people." Read more.

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