From the mountains to Pocono

I interviewed Jeff, founder of the event named « Pocono Folk Metal Fest » taking place to the USA.

01. Hi, Jeff ! So, you founded the « Pocono Folk Metal Fest ». How came the idea ? 
HI Krissy !! Well I will try to keep it brief (haha). In January or early February of 2015, I saw that the Paganfest tour was not coming to the US for one reason or another and I was extremely upset by it. So I thought to myself « Could I possibly put together a show similar to it with acts/friends of mine ? » I started by posting on websites and groups to gauge interest and had numerous bands wanting to play and the rest is , as they say, history. I named it « Pocono Folk Metal Fest » since I live in an area near the Pocono  Mountains in Pennsylvania….is there anything more metal than mountains ?? It is officially called « Pocono Folk/Pagan/Viking Metal Fest » and just shortened to Pocono Folk Metal Fest or PFMF.

02. Are you the only one to manage the event ? 
I guess in terms of organizing and planning and all that, yes it is all me from that perspective.  I have numerous friends helping me with different things such as Bill Gogel with the epic promo videos for the show as an example or volunteers at the show as well to do security, tickets and whatever else needs to get done. I couldn’t do it without the help of all my friends, brothers and sisters who do all of the work to make it happen.

03. A crowdfunding project was for the event but it seems that it didn’t work well. In your opinion, Why ? 
Well that’s a tough question….I had a very large goal I was looking for since I had a venue in mind that required a large deposit. While it started off strong I think the fact that I didn’t have a solidified line up was also a big reason that it didnt go well. I understood that people dont necessarily want to donate to a show that they had no idea who was playing. I was a little disappointed that it didnt work out but now that things have turned around with a different venue and an INCREDIBLE lineup of bands and vendors, I am glad in a way it didnt succeed !!

04. What else have you planned funding your event ? 
The proceeds from the tickets and the shirt are the primary sources of income for the show. There are vendors paying for table spaces too. All of the money that comes in is compensation for the bands and for the sound system for the show. I dont not expect to make any money from this. I do not go into this thinking that I could make a profit….for me it is all about showcasing amazing musicians and artists and bringing them together.

05. Have you faced some other issues making the event possible ? 
The biggest issue was finding a venue. The original venue from last year was not available and no one else seemed interested in hosting this event. I never have had issues in talking with bands and vendors to have them join the event. At this point the planning and everything has gone pretty smooth.

06. How hard is the making of its own festival ? What is the process in the USA ? 
I think metal and festivals in general in the US are tough to succeed as it just seems to be not as popular as say in Europe. Not really sure why but I havent really tried to figure it out. As far as a « process » I would say it is just being really organized and good at communicating which luckily I am. I don’t believe the process is any different than organizing any sort of large event.

07. Where and when will the second edition of the Pocono Folk Metal Fest take place ? 
The 2nd edition will take place at the Tavern On Main (inside the Quality Inn) in Stroudsburg Pennsylvania USA on October 8th.

08. Where and when will the tickets be available and how much do they cost ? 
Tickets will be $28 for the whole lineup and the vendor area for advanced tickets and then $35 the day of the show. Advanced tickets and the official show shirt will both be available thru the official store for the show :.

09. What is the line-up of the event ? 
We have 12 incredible bands playing this year : HAMMER HORDE, EIKTHYRNIR, WOTANORDEN, GOBLIN HOVEL, NORSEWIND, WINDFAERER, LORDS OF THE DRUNKEN PIRATE CREW, WINTER’S WAKE, LAST LEGION, WANDERINK OAK, JOTUNHEIM and BLOODEAGLE. What I think is great about this lineup is that we have some of the bands from last year (WINDFAERER, WINTER’S WAKE and NORSEWIND) along with the new bands but also a nice diversity in styles from folk to pirate to black to viking and everything in between.

10. I think that you are part of some bands, isn’t it ? .
As a matter of fact I am involved in 3 different music projects…..a Metallica cover band I play bass in called « No Remorse Live », a grindcore band called Penetrated also on bass and my black folk metal band called Rannoch Moor where I play bass and sing.

11. Anything new from your Folk Metal band ? :)
We have a new EP coming out eventually called « The Pagan Highlands » As the other members of Rannoch Moor are in Australia (Tim Read and Adam Oppliger) and I am in the US we trade files back and forth and record our parts. The songs are written it is just a matter of recording it all and mixing it…..hopefully out this fall.

12. What would be your perfect line-up for a future edition of your festival ? 
Wow ! There are too many bands to name but if I had to pick a few I would say probably BORKNAGAR, TROLLFEST, WARDRUNA, FOREFATHER, GRIMNER, BALDRS DRAUMAR, WELICORUSS and HEIDEVOLK but I could name 1000 more bands haha !!!

13. Thank you for the interview, Jeff. The last words are yours! 
Krissy as always thanks for your support !! For all of the folk, pagan and viking metal bands around the world, we would love for you to come to the US and tour !! You wont be disappointed !!


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