Kevin Lyman (pictured), the co-founder of the annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, has told the Detroit Free Press that the tour is "at risk of going away at any given moment" due to the limited number of headline-worthy acts in metal.
"The bands at the top all demand a certain level of fee to be on tour," he said. "Unlike punk rock, metal never knows how to take a step back to move the whole scene forward. That's how punk rock was. That's how we nurtured punk rock. BAD RELIGION would take a little less than they could on their own to bring the whole scene forward, so we could make sure we had a good [touring] package around them. Metal doesn't seem to have that concern, never has, never has since I was working in the clubs in the '80s. It's always about a 'me, me, me' thing."
Part of the problem, according to Lyman, is the fact that metal's audiences have dwindled as the established headlining acts got older. "What happened was metal chased girls away because what happened was metal aged," he said. "Metal got gray, bald and fat. And metal was about danger. When you went to a metal show, it was dudes onstage; there was some danger in it."
Regarding Mayhem's 2015 lineup — which includes SLAYER, KING DIAMOND, HELLYEAH and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA — Lyman said: "It was the best available for what we had to work with. We had pressure to keep the package at a certain price and make that work, and we had pressure on headliner expenses." In addition, there are fewer acts on the bill and only two stages this time around because "we had to condense it," Lyman said. "The expenses of putting on those shows had gotten high, so we had to push it all into the concourses. They [venues] don't want to build a fence outside [for third and fourth stages] anymore. Those things cost money."
This year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival kicked off on June 26 in Chula Vista, California and will wrap on August 2 in Dallas, Texas.