Following a summer fraught with low ticket sales and interpersonal drama between promoters and headlining act Slayer, organizers behind the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival are hinting that this year’s event was its last.
After wrapping the final date of this year’s tour in Dallas, TX last night (August 2), Mayhem co-founder John Reese posted a message on his Facebook page that seems to imply the event is over and done with. Though he doesn’t explicitly say that Mayhem is kaput, he notes that the Dallas stop was “a very emotional night” that came after “eight years of passion.” He also closes the statement with the message: “with every end there is a new beginning.”
“All I know is we have all tried our damned hardest to make Mayhem a home for artists, a platform for bands to increase their fan base and a place where people feel welcomed,” he wrote, before listing a number of important figures that made Mayhem happen, including co-founder Kevin Lyman.
The end of the Mayhem Festival may not be a total surprise to anyone that’s been following the antagonistic back-and-forth between Lyman, Slayer guitarist Kerry King and other artists that were a part of this year’s line-up.
An interview with Lyman had him noting that lagging ticket sales across North America owed to, among other things, the genre being “gray, bald and fat,” which did not please King at all. The Slayer riff-master retorted that the founder’s comment “basically throws his tour under the bus,” and suggested that organizers had slacked on booking top-draw talent.
King’s statements, meanwhile, raised a bit of ire in Jungle Rot member Dave Matrise, who thought King’s dig at small stage performers was sabotaging the trip.
This year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival featured Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah, the Devil Wears Prada, Jungle Rot, Code Orange, Sworn In, Whitechapel and more.
You’ll find Reese’s statement in full down below.
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival 2015 comes to an end. After spending 8 calendar years of passion and one full year of my life on the road with the festival, tonight is a very emotional night. All I know is we have all tried our damned hardest to make Mayhem a home for artists, a platform for bands to increase their fan base and a place where people feel welcomed.
There are so many people to thank but most of all I want to thank my family who complete me and I owe everything to. I love you with every fiber of my being Elenie Hovartos Reese Kelsey Reese Kylie Reese and Nicolette Reese.
A very very special thank you goes to Jason May Nick Allen Chelsea Coffey and Mike Kelso without you it never would of happened.
The Mayhem lifers Ray Picard Keri Lee Joey Perez Andy Lee Benjamin Layden Mike Terrazas Strati Hovartos and Perry Johnson.
Thank you to every single band who have performed and the amazing mayhem crew people who have ever been out with us thank you thank you thank you.
To Perry LaVoisne You are my brother and I cherish our friendship and the fact that we have fought together so many fucking times.
KL and DE ….blood sweat and tears.
WITH EVERY END THERE IS A NEW BEGINNING.