Metal fans flock to Parc Jean-Drapeau each year to experience a stacked line-up at Heavy Montréal. For a few summer days, the genre’s biggest names crank out a pummelling maelstrom for over 40,000 people.
Originally branded as Heavy MTL when it launched in 2008, the event has since expanded its focus beyond its metal roots, booking punk and hard rock bands. As a result, bands like Fucked Up, NOFX and the Offspring have shared stages with the likes of Lamb of God and Megadeth. Organizers still attract metal’s biggest names, as well as acts that represent the breadth of the genre. In 2014, joint headliners Metallica and Slayer brought over 75,000 spectators to the park, while other years have seen Faith No More, Slipknot, Rob Zombie and more hit la Belle Province.
Bands from a range of metal subgenres have appeared, including post-metal bands like Neurosis, grindcore acts like Pig Destroyer and thrash bands such as Death Angel. Canadian talent is also well represented at the festival: Alexisonfire, Devin Townsend, Bat Sabbath and more have performed for the Heavy crowd in previous years.
In addition to the main event, organizers book spin-off shows occasionally, usually right before the festival. In 2012, they brought Steel Panther to the Théatre Corona, while 2013 saw the “Summer Slaughter” tour stop at Metropolis (now MTelus), with Dillinger Escape Plan, Animals as Leaders, Periphery and many more performing. The festival has also hosted concerts year-round in Montréal, featuring acts such as Hatebreed and Gojira. The fun isn't limited to Montreal — in 2011 and 2012, the festival brought many of their acts to Toronto for Heavy T.O., a two-day spinoff at Downsview Park.
With its tendency to draw big and diverse talent, Heavy is a prime destination for loud music fans.