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Armstrong Metal Fest (AMF), one of Western Canada’s premier metal music festivals, is in full swing for its 11th year.
The annual event comes once every summer to the sleepy, rural community of Armstrong, bringing with it hundreds of heavy metal fanatics.
However, contrary to how you may think a small farming town would feel about dozens of metalheads swarming their streets — Armstrong welcomes it with open arms.
Attributed with increasing tourism, bolstering sales at local businesses and acting as one of the community’s staple summer events, AMF is well-known, loved and supported by both city staff and small shop owners.
City Councillor Gary Froats has lived in Armstrong for the last 40 years and has been a member of council for the last three. To him, the festival is a “welcome sight” to the community.
“It is a pleasure to have them here, they are very easy to work with and we are fortunate to have the facilities to house them. They do a fantastic job and probably leave the premises cleaner than when they came,” he added.
“They are very polite to have around and cause the town no trouble at all, they bring in over 600 attendees so that means there are a few dollars dropped here in town and the business owners sure appreciate it.”
One of the biggest draws to AMF is the fact that organizers work hard to not only provide a fun and safe space for metal lovers to congregate but that they work with the community and their attendees in mind.
From their diverse lineup that features acts from across Canada, the US and even Europe to highlight various metal sub-genres to family-friendly camping, onsite first aid and strict security — the festival tries hard to benefit all who come across it.
“We work really hard to create something for everyone and the town sees that,” said Co-founder of AMF, Jesse Valstar.
“[They] know our hearts are in the right place and that we are working towards making it the best thing possible for everybody, so we appreciate that the community supports us!” he added.
Day one of AMF is far from done and while incredible sets from acts such as Death Machine, The Vth Circle and Widows Peak may have past more are to come from Apollyon, Nekrogoblikon, Origin, League of Corruption and more!
Online tickets are no longer available but metal heads young and old are welcome to get their wristbands at the gate. Admission is $170 for a weekend pass or $90 for the day.