The fifth edition of Shadow Woods Metal Fest (also sometimes simply SWMF or Shadow Woods Music Fest, since it’s not all metal music) will happen Aug 27-29, 2021 in White Hall, Maryland. Bands announced so far include Panopticon , Destroyer of Light , Borracho , Neolithic , Voarm , Witchcryer , Traitor , Altar and the Bull , and Queen Wolf with about 10 more acts to be confirmed.
Performance times will be Friday between 6 pm and 11 pm and Saturday between noon and 11 pm. There are no bands on Sunday. Although not officially announced, it is has been rumored that ticket sales will be cut off August 13 and no ticket will be sold at the gate. So, plan ahead.
The fest will take place at its traditional location, Camp Hidden Valley, a wooded, 200-acre property about 45 minutes north of Baltimore that hosts everything from weddings to children’s summer camps. There will be two covered stages – one outdoors and one inside the venue’s large, well-ventilated dining hall. This is the layout used during the 2018 fest – the last time the fest was held. Attendees may drive from home, camp, or stay in nearby hotels or private rentals. Most cabin options are already sold out.
Organizers are taking COVID-19 precautions seriously. There will be emergency medical techs and rapid COVID testing available throughout the weekend. They have issued this statement to attendees:
Masking, hand washing, and physical distancing protocols will be in effect during the fest. At this time, we are asking that every participant be fully vaccinated two weeks prior (by August 13) and show your vaccination card upon entry. We are working with an organization to have rapid COVID testing available onsite for a low fee at entry. If anyone tests positive for COVID or has any indicative symptoms such as a fever, coughing, chills, extreme fatigue, etc., we ask that you STAY HOME or leave the fest immediately, even if it is last minute. Everyone will be required to sign the typical camp liability waiver that we have used every year, but it will also include additional language related to COVID. We will be following all the federal and local recommended protocols and guidelines for COVID safety. All this is subject to change based on the current situation with the pandemic
Event organizer M. A. Spiro said that this really will be the last time she will do the fest, although she has admittedly said that before. “This last year without live music has been brutal on everyone and economically devastating,” she said. “I hope people come out for it. The bands need it. The fans need it. The production people need it. But one thing I learned after this last year is that I personally do not have to be the one to do these events any more. It’s a ton of work, a lot of risk financially and emotionally, and I am just not interested in carrying that mantle forward any longer. I would love it if someone created a new camping music fest nearby that I could go to and enjoy. But Shadow Woods as people have come to know it will be laid to rest after 2021. I might continue to do smaller shows in brick-and-mortar venues, but that remains to be seen since we really are not there yet with those locations.”
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