Very sad news today for the underground metal community, as Maryland Deathfest, the Baltimore-based music festival that has become a staple of the extreme metal calendar year, will apparently not happen next year — and may never happen again after MDF 2022.
The organizers of the festival released the following statement yesterday:
“While we continue to work diligently on the long-awaited 18th edition of MDF that will finally take place next month, we’d like to share some thoughts with you about the future of MDF.
“We’re sorry to inform you that we will not be organizing any festivals at all in 2023, including Maryland Deathfest. There’s a chance that 2022 could be the last edition of MDF, but we’re unable to determine that right now one way or another. What we can say now is that we’re going on hiatus and we’ll decide during this much needed break if the festival will return in 2024. There are many variables at play that will impact the decision to possibly bring it back in 2024, including the state of world and if we have the ability to put other things in our personal lives on hold to give the event the kind of attention it has always needed and received.
“When we set out to plan the first edition of MDF 20 years ago, we could have never imagined that we’d still be doing it all of these years later. We have committed so much time and energy into making MDF what it is, never once taking a break. Considering the grassroots nature of the event, it feels like a miracle that we’ve made it this far. On top of the typical stresses and challenges over the years, these last 2 years in particular have added so many additional elements of surprise and uncertainty that have added to the exhaustion of it all and led us to this decision of going on hiatus. Simply put, our minds and bodies need a break, and we hope that everyone can understand and respect this decision.
“We understand how much this event means to so many of you and realize that this news can be pretty disappointing, but at the same time, we hope that we’ve provided you with countless positive memories and a chance to develop new friendships while attending MDF over the years. We appreciate every single person that has ever supported and attended the event, as without you, there’s no way we would have made it this far. We’re just a couple of guys that got into extreme music 25+ years ago in middle/high school that wanted to support the music we love, never imagining that MDF would turn into a cultural institution that has seen over 700 bands from nearly 40 countries hit the stage.
“Based on this news, you should definitely soak in your experience at MDF this year more than you were already planning on. If you were on the fence about going, perhaps now is the time to fall on the side of attending, as the future is uncertain.
“We look forward to finally meeting you all again next month and will be following up soon with more information about this year’s event.
“Ryan & Evan
“Founders of MDF”
This is obviously a huge blow to metal musicians and fans around the world, particularly those on America’s east coast, for whom MDF is an important yearly staple.
That said, we get it. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that the grind might have been killing us all, and that looking out for yourself is important and necessary. We give these dudes our full support, and hope they get to a place where they feel comfortable running this amazing event again.
Check out the statement below. I’ll actually be at MDF this year, so if you see me from afar, come up, say hi, tell me you hate my lists, and so on.