This September Power Metal Quest Fest will be held for the third time. An all day Power Metal festival with both new and established power and progressive bands. Could you ask for more? Well, PowerMetal.no could, so I asked Amie Chatterley from the band Dakesis what PMQF is all about.
Just so that everyone is on board: what is Power Metal Quest Fest – and who are the people behind it?
Amie: Power Metal Quest Fest is an all-day festival dedicated to Power, Prog and Heavy Metal. It’s run by all of us in Dakesis; I’m the main festival organizer and promotor, but Gemma, Adam and Matt are also heavily involved with the process.
In 2017 the first Power Metal Quest Fest was held, but I guess the idea behind the festival and the work towards the first festival started some time before that. Can you tell me how it all got started?
Amie: Some years before the first Quest Fest, Gemma and I, whilst enjoying a tipple at a local metal festival, came up with what seemed like a wild fantasy of putting together our own festival. We’ve been on the scene with Dakesis for just over 10 years now and have experienced a multitude of festivals. However, there was no longer anything in the UK that catered to the niche Prog/Power/Heavy Metal scene anymore. In early 2016 we decided to turn this fantasy into reality and just went for it. We put together our first lineup in a small but humble venue that was part of our own gigging history for many years and to our amazement it sold out. Of course, from there, we decided we had to put on another one and here we are getting ready for year three already.
I mentioned the “idea”; what was, and is, the purpose behind Power Metal Quest Fest?
Amie: As I mentioned above, here in the UK, we seem to be lacking a festival dedicated to this kind of niche market with music. We wanted to create a safe, fun and awesome environment so that fans and artists can get together and experience music of the Prog and Power genre. But also we’ve met so many amazing underground and unsigned acts over the years through our touring schedule that we really wanted to share with the world. So as much as it’s for fans, we also like to think of this as a great networking event for artists to get to know each other and hopefully forge some great working relationships.
Since the first festival in 2017, how has it developed? More bands, bigger venues etc.?
Amie: Since our first sold out show in 2017, we moved to a venue in the city for 2018 with a few bigger bands, but still making sure we dedicate some of the day to some of the best underground and unsigned artists out there too. Last year also saw us sell out the festival and this year we have moved to an even bigger venue at The Asylum in Birmingham and have booked an even bigger headline band that haven’t been in the UK for some time.
What are your favorite moments from Power Metal Quest Fest; what are you most proud of, what has been the biggest surprise?
Amie: There are many favorite moments from the past two years of the festival. I think the best and one that we are most proud of is how much support we have received from fans. We were surprised when we sold out for the first year and even more surprised when this happened again last year. We really feel like we’ve created a special place for people to meet up from all over the country to enjoy something together and the support we’ve had has been absolutely incredible. A definite highlight for us though has to be Womenowar at last year’s Quest Fest. We had a silly idea many years ago to form a Manowar tribute band and decided to test the waters at last year’s festival. The set was amazing, and the fans absolutely loved it.
What can you tell me about this year’s Fest? What have you planned?
Amie: We are still finalizing the lineup for this year’s festival, but we are excited to be moving to a venue that has almost doubled in capacity from the previous years. We want to involve more artists from all over the world and have made the first step by securing our headliners Ancient Bards which we are incredibly excited about. We are hoping that we will continue to grow this year and we have had some truly amazing applications from all over the world and can’t wait to share some of the artists we have picked with our fans.
What about the future; do you have any dream for the festival?
Amie: We do have some big plans for the future, which of course relies heavily on how this year goes down with the fans. The dream is to one day expand to a two-day festival with additional stages and possibly work towards additional events under the Quest Fest name to bring a selection of the amazing artists we’ve worked with over the years (and years to come) to other parts of the UK and also Europe.
What are the top three bands that you would love to see on the festival?
Amie: When we started in 2017, we always said that we would love to haveAncient Bards on the lineup. They are a band who haven’t been in theUK for quite some time. This year we cannot wait to see them at Ourvery own festival and are so excited they will be part of it. We do of course have a long list of bands we’d like to see but we’d definitely like to see the likes of Avantasia and Blind Guardian with their fullstage show play for us and bands with more progressive elements to them like Symphony X. I guess we will see what the future holds!
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