Black Forge Hosts First-Ever Forged Fest, All-Metal Music Festival

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Photo: Courtesy of Prosthetic Records

Sadistic Ritual, part of Forged Fest at Black Forge

Black Forge took a hit this year when Allentown’s heavy metal-themed cafe nearly closed permanently. The company will prove it’s still here and ready to rock with Forged Fest.

The McKees Rocks Black Forge site will host Forged Fest, a heavy metal festival featuring local artists and touring bands. Sponsored by Wolves Hollow, a local DIY clothing brand, the event will feature a range including Doctor Smoke, Sadistic Ritual, Serpentshrine, Slashers, Goathex, Greywalker, Ulyaoth, Solarburn, Angelshredder and Dead Men. There will also be beer from Abjuration Brewing and food from the Los Gallitos food truck.

Taking place on Saturday, August 6, Forged Fest is in part a celebration of Black Forge’s seventh anniversary, and Hammitt says surviving the past year has been difficult, which makes celebrating seven years emotional for the staff.

“A lot of the bands at Fest this year are friends of Black Forge, or friends of friends of Black Forge,” says Chad Hammitt, General Manager of Black Forge. “Being our first festival, we really wanted to bring in some awesome locals for this.”

Hammitt says he’s been friends with Greywalker’s Brian Howe for nearly 20 years and was roommates with Solarburn’s T-Funk in 2009.

“I guess the real deal is that we had Sadistic Ritual booked for the day and they were open to us adding bands, and we kept adding and adding and adding,” says Hammitt. “We contacted Doctor Smoke because we love these guys.”

Click to enlarge Black Forge Hosts First-Ever Forged Fest, All-Metal Music Festival

Photo: Nick Prezioso

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He adds that two of the bands, Dead Men and Ulyaoth, are playing their very first live sets at the festival.

“We have friends in both bands and we’ve heard the demos and can guarantee both are going to kill,” Hammitt says. “Most of the black metal bands at the festival are friends with our sponsor/friend Josh Stitzer. They really wanted to play in Pittsburgh and the date just dropped. Honestly, I love all the bands on this poster and I couldn’t be more excited. We literally have bands from all over the east coast converging here for Forged Fest.”

The show is for all ages, but organizers encourage attendees not to bring children under a certain age due to noise levels at the event.

Hammitt says Forged Fest will happen again next year, and they hope to partner with McKees Rocks businesses like Roxian, Rocks Landing, Hawthorn Drum Shop, and more. The aim of the festival is to grow with each event.

“I’m very excited to see fans and friends having fun. I’m the type of person who likes an excited crowd, whether it’s a sporting event, a concert or a riot,” Hammitt said. “If I’m part of a big group of people who are all excited about the same thing, I really feel that energy and I love it. I just hope all that work was worth it and people come out for enjoying an intense day of music and good times. It’s about doing cool shit with cool people and having fun. I think we have a wide range of heavy bands, so there will be something for everyone in the scene. As long as everyone stays properly caffeinated, I think it’s going to be a killer day!”

Forged Feast. 3 p.m. Saturday August 6th. Black Forge. 701 Chartiers Avenue, McKees Rocks. $30.

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