“I’d say the festival takes up about three quarters of the year,” Tyson Travnik says.
That’s an intimidating amount of time to invest in one event that takes place over four days in June. But when your life revolves around playing, recording, engineering and promoting heavy metal, creating and organizing an open-air metal festival like Farmageddon is the next logical step. It was for Travnik, anyway.
Farmageddon was created in 2012 out of Travnik’s desire to assemble some of Canada’s top heavy-metal acts while retaining an intimate atmosphere with music and camping for bands and festivalgoers alike. This year boasts a deadly lineup of over 40 bands, a series of kick-off shows in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton, and expectations for anywhere between 1000 and 1500 patrons to take in the event.
“We tried to hit the ground running and go full throttle from the get go,” Travnik notes. “Every year things get better as our solidarity increases.”
Whether it’s playing in one of two bands (Gatekeeper and Ironstorm), executing sound-tech duties, promoting large metal shows or recording in his Millet-based studio under the handle Excalibur Productions, Travnik is consistently working his ass off in the name of the Alberta heavy metal community. And that nose-to-the-grindstone attitude is rooted to the core of Farmageddon.
Travnik and his crew are consistently seeking bands that share their enthusiasm for metal and possess a hard-working nature. When selecting bands for Farmageddon—which includes headliners Grim Reaper, Pallbearer, Incantation, Into Eternity and Archspire—they determine which bands have put the most work in over the past year, as opposed to which ones have grown the most.
“We see firsthand throughout the year what a band is doing to deserve a spot,” Travnik says. “We see bands that are professional on stage and which bands are touring consistently, stuff like that.”
Travnik also works with a solid team of 10 individuals—collectively labelled Prairie Fire Events—with a rounded skillset ranging from photography and graphic design to accounting and event management.
“We lean towards growing the festival larger and larger each year,” Travnik explains. “But the festival will always be in Central Alberta.”
So, even if Farmageddon outgrows its current location between Tofield and Ryley, Travnik will ensure Farmageddon continues to serve the same metal community that produced him.
Thu, Jun 11 – Sun, Jun 14
Thu, Jun 11 (9 pm)
Edmonton kick-off show
The Dead Cold, Korperlose Stemme, Ironstorm, Bleed