Rockstar Mayhem Overview:
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is an annual summer tour that brings together many hard rock and metal bands on three stages from July to August across the U.S. (In 2010, the tour began including a stop in Canada.) The festival, sponsored by Rockstar Energy drink, was founded by Kevin Lyman, who organizes the punk-minded summer tour Warped, and John Reese, who assists Lyman in overseeing Taste of Chaos, a spring festival of hardcore punk and metal bands. The Rockstar Mayhem festival features two side stages that run during the middle of the day, which is then followed by a main stage during the evening where the tour headliners play.
Rockstar Mayhem Makes Its Debut (2008):
The first Rockstar Mayhem took place in the summer of 2008. The main stage featured Slipknot (who were supporting All Hope Is Gone
), Disturbed (supporting Indestructible
, and Mastodon
. The festival also included motocross exhibitions and promotional tents for the tour’s sponsors. (In interest of full disclosure, Revolver
magazine -- a publication for which I sometimes contribute -- has been one of those sponsors.) Rockstar Mayhem 2008 kicked off July 9, running until August 19. The side stages, named Jagermeister and Hot Topic, spotlighted up-and-coming groups like Airbourne, Five Finger Death Punch, Underoath and Machine Head. In addition, the Jagermeister stage included one winner per tour stop of a “Battle of the Bands” contest.
Rockstar Mayhem Returns With Manson, Slayer (2009):
In 2009, Rockstar Mayhem returned with headliners Marilyn Manson
(supporting The High End of Low
, Killswitch Engage (supporting their second self-titled record
), and Bullet for My Valentine. The festival again ran from early July through mid-August and again featured three stages, although Hot Topic dropped its sponsorship, which resulted in the third stage being renamed the Mayhem Festival Stage.
Expanding Into Canada, Comedy (2010):
For the 2010 festival
, Rockstar Mayhem bolstered its lineup by including comedian Jay Oakerson and Beacher’s Madhouse, a burlesque variety show. Still, hard rock and metal were the featured entertainment, with Korn
, Rob Zombie, Lamb of God, and Five Finger Death Punch (making their second Mayhem appearance) serving as the headliners. Additionally, the tour made its first trek into Canada, stopping in Montreal in July.
The Return of Some Friendly Faces (2011):
The 2011 edition
will feature several bands that have played previous Mayhem Fests, including Disturbed, who will be headliners with Godsmack and Megadeth
. The 26-date festival will include one performance (during the July 9 opening date) from the mock metal band Dethklok featured in the animated show Metalocalypse