Chelsea Rose and her band, Ophelia Falling, played at the Metalocalypstick festival in Lone Butte on Sunday, July 1. Beth Audet photos.

Metalocalypstick fest in Lone Butte ‘a ripping good time’

‘There’s not many of us and we have to empower each other.”

No amount of rain could deter the crowd of heavy metal enthusiasts from flocking to Lone Butte’s Community Hall for Metalocalypstick on Canada Day weekend.

The festival, which was created to celebrate the women in metal, attracted roughly 150 people and dozens of damp tents.

Amber Lowe, bass player for Crimson Calibre, said the camping may have been cold and wet but the crowd had a good energy.

“It’s nice to come to a place like this, where everybody is united … feeling the same thing, here for the same reason,” she said.

Lowe, who’d never played an instrument until she joined the band, said it’s important that women empower each other.

Travis Malley, Lowe’s fiance and the band’s lead vocalist and guitar player, said it’s cool to be involved in the beginning of something big.

“There needs to be more of it, honestly.”

The band performed on Saturday and Malley said they had “a ripping good time.” He looks forward to coming back again and seeing the festival grow.

RELATED: Metalocalypstick returns to the South Cariboo for Canada Day weekend

Chelsea Rose, who had just finished performing, said the pouring rain only made the festival “more metal and awesome.”

“It’s such a good feeling to have so many metal people in the same place and everyone’s just camping and having a blast.”

She admits the scene is definitely “male heavy” but said she’s been in it her whole life and has never had trouble.

Besides, she said, being a woman ” just makes you stand out more.”

The vocalist for Ophelia Falling said she doesn’t know any other festivals like Metalocalypstick, where everyone truly supports and loves each other.

Alyssa Kasha, singer and guitar player for Sugar Wash, felt the support first-hand.

She said she had some technical difficulties during their set on Saturday, but that someone from another band immediately tuned his guitar and offered it to her.

It took nearly 10 minutes to sort things out but nobody left, she said.

“Everyone was cheering us on and just waiting to hear our set. It was really encouraging.”

Kasha said she formed her band to prove women can play music, so Metalocalypstick was exactly her kind of festival.

She said seeing other women playing in heavy genres is inspiring and she’s made many new friends over the weekend.

“There’s not many of us and we have to empower each other.”

Dave Keske and Mike Watson, guitarists for The Vth Circle, agreed that it’s weird to have to travel four-and-a-half hours just to be able to celebrate women in music.

The Vancouver-based band see female musicians often, “but it just doesn’t get celebrated … and it’s unfortunate,” said Keske.

Both men were happy with the venue and turnout and Keske, who donned a black pair of short-shorts and tank top, said he was even happy with the rain.

The band is already planning its return to next year’s festival.

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Ophelia Falling’s Chelsea Rose singing at Metalocalypstick, the band’s fourth gig, on Sunday, July 1. Beth Audet photo.

Alyssa Kasha, singer and guitar player for Sugar Wash, toughs out the rain at the Metalocalypstick festival.

(Left to right) Dave Keske, guitar player in the Vth Circle, Alex Dennis, a fan from Victoria , and Mike Watson, the band’s second guitar player, cook burgers in the tent area of the Metalocalypstick festival.

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