Though the first edition of the international metal music festival MetalDays was held in 2013, the festival actually goes back to 2004, as it is in all but name a continuation of the legendary Metalcamp. As such, for some time now, it is one of the central metal events in this part of Europe, attracting a massive international audience of thousands of fans from Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, the Mediterranean countries, and Slovenia. This is, among other things, due to the carefully crafted conjunction of a musical experience with a tourist one.
The festival takes place in the beautiful surroundings of the Alps and is held at the Sotočje peninsula at Tolmin. Its programme represents a wide variety of genres and sub-genres of metal with the addition of hardcore influenced styles in the 7-day gathering of bands performing on a couple of stages.
Metalcamp, with its programme and especially its fantastic location, fast made a name for itself amongst the metal crowds from the whole of Europe. In its 10 years, its line-up featured a very decent part of the prolific metal bands touring around Europe and hosted Danzig, Apocalyptica, Hypocrisy, Blind Guardian, Ancient, Satyricon, Lamb of God, Primal Fear, Slayer, Anthrax, Obituary, Soulfly, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Motörhead, Cradle of Filth, Sepultura, Kreator, Immortal, Korpiklaani, Pain, The Exploited, Ministry, In Flames, Morbid Angels, Nightwish, Napalm Death, Down, Cannibal Corpse, Over Kill, Behemoth, Sabaton and the local powerhouse Noctiferia. The festival also had a second stage for newcomers.
Programme-wise, the MetalDays has kept the festival’s original direction and has hosted artists such as Annihilator, Iced Earth, In Flames, King Diamond, Mayhem, Sonata Arctica and Wintersun, Children of Bodom , Amorphis, Opeth, Megadeth, Korn, Sepultura, Dream Theater, Fear factory, etc. Nevertheless, MetalDays has enriched its roster by having the second stage booked by Dirty Skunks, a promoter that also has a year-long concert programme, staging various alternative music genres like metal, hardcore, punk and the many things in-between. To their stage in Sotočje they’ve brought bands like Rotting Christ, Beheaded, Immolation, Aborted, Nocturnal Depression, The Canyon Observer, Benediction and Vicious Rumors. There are also concert slots for newcomers, who are still strongly featured at this festival.
Besides music there is naturally some additional programme, the most curious one probably being man-in-thongs-volleyball (its corresponding sports happening being topless badminton). There are also occasional striptease shows and a karaoke stand.
As the audience is mostly international, MetalDays is logistically supported by MetalHoliday, an organisation that plans and organises coach trips to the festivals MetalDays (and Punk Rock Holiday – another summer festival held at that same location) from about 10 European countries and around 50 cities. MetalDays also makes available for rent all the stuff one needs for festival camping.