Dead Fest 2017 at the Art Sanctuary in Louisville, KY

Louisville’s local music showcase, Dead Fest, delivers the goods with over the top performances by headliners Boner City,  Call Me Bronco,  Black God and Greyhaven

Louisville’s Dead Fest is an all-local music festival featuring the best in rock, punk, and metal from all around the Louisville area. The Dead Fest show concept, formed by local radio host Jared Riot, is focused on growing the local Louisville music community.

The all-ages event includes support from area sponsors, vendors offering their goods at the bazaar and local food trucks who cater the event all weekend. Proceeds from the event support the film production of Louisville is Dead: A History of Louisville Punk, as well as Girls Rock Louisville

Girls Rock Louisville’s mission is to empower girls and gender non-conforming youth from all backgrounds by exploring music creation in a supportive, inclusive environment.

Saturday, July 29th – Opening night of Dead Fest is dealt a slight curve ball when Headliners Stagecoach Inferno have to cancel their much-anticipated performance due to a band member’s illness.

Now in the evening’s headline role, Call Me Bronco, closes out the day’s festivities with a rip-roaring set.  Performing at Dead Fest in front of their debut album release, Beating a Dead Bronco, Call Me Bronco closes out the night in a great way. Featuring lead singer Sam’s wild on stage antics and Matt’s flair on the upright bass, Call Me Bronco have something for everyone. Showing some fantastic local camaraderie and respect, each of the band’s songs are announced as Stagecoach Inferno’s songs

Providing the main support this evening, punk rockers Black God deliver a frantic set.  With boundless verve on stage, the group lifts the energy in the room while providing a powerhouse performance.

Opening day Dead Fest showcased fourteen Louisville groups spanning multiple musical genres including punk, rock, and metal and several notable performances.

No one expects Vinny, Chase, Alex and Señor Diablo of Belushi Speedball to hold anything back during their time on stage and they do not disappoint.  While Belushi Speedball’s brand of metal centers around SpongeBob themes, their stage show has a little bit of everything including pool noodles, Nerds shooting from a grass seed spreader, ooze sprayed from the stage, jelly beans and high-quality metal which all adds up to a fun and entertaining set.

Without wasting the energy in the room, and with members of Belushi Speedball “dead” on stage, Dick Titty Blood Punch rolls on stage with their high powered punk music. Over the next 30-minutes, it is no holds barred, anything goes punk. During their set, they blow their bass amp, crowd surf, give and receive hugs while ending their set laying on the stage playing the final chords of their last song. This is a definite highlight of the day.

Earlier in the afternoon, Rarebit, Shi – 死, and Good People deliver strong and energetic sets much to the delight of those lucky to catch their performances.            

Other local bands performing over the day long fest were Memory Gloss, Midnight Channels, Summer Youth, Side Bomb, The Archaeas,  State Year, Amongst The Waves.

Overcoming the late schedule changes and a slow start to the day, everything goes off like a well-oiled machine. The Art Sanctuary proves to be a perfect Dead Fest venue with a spacious stage, more than ample lighting and a loud sound system.




Sunday, July 30th – Saving the best for last, Louisville Dead Fest headliner Boner City shine with a hard rocking punk set closing out the second day of this all local event.  Performing their signature songs “Boner City” and “Creature from the Black Lagoon” with a contagious energy and passion, the band serves up a set that was a delight to watch while bringing Dead Fest to an outstanding close.

Providing the main support this evening were hardcore punk/metallers Greyhaven.  While the bands were changing equipment, lead singer Brent Mills was all smiles while talking to the crowd. All that changes as the opening chords of their set are struck with Greyhaven exploding onto the Art Sanctuary stage with a vengeance. Their 30-minute high energy set is hard and fast with lead singer Mills all over the stage. There was mass chaos on stage as Greyhaven ends their set with “Gran Torino” while what seems like the entire venue is diving off the stage.

Blackened Death Metallers Cryptic Hymn delivers a solid set with ample amounts of hair whipping metal action to satisfy everyone in attendance.

The second day of Dead Fest showcases 15 local groups spanning multiple musical genres including punk, rock, and metal. Similar to Day 1, there were many notable performances.

Only recently added to the Dead Fest Lineup, Cult Killer delivers a wild and high energy set with front man Zac Thompson all over the stage.

Thrash metallers Waxeater and Foxbat stand out with different but equally power house sets. It is fun to see a number of children in the audience during the Foxbat set.

Early in the day, Godking roars onto the Art Sanctuary stage with a deep and dark set of death metal featuring signature heavy bass riffs setting a great tone for the day.

As alumni of Girls Rock Louisville, the punk metal trio, Shark Sandwich have a great story to tell. During their set, Shark Sandwich performs a song they wrote while part of the charity Dead Fest is supporting this year.

Other local bands performing over the day long fest are Order of Leviathan, Blink Scryer, The Stoic Club, Rosewater, Silver Lining and Quick Runner.



After cleaning up from the Belushi Speed Ball/Dick Titty Blood Punch set on Saturday night, Sunday’s Dead Fest performances come off without a hitch.  The numerous volunteers necessary to make an event like this run smoothly do a fantastic job.

The big shout out goes to local bands showcased over the two-day fest; the uniqueness of our local music scene is on clear display as well as the undeniable talent that resides within this music community. Dead Fest 2017 is the perfect showcase for this eclectic array of talent.

Boner City
Website | Facebook 

Stagecoach Inferno
Website | Facebook

Website | Facebook

Call Me Bronco
Website | Facebook

Black God
Website | Facebook

Dick Titty Blood Punch
Website | Facebook

Belushi Speed Ball
Website | Facebook

Cryptic Hymn

Website | Facebook


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