San Diego may not be known as the metal city… yet, but this fine ass city offers a place where heathens can ditch their lairs for a moment and let down their L’Oreal hair. No, it’s not a goat sacrifice or a demon conjuring, but the annual Metal Swap Meet in broad daylight! This year’s gathering will be held on April 29 and will usher in its eighth birthday with a bigger location and bigger everything ‘cause Texas ain’t the only well endowed state.
Before the Metal Swap Meet became the grand heavy metal ball, it was an intimate gathering that was held at Brian Parker’s drive way. Who is this fellow, you ask?! Why he’s the Metal Swap Meet supreme overlord/creator, silly! Parker created a haven for metalheads with an itch for some good metal and goodies.
“I used to work at a record store called Blue Meannie Records. It specialized in heavy metal, and was a gathering place for local people into metal music.” Said Parker when he dished out the origin story on the Metal Swap Meet. “I enjoyed the social environment, as well as the social aspect. When the music industry depression hit, the store was forced to close. After a few years, I started missing that atmosphere.”
Parker along with his friend and fellow overlord, Israel Pelayo, partnered up to launch the first edition before joining forces with Jared Wills. These three musketeers nourished this get-together and transformed it into a staple in the San Diego metal scene with the help of their dedicated and faithful henchmen/volunteers. Metal Swap Meet flew away from North Park after outgrowing Queen Bee’s and reached capacity with a whopping 1,200 attendees! This year, however, Parker and co. are ready to reign the Quartyard located in Downtown San Diego from 11-5:30 which is sure to reach their capacity of 1,500.
Admission for the annual gathering will be $10, no virgin’s blood or arm carvings needed! Why should you spend $10? Glad you asked. Remember how I mentioned that this year is BIGGER? Aside from the spacious location, this year they’ll be having more than 40 vendors, food trucks, an actual bar (for 21+, sorry kiddies) and meet and greets. So you can bring your mother, your grandmother… you know what, just have your family reunion here because ALL AGES ARE WELCOME. Some of the high profile sponsors are none other than Metal Blade Records, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Dark Descent Records.
Once you gathered your fam, enjoy a musical set from DJ Katon W. de Pena who is also the vocalist of veteran thrash band Hirax. Did you love his set and Hirax? You can tell him yourself at the meet and greet! Pena is not the only legend gracing the greet by the way. This meet will also include the original Dark Angel vocalist Don Doty, former Metal Blade Records VP/ legendary music producer Bill Metoyer who has worked alongside many greats such as Slayer and Morbid Angel, and Nunslaughter vocalist Don “Don of the dead” Crostley.
Do you idolize Iron Maiden and their beloved Eddie? Well now you can meet and worship Eddie’s father, artist Derek Riggs who will be selling his very own prints and art book. And added to the meet and greet is none other than the Metal Swap Meet After Party headliners, Superjoint! The guys will be signing at 3:30 PM at Brick By Brick’s booth, you just gotta purchase a goodie from their booth before 1 PM to get the coveted wristband. Now, a BIGGER party needs a BIGGER closer right? So this year’s Metal Swap Meet reeled in Power Metal legends Jag Panzer to blow out this party’s candle and leave you ripped with epicness and merch! *Muscles and loin cloth not included. Good time guaranteed.*
Can’t wait for the 29th and wanna pre game really really badly?! No worries, the Soda Bar’s got you covered with the Metal Swap Meet’s official Pre-party on Friday, April 28. Feast on death metal from locals Condemned, Eukaryst, Sergulath and catch all the rogue waves with Dethsurf. REMEMBER, the fun does NOT end after the Metal Swap Meet. Assuming you’re not too high on all the metal goodness ahead of us, chill at the Brick By Brick and take a big hit of Phil Anselmo’s Superjoint at 8 PM! Be sure to get your tickets ASAP ‘cause tickets to this smoke circle are running out!
“In the future, I’d like to have heavy metal industry people giving music lessons, and tips. Also Comic Con style panels.” Said Parker when asked what his hopes are for the Metal Swap Meet’s future. “I’m a metal geek, and that’s stuff I would enjoy, and I don’t think I’m the only one.”
The Ugh Metal team along with the legion of rabid metalheads can confirm that you are not the only one, Mr. Parker. So be part of this fun metal shindig and see ya there with our horns held high!