This Thursday is the start of another Maryland Deathfest! This is the thirteenth year running for the festival and it continues to expand and evolve. This post will help you get through MDF XIII as you navigate through all the bands, stages, venues and vendors and I’ll be updating it with info like food prices and photos of exclusive band merch once the fest actually gets going. You can skip to the updates by going here. To start off, here’s some info and links you will find useful if you’re attending Maryland Deathfest XIII.
I put together these handy full schedules and band running orders for each day of the fest (they load quick so bookmark them on your phone).
MDF has made an iCal feed for the schedule that will work in Google Calendar, iCalendar or Outlook calendar. More info on that here.
Baltimore Yellow Cab: 410-685-1212 (website)
MDF Edison Lot entrance address: 545 N High St, Baltimore, MD 21202
Baltimore SoundStage address: 124 Market Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202
Rams Head Live Thurs & Sun address: 20 Market Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202
Rams Head Live Fri & Sat address: 7 Frederick St, Baltimore, MD 21202
Sidebar address: 218 E Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21202
Ottobar address: 2549 N Howard St, Baltimore, MD 21218 (Pre-Fest only)
Note that Rams Head Live will be using the back entrance on Friday and Saturday. This is because the front entrance to Rams Head Live is inside the Power Plant area and it will have its own cover charge on Friday and Saturday night. To avoid that fee, use the back entrance (address listed above).
I put together this custom Google map that will show you all kinds of info such as all the venues involved, local record stores of note and where to get beer, cigarettes and food while you’re in Baltimore too. Just click the map image below to use the map and use the menu on the left side to select and toggle different locations.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Edison Lot (where the main stages are) will have tickets available at the door all through the weekend, the Edison Lot will not sell out. You can get tickets at the door or order them online (and pick them up at will call) by going here. As of this writing, Friday night at Rams Head Live has not sold out yet either. Tickets are $25 and the bands that night are Aeternus, Darkened Nocturne Slaughtercult, Drawn And Quartered and Vattnet Viskar.
The other three nights at Rams Head, and all four days at the Soundstage are sold out. If you’re determined to find tickets to these sold out parts of MDF, or need to sell your tickets last minute in a pinch, I highly recommend using the Maryland Deathfest official forum’s ticket exchange thread which you can find here. If that doesn’t work you can try looking at the official Facebook event page (here) for people posting about tickets there as well.
The Wednesday pre-fest show at the Ottobar has tickets available here and you can see that show’s line up by going to the Facebook event page for it here. Please note that the Ottobar is not walking distance from the other festival locations this year. If you don’t have a car you’ll have to take a cab or use Uber.
There are no advance parking tickets being sold this year, and overnight parking in the lots is not permitted this year either as the lot closes at 1am. You can park in the lot adjacent to MDF (it cost $10 a day last year, not sure what the cost is this year), although if the lot becomes full and you park on the street or in another lot nearby you will most likely have to pay a parking meter. The meters in Baltimore usually accept credit cards.
New Info For This Year
The set up for this year’s Maryland Deathfest should be pretty similar to last year’s, however there are some improvements this year.
There will be official Maryland Deathfest merch sold at all of the venues this year.
Several coolers with free water will be located near the Maryland Deathfest merch tent in the Edison Lot. They will be filled throughout the weekend so if you don’t want to pay for bottled water you can still get some water to cool off.
There will be lockers and cell phone charging stations at the Edison Lot as well. They can be used with a debit/credit card (not sure on the cost per day/hour yet though). MDF organizers have said that “Each locker will have charging cables compatible with most smart phones” which I would guess means iPhones and anything using a micro USB (like most Android phones).
Good To Know For Every Year
BRING AND WEAR EAR PLUGS
Re-entry is OK once you get your wristband. Wear comfortable shoes, sunglasses and try to bring a cheap parka in case it rains. You’ll be doing a lot of standing and walking so dress accordingly. Maryland can get very hot and humid this time of year so be careful wearing all black and drinking and moshing in the sun all day, stay hydrated. Also, bring some sunscreen, not only will it keep you from getting burnt but you want to keep those tattoos from getting sun faded! Crowd surfing is very much tolerated at MDF so if you don’t like being kicked in the head repeatedly, don’t get up front. There is a free Maryland Deathfest program available near the entrance of all the venues, it includes bios on every band playing (and I even wrote a few of them) as well as other useful into too. Cameras, including DSLR cameras, are permitted and you can shoot video too, however be aware that the closer you get to the stage the more rowdy the crowd can get, including moshing, circle pits and crowd surfers. You can bring in bags and backpacks, but they are subject to search. Note that if you bring a backpack to Rams Head Live they will have you check it at the coat check, which will probably cost $5 or less. There are picnic tables in a shaded area that you can rest in at the Edison Lot. Note that there is not a public Wi-Fi at Maryland Deathfest.
At Maryland Deathfest pretty much every band will start a mosh pit, even more “laid back” bands that you wouldn’t expect this from like say Neurosis. The guy tearing it up in the mosh pit and wearing a full body chicken suit is known locally as the Chicken Man. He’s a local legend and comes to tons of the area’s metal shows to get mosh pits started and keep them going. He’s a real trooper and pretty friendly if you want to talk to him.
Bring cash! There will be many vendors with tons of rare and obscure vinyl, CDs, merch, patches and all kinds of other stuff. There will be ATMs on site but I’m sure they will have long lines and shitty service fees so stop by the bank before you head up to save yourself some time and money. Some of the stuff you’ll see will be Maryland Deathfest exclusives, and some of it will just be so rare you’ll probably never find it anywhere again anyways. If you see something you want don’t hesitate, items often sell out so buy it when you see if it you want to make sure you go home with it.
Maryland Deathfest will have a booth with its own merch for sale at the festival (see it here) including t-shirts, pullover hoodies and women’s tanks. Warlord Clothing will have a limited edition silk screen poster again this year that will be available for purchase at their booth. Some of the bands playing the fest will have their merch for sale at the official Maryland Deathfest booth, some will have merch available at their record label’s booth (assuming their label has a booth) and some bands will have their own merch booths set up in the tent at the end of the row of merchants. Different bands will set up merch at different times, there is no schedule for this, and the MDF booth will have different band merch on different days as bands arrive and leave the festival throughout the weekend. You can also get a hand made, one of a kind Maryland Deathfest vest from the official Maryland Deathfest merch booth. They’re made by Virginia based Kylla Custom Rockwear and only a few are made to be sold at MDF.
The full list of non-food vendors at the Edison Lot are: Acid Queen Jewelry, Black Mess, BWE, ChopoBrujos, Crucial Blast Records, DabLizard, Dave’s Metal, Decibel Magazine, Deepsend Records, Five Point Records, Forever Plagued Records, Gilead Media, Handshake Inc, Hells Headbangers, IndieMerch, JSR Direct, Largactyl Records, Lock and Shock, Metalpeer, Mexico Steel, Necronomicharm, Nuclear Blast Records, Neurot Recordings, Pizza Party Printing, Relapse Records, Salvation Distro, Season of Mist, Sevared Records, Thrash Corner Records, Unholy Anarchy Records, Useless Christ Records, Utterly Somber, Vienna Music Exchange and Warlord Clothing.
The Salvation Distro booth will have a small number of shirts with MDF XIII written on them for the bands Primordial, Bulldozer, Aura Noir and Twilight Of The Gods. You can see those exclusive shirts here. Thanks to some comments on this post, you can also see exclusive MDF shirts for Lock Up (here) and Aeternus (here). Adversarial is also going to have an exclusive shirt (here), but it doesn’t look like it mentions MDF on it.
Usually there are other booths have some exclusive “MDF” branded band merch as well and I’ll be taking photos of this stuff and adding it to the “Updates” section at the bottom of this post once the fest starts.
Food & Drinks
There is plenty of on-site food at Maryland Deathfest. this year the on site food vendors include: a deli sandwich vendor, a fruit smoothie and coffee vendor, the all vegan HeadBangin Hot Dogs, an Indian food vendor, Pork Lord Tacos, a standard fare vendor with typical fair food like burgers, chicken tenders, gyros and fries, a Thai food vendor and Zombie BBQ. Vegan/Vegetarian options will be available at the deli sandwich vendor, Indian vendor, Thai vendor, Headbangin Hot Dogs and Zombie BBQ, and apparently a vegetarian/vegan food only vendor is going to be added as well. If that’s not enough food options for you then be sure to check the custom Google map I made (at the top of this post) which includes stuff outside the festival grounds like restaurants, record stores, liquor stores and convenience stores.
It should be noted that the Pratt Street Ale House, which is walking distance from most of the downtown hotels, is giving 10% off your entire check to anyone attending Maryland Deathfest this weekend. I highly recommend this place as they have some great food and some killer beers any beer snob will be excited about.
As for booze, the Edison Lot will have Budweiser, Magic Hat #9 (pale ale), Natty Boh, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stella Artois, Tröegs IPA and “Deathfest Ale” by Philadelphia based Yards Brewing. Apparently the Deathfest Ale is an English dark mild ale at about 4.3% and will be something similar to the Brawler Pugilist Style Ale that Yards already puts out. The Edison Lot will also sell standard hard liquor such as vodka, whiskey, rum and Jägermeister.
Please note that Rams Head Live and the Baltimore Soundstage will have their own food and drink menus. I’ll take photos of those and add them to the Updates section once I see them.
I’ll be adding updates to this post throughout the fest once it starts. Expect to see photos of food vendor prices as well as images of exclusive merch. Be sure to check back here before you head to Maryland Deathfest to help you get an idea of what to expect, and of course you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which I’ll be updating from my phone.
There is some additional Maryland Deathfest merch that was not available for pre-order on the site. You can get a baseball hat, a winter beanie hat, a coaster, stickers and a blue koozie. You can see them below with their prices (click the image to see it larger).
Black metal band Tsjuder also has a MDF exclusive shirt (available in red or ash) that you can see in the photo below.
Below you can see the food and alcohol menu at the Baltimore Soundstage. Notice that the excellent Snow Pants stout from Baltimore brewery Union Craft Brewing is only $6 while the watered down stout Guiness is $8! Let’s hope they don’t run out of those! You can click the image below to see it larger.
Below is the food menu for Rams Head Live, nothing too special really. Under that you can see the different beers they have available. All the beers at Rams Head Live cost $7 EXCEPT for Natty Light and draft pours of Double D IPA, which both cost $3. That’s right, Double D IPA is the best bet at RHL this weekend! Click any of the below images to see them larger.
Note that while the below images says “cash only” this was taken at a beer garden near the restrooms in RHL. The bars do take credit/debit, the beer garden this was next to only takes cash.