Metal Fest Musical Chairs

A New York death metal festival finally took place May 20th despite changing venues several times and a few bands canceling because of financial and visa problems.

“The Death in the Forest” festival, with 15 acts listed on the bill, took place at Club Speed in New York City, according to heavy metal Web site

The path to getting the event off the ground was reportedly fraught with setbacks for Theodore Morris of Watchers Entertainment.

The festival, expected to attract more than 3,000 concertgoers, was originally planned for the Orange County Fairground but was canceled by venue officials because of alleged non-payment and lack of insurance, according to the Times Herald-Record of New York.

Morris told the paper the cancellation was a surprise after months of negotiations with venue officials and that the insurance requirements had been changed on short notice.

“I don’t take kindly to that, and there’s about 3,000 angry metal heads who don’t, either,” Morris told the paper.

About 650 tickets at $30 each had reportedly been sold at the time and ticket buyers were demanding refunds.

Morris then tried to secure a site at the Catskill Mountain Ranch & Camping Club near Mamakating, N.Y., giving owner Allan Walker a $2,000 deposit. He was later told that permits and other paperwork would have to be completed before the event could take place.

Mamakating Supervisor Charlie Penna told the paper there was no way the city could be ready for an event that large in the time allowed.

“It’s two days. How could we put this together for this guy in that amount of time?” Penna told the paper. “It’s not my fault he got kicked out of Orange County.”

Norwegian act 1349 and Austrian act Belphegor pulled out because of visa problems and U.S. act Withersoul canceled because of cash flow problems related to the venue change, according to

Morris then listed on the event Web site the festival had been moved to Club Avalon in New York City “due to weather conditions.” What prompted the move to Club Speed was not clear.