This year it will be a four day event with a free pre-party on Wednesday, March 11th followed by three days of back to back bands on rotating stages at The Loving Touch and The WAB on March 12th, 13th, and 14th.
This year's lineup includes Poison Idea (OR), Incantation (PA), Iron Reagan (VA), Fuck The Facts (OT), Lich King (MA), Coliseum (KY), Full of Hell (MD), Doomsday Student (RI), Lazer/Wulf (GA), Like Rats (IL), Lo-Pan (OH), In Defence (MN), Hellmouth, Child Bite, Shitfucker, Busby Death Chair, Against the Grain, Golden Torso, Temple of Void, Multicult (MD), Nightkin, Stonecutters (KY), Fuck You Pay Me (OH), Bill Bondsmen, Zebras (WI), Nervosas (OH), Bludded Head (TX), Pick Axe Preacher, Genocya, Microwaves (PA), Tharsis They, Unconscious Collective (TX), Malo Konchje, Destroy This Place, Kriegs Legion, Anguish, Demise of the Enthroned, Lil Tits (IL), Final Assault, Beige Eagle Boys, Brain Tumors (MN), U.D.I., Kapnos Manteia, Anybody But The Cops, and Them Teeth.
The FREE PRE-serker kick off party will feature music from Bars of Gold, We Are Hex (IN), Her Dark Host, Hollow Earth, BraidedVeins, Nuke, Manic Outburst, and Sros Lords. They will also be giving away PBR from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tickets are only $40 for the weekend or $20 per day. The show starts at 7 p.m. each night of the fest and all ages are welcome.
We are also pleased to announce that we have two bracelets to give away! Two lucky readers will get to attend the entire weekend of shows for FREE. To enter, you must share this article on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Plus, you must tag us @hipindetroit, so that we see the post. If you are not following us, we will not see the post. So, hit that follow button! We will be drawing the winner on Monday, so hurry up and enter now!
We also had a chance to talk to Veronica Knight, one of the masterminds behind the weekend. Read ahead to get all the details about this year's fest and we will see you at the show!
HID- Describe last year's Berserker Fest in one sentence.
Veronica- "It was a non-stop, feel good punk & metal smorgasbord."
HID- What have you done to ensure that this year's fest will be even better?
Veronica- "We were so happy with how last year went, we really didn't change much. It's basically the same format. We made a few tweaks here & there, such as turning the kick off night into a free, two-stages-back-to-back event. The budget is a bit bigger this year, so we were able to snag a few bigger bands. Oh, and we moved it to March so everybody isn't freezing their asses off as much as they did last year."
HID- How did you choose the bands for the festival?
Veronica- "Some were locals that we couldn't fit onto last year's bill. Others are touring acts that we wanted last year but they weren't available. As for headliners, we just put a list together of appropriate & potentially attainable bands that we would really like to see & figure others might be into it too. Certain factors come into play, like proximity. Last year, almost all of the bands were from the Midwest. This year we've got more bands traveling longer distances, including two bands that we are flying out."
HID- Why is it a four day event?
Veronica- "That was an influence from the old days of the Metro Times Blowout and Rock City Fest. Three days seems like a good length for a big event like this; it basically takes over your weekend. The way we look at it; the longer the fest, the more of an impression it makes on us, the more memories there are to be had. We also adopted the Wednesday kick off night concept from Blowout, which brings us to four nights. We felt like there were plenty of single day punk/metal fests happening in the city throughout the year but nothing quite like this since the days of Michigan Fest. With three stages each night, we crank through 15 bands in under 5 hours. It sounds like a lot, but it actually flies by."
HID- Why did you choose to have it at The Loving Touch and The WAB in Ferndale?
Veronica- "We're good friends with Chris Johnston, who is one of the owners of The Loving Touch and The WAB. He's also the man behind those awesome street festivals that take place there in the summer, so he's no stranger to putting on large scale events. We imagined something like a multi-day Black Christmas, but on a smaller scale. So we looked at the Loving Touch/WAB upstairs/downstairs as a mini version of the Majestic Theatre/Magic Stick/Garden Bowl. We knew the types of bands we wanted wouldn't draw that much, and we didn't want the stress of owing a king's ransom in guarantees if it ended up being a flop. Luckily for us, it turned out exactly how we had imagined! So it really was a no-brainer to keep the same location for our second year."
HID- What band were you most excited to book for this year fest ?
Veronica- "Poison Idea. It's the obvious choice, but it's so true. They are legendary and just happened to be available. We know a lot of people are looking forward to that set, so we expect to be crammed in like a sardine when they play."
HID- What is Tesco Vee's Swap Meat?
Veronica- "Tesco from The Meatmen started up this event last fall and asked Shawn to be a part of it. It's like a pop-up flea market, with vendors selling everything from records to vintage toys. We are so happy to have it happen during Berserker as it brings a whole other dimension to the festivities. Tesco rules!"
HID- How did you keep the ticket prices so low?
Veronica- "With us going to shows so much, we're pretty good at gauging that kind of thing. Last year we made the event $20 for the weekend, which was absurdly low. This year passes are $40, but if you look at the list of touring acts performing it's not hard to believe that we nearly tripled the budget. So by that train of thought I guess this year is even more absurdly low than last year! This fest is all about underground music, and people that listen to underground music aren't rich. We know 'cause we are those people. It's not "popular" music, so it's a limited audience as well. Berserker had to be cheap in order to make sense."
HID- Where will each of the three stages be located?
Veronica- "The main stage is in the Loving Touch, which has a capacity of 350 or so. Both of the other stages are next door at the WAB. One of 'em is upstairs (200 cap) and the other one is downstairs (90 cap). Sets are staggered so somebody could literally see all 53 bands if they wanted to."
HID- Will there be an outdoor tent this year like there was last year?
Veronica- "Yup! The outdoor tent was the main reason we decided to switch it to March, so there better be. Plus, We just ordered a new banner for it. We don't think we'll try to do merch out there again, but there will most likely be a food vendor like last year. It was a nice meeting spot since you had to go through the tent every time you went from one bar to the other. It smelled like pulled pork and weed all weekend."
HID- Is there anything else that you want our readers to know?
Veronica- "If you were there last year, you know what to expect. If not, come out Wednesday, March 11th for the free, all ages PREserker event. It's kind of a sampler of what's to come, and you can't beat the price. Plus, we are buying rounds of PBR from 7pm-9pm for everyone that shows up, except the kids. No beer for kids."
Tickets are available online here or fee free at UHF, Found Sound, and Stormy Records.