Summer Slaughter: The New Democratic Metal Tour


Unlike concerts of popular artists, metal shows don’t usually feature a massive headliner (ie: Nickelback), and an upcoming opening band that nobody cares to watch. Instead, metal shows are often packages of four or five bands who are generally well received within the metal community. Summer Slaughter, one of the biggest summer metal tours, added an interesting caveat this year, opening one of the slots on the tour to a fan vote.

Although the bands eligible for inclusion were preselected by the tour promoters (or more likelyby the labels sponsoring the event), the act generated quite a buzz, as links to the Summer Slaughter Facebook page where fans could vote began appearing on most of the metal blogs and forums as fans petitioned for their band of preference.

For fans, this type of democratic booking gives them an opportunity to voice their opinion and be a part (no matter how minor) in the booking process in the hope of seeing a band they enjoy.

For Summer Slaughter, it creates the impression (real or not) that they care about what fans have to say. More importantly though it exploits fan networks as fans take charge of promoting their band of preference, and in effect, promoting the entire tour. Its a win win for both sides.

Because of Summer Slaughter’s success, other metal tours (such as Thrash and Burn) are adopting democratic booking.

-Mike Lang


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