70000 Tons Of Metal 2016 - Part One: Why You Should Go Next Year


Event: 70000 Tons Of Metal 2016
Written by: D.T. Metal
Published: 12.07.2016

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70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2016 by D.T. Metal (16)


Wow, it's already July; time is flying fast and the organizers of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise are hard at work hammering out the details for the 2017 edition. I expect information for the public sale to be released any day now (veteran cruisers already have the chance to book) and if you are still on the fence about finally scratching The Original, The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise off your bucket list, then this article is for YOU.

Yes, this report is way overdue… but on purpose. As a Procrastination Specialist here at Metal Storm, I thought why not do something different? There is always such a buzz on the internet right after the cruise ends, that by midyear (when the next one goes on sale) most people have already forgotten what transpired. Hopefully this entices some of you to join the herd of crazies during next year's cruise and remind those who attended on some great moments.

Sooooo, once a year, metalheads from all over the world are flocking into Southern Florida to be part of this (for some) once in a lifetime concert experience. Yes, there are plenty of music themed cruises available nowadays, and even though the information flow from UMCruises International Ltd. (the organizers of this awesome adventure) has been rather unconventional over the years, the fact remains that once it's all set and done, they have always delivered a solid product.





60 bands performing twice - that is 120 shows over the span of 4 days! Sailing to and spending the day at a tropical location before heading back to Florida! Been there - done that… and wouldn't want to miss it. In addition, people from 72 countries can't be wrong! Yes, 72 countries were represented during this year's cruise, the most thus far, and that alone speaks volumes about the rising worldwide popularity of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise.

For those interested, here are some stats about the, once again, SOLD OUT 2016 edition onboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom class vessel, Independence Of The Seas.

Top Ten Countries in order: USA, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Mexico, Sweden, United Kingdom, Colombia, Finland, and Australia.

Number of guests: 3007 (age range from 1 to 73)
Musicians and crew: 938
Ship crew: 1316
Total number of people on board: 5261
36% female
64% male

Ship Facts: 1,112 ft (338.9 m) long, 185 ft (38.6 m) wide, 21.6 knots (24.9 mph; 40.0 km/h) cruising speed, 15 passenger decks, 1084 Ocean View rooms (842 with balconies), 733 Interior rooms, 32 Wheelchair accessible rooms.

And for 70000 Tons Of Metal 18 trucks full of equipment was loaded onto the ship and the cruisers enjoyed 4 stages, including The World's Biggest Open Air Stage Structure to Sail the Seas, 22 Bars, over 10 dining venues, and 6 whirlpools - two of them cantilevered while overlooking the ocean.

But enough with the boring stats, and hopefully this multi part report will give you the push why 2017 should be the year for YOU to take the plunge and join this international metal community for yet another awesome adventure.

Accompanied by my trusted side-kick Dan (he already had 2012's Barge To Hell and the 2013 edition of 70000 Tons Of Metal under his belt) we headed down to Florida a couple of days prior to the cruise to do some tourist crap, hang out at the beach and to partake in the pre-cruise festivities; wise choice on our part since Colorado was hit with a huge snowstorm. Folks at home were complaining and posting pictures of the vast amount of snow on Facebook, and we replied with a simple image - standing in front of the blue ocean waters at Miami's South Beach, buried to almost our knees in the warm, soft sand with the caption: 13 inches of sand - the struggle is real.

Yes, this time of the year it's always sunny in… (Philadelphia ) Southern Florida that is, and I bet this is one, among several, reasons why so many metal heads take on this annual pilgrimage. Another reason, besides the bands playing of course, might also be the opportunity to visit some pretty sweet tropical destinations. So far, the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise ports, starting with the inaugural sailing in 2011, included: Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Turks And Caicos Islands, Costa Maya, followed by back-to-back Jamaica visits; once to Ocho Rios and this year Falmouth. I will also throw in Nassau, Bahamas real quick; while not a 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise destination, it was the port for the 2012 off-brand cruise Barge To Hell, where Metal Storm was also one of the proud sponsors and supporters.

All of the destinations have been pretty kick-ass (with Turks And Caicos being my absolute favorite by a landslide) but I am pretty stoked for the 2017 trip since 70000 Tons Of Metal is heading to Labadee; Royal Caribbean's own 260-acre private beach resort on the northern coast of Haiti.





According to the destination info page there is tons of stuff to do on the island besides just lying on the beach. One thing which will be pretty neat is that the ship will provide a FREE BBQ lunch at several locations on the island and one can use their ship card to buy drinks as well. As I understand, the only reason to carry money while on the island is to buy stuff from the local vendors.

And speaking of locals: while Labadee is a posh fenced in area, the fact remains that the local Haiti people are living in poverty. A couple fellow cruise veterans took it upon themselves to start a GoFundMe campaign, to a) raise awareness of this problem and b) to show the locals that we metalheads do have big hearts despite our sometimes rough looking exterior. Check out the below link and all money raised will go to two established organizations who have been helping the Haiti people since the 80's.





So, where were we at? Yes, arriving in Florida a couple days prior. This is a totally personal (and maybe financial) decision, but I would highly suggest arriving at least the day prior to the cruise; two words - BEACH PARTY!!!

While this and last year's main beach party was held closer to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, nothing could compare to the legendary parties on Miami's South Beach. I am glad to report that for 2017 ALL of the activities prior to sailing will be back on South Beach again!

And to top it off, a couple of cruise veterans also secured the renowned beach front party hotel Clevelander alongside their more relaxed sister property Essex House as GROUND ZERO for all things pre 70K. Stoked for this one as well, since the hotel went out of their way to make sure all cruisers will have a great time. And let's not forget that the beach will be right across the street and the beach party will once again be BYOB!

Let's summarize thus far:
- escaping the cold temps
- spending 5 days on a luxury cruise ship with metalheads from all over the world
- visiting a tropical location
- potentially being able to watch 60 bands play twice during the course of the cruise

Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, it is. And now that the organizers have started revealing the line up, I am really looking forward to next February. Anthrax as the first band announcement - I did not see this one coming. Click here to see which bands have already been announced for the 2017 cruise and even if those bands do not fit your musical taste, no worries - usually most major genres will be represented on 70000 Tons Of Metal.


This year the check-in for 70000 Tons Of Metal was actually pretty straight forward and not such a clusterfuck as last year's. The Independence Of The Seas used another terminal than the Liberty Of The Seas and that's maybe why; who knows. It took no time to check in, receive the sea card (basically your room key which is also used for every purchase you make on the ship and linked to either a Credit Card or pre-payed and refilled with cash), drop the luggage in the room, before standing on the pool deck with a refreshing adult beverage in hand.

Looking around, it was inherently clear that tons of repeat cruisers were present once again. Hugs, kisses, 'how have you been', 'nice seeing you again' was the norm; not only on the pool deck but also throughout the entire ship. Band members mingled with their fans without being bombarded for autographs or pictures. Of course they were also open to oblige to such requests, but in general the fans were extremely respectful since they knew that they would run into their 'idols' more than once during the cruise.

Due to the sheer nature of his hair color - dude sticks out. , I can't even count how many times I saw HammerFall's axe slinger Oscar Dronjak right in the middle of things; mosh pits included. Raven's Gallagher brothers and ALL of Twilight Force's members were everywhere as well. And that each and every member of DragonForce were social butterflies really didn't surprise anybody. Shit, the list goes on and on and it proves that 70000 Tons Of Metal is not just a great place to be for fans, but (most) band members feel comfortable to roam around freely without being pestered.

Notes from Dan:
I also like the variety of bands on 70000 Tons Of Metal; there is something for everyone.

For me, one of the appeals of the cruise is seeing bands that, either hardly tour in the United States or I haven't been able to see in a while, but also to discover new bands. This year, Sodom, Gamma Ray, Jag Panzer, Stratovarius, Vader and HammerFall fell into the first category, while Nervosa, Twilight Force and Distillator topped the second one.

Before the cruise I met some 'first timers' and they really didn't know what to expect but after running into them a couple days later, they were overwhelmed with the whole cruise concept and I am sure they will become 'lifers' from hence forth. One point I also want to stress is that if you decide to go alone onto this adventure, you won't be alone for long. The camaraderie on the ship is second to none; you will be able to make new friends in no time.

Since the last cruise I attended was on the much smaller Majesty Of The Seas, and the first band wasn't scheduled to play until after 5pm, I walked around to explore the new ship. The Independence Of The Seas is massive with a lot of really nice features. I really liked the open atrium in the middle of the ship which had shops (some of them rather useless for the attending crowd; jewelry ), bars and places to sit down and grab a bite to eat other than the buffet restaurant and the dining room. As a matter of fact, there were tons of bars all over the ship and the staff were setting up makeshift ones at the entrances of each venue. If you went hungry or thirty - you did it wrong!








Hot tub Crowd surfing during HammerFall - Pro Style






Semi-Circle-Pit in the hot tub - equally awesome


Once again, the big hit with the fans were the hot tubs; one in front of the pool deck stage and two right next to it. Another highlight was also the, I guess now annual, "Jamming With Waters In International Waters All-Star-Jam". Even though Annihilator did not play on the ship in 2016 (they will again next year), Jeff Waters once again hosted this popular event. I still remember the first time it was held, in the comparatively small Boleros Lounge on the Majesty Of The Seas with maybe 100 people attending. And this year, the over 1300 cap Alhambra Theatre was packed to the gills; can't even say 'standing room only' since there literally was no room to even stand once I got in there.

If you want to be part of this epic adventure in 2017, make sure you check the 70000 Tons Of Metal homepage for more information. The website will be updated frequently with new band announcements. You might also want to follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like their Facebook page and subscribe to the YouTube channel for any updates.

As of today to following bands have been announced: Amaranthe, Amorphis, Annihilator, Anthrax, Cruachan, Death Angel, Grave Digger, Haggard, Kalmah, Kamelot, Nile, Orphaned Land, Suffocation and Therion.






Before I am getting way ahead of myself, stayed tuned for the next article to read what all transpired on this year's cruise.



 



Written on 12.07.2016 by Editor-in-Chief

Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!


Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 136 users
12.07.2016 - 12:44
Mold of Tree
Account deleted
Most epic shit ever!
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12.07.2016 - 17:00
D.T. Metal
Editor In Chief
Written by Guest on 12.07.2016 at 12:44

Most epic shit ever!

you gonna have a blast !!!
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14.07.2016 - 02:25
Vombatus
Potorro
I don't see much appeal in these metal cruise things... Of course, I do hate cruises for a start. But if I want a metal festival, there are loads with much better line-ups and way cheaper. And if I want sunny beach vacations around the caribbean, it would rather not be along hundreds of drunk fat metalheads
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14.07.2016 - 09:59
Green Imp
I'm into the darkness. I hate summer, not because mosquitoes...well except that, but I'm into the foggy darkness, the rainy afternoons and whatever is kinda blast of darkest shit and...yeah whatever But why cruise? Why anyway? How the hell you can enjoy your black metal band in Jamaica in summertime? It's weird, but for the thrash metallheads, it's a different thing. They're drinking beer, enough to be drunk as fuck, eating sausages and whatever including meat and headbanding and moshpitting win a can of beer in their hands, hell yeah, hahaha... WackenOpenAir, but I'll try that one, 'cause there will be Kalmah!!! I just booked my tickets. It will be cheaper to fly with 'VirginAustralia' for me, if I book the tickets 4-5 months the tickets before the event or even better if it's earlier. But the bands haven's announced then anyways, so...I'll give a try. I will fly...well not me, the plane, lol, so I will fly with my brother from Perth to San Francisco and then to Miami. Over 40 fuckin' hours of flying...
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14.07.2016 - 10:00
Green Imp
Written by Vombatus on 14.07.2016 at 02:25

I don't see much appeal in these metal cruise things... Of course, I do hate cruises for a start. But if I want a metal festival, there are loads with much better line-ups and way cheaper. And if I want sunny beach vacations around the caribbean, it would rather not be along hundreds of drunk fat metalheads

Hahah, you're absolutely right! I couldn't agree more than this!
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14.07.2016 - 17:24
Enteroctopus
A) I'm white. Very, very white. Sun + me = lobster, and possible melanoma. Fun!
B) I'm actually technically upper middle class. Not whining or complaining about my SES in the least (can't, actually) and STILL have no fucking hope of ever affording this, EVER!!!

What trust fund children attend this thing anyway? And how diverse is the crowd? Lol

I'd probably be the darkest complected person there even though I'm desperately white.
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16.07.2016 - 00:43
D.T. Metal
Editor In Chief
Written by Vombatus on 14.07.2016 at 02:25

I don't see much appeal in these metal cruise things... Of course, I do hate cruises for a start. But if I want a metal festival, there are loads with much better line-ups and way cheaper. And if I want sunny beach vacations around the caribbean, it would rather not be along hundreds of drunk fat metalheads

The appeal is real though. This particular cruise has been going on since 2011 now and there are shit tons of others to choose from. Even the Wacken organizers realized this and started with their own cruise (Full Metal Cruise) a few years back.
In regard to the line-up, well, there is something for everyone and to be honest, the price of the cruise does weed out the potential 'low life idiot' which we find so often at shows or festivals. And it is not a beach vacation since most time is spend on the ship and you can't compare this event with the regular festival crowd neither. Yes, there is mass amount of drinking going on, but everyone behaves and I have never seen a fight on the ship. It's a very international vibe with shit tons of Europeans coming year after year.
It speaks for itself that so many people are return cruisers and also that so many bands play several times on the cruise. It's the most fan friendly environment you will ever experience.

Of course, if you don't like cruises than this would be nothing for you
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16.07.2016 - 00:45
D.T. Metal
Editor In Chief
Written by Green Imp on 14.07.2016 at 09:59

post

Awesome - there are tons of Aussies on the ship
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16.07.2016 - 00:57
D.T. Metal
Editor In Chief
Written by Enteroctopus on 14.07.2016 at 17:24

A) I'm white. Very, very white. Sun + me = lobster, and possible melanoma. Fun!
B) I'm actually technically upper middle class. Not whining or complaining about my SES in the least (can't, actually) and STILL have no fucking hope of ever affording this, EVER!!!

What trust fund children attend this thing anyway? And how diverse is the crowd? Lol

I'd probably be the darkest complected person there even though I'm desperately white.

A) and so are all of the Scandinavian and to some point Canadian folks Sunscreen is your friend.
B) LOL - a lot of folks book a cabin which holds 4 or more people and THEN look for cabin mates. Also, toward October or so, people who already bought and can't go for whatever reason are trying to sell them for cheap. If interested, check this forum thread on the 70K site.

In regard of diversity - actually it's all over the place. 72 countries present this year, and yes, the US had the most people, but in comparison there are way more peeps from Europe and South America IMO. There are folks who work at McDonald but also lawyers and Engineers.
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21.07.2016 - 20:47
Green Imp
Written by D.T. Metal on 16.07.2016 at 00:57

Written by Enteroctopus on 14.07.2016 at 17:24

A) I'm white. Very, very white. Sun + me = lobster, and possible melanoma. Fun!
B) I'm actually technically upper middle class. Not whining or complaining about my SES in the least (can't, actually) and STILL have no fucking hope of ever affording this, EVER!!!

What trust fund children attend this thing anyway? And how diverse is the crowd? Lol

I'd probably be the darkest complected person there even though I'm desperately white.

A) and so are all of the Scandinavian and to some point Canadian folks Sunscreen is your friend.
B) LOL - a lot of folks book a cabin which holds 4 or more people and THEN look for cabin mates. Also, toward October or so, people who already bought and can't go for whatever reason are trying to sell them for cheap. If interested, check this forum thread on the 70K site.

In regard of diversity - actually it's all over the place. 72 countries present this year, and yes, the US had the most people, but in comparison there are way more peeps from Europe and South America IMO. There are folks who work at McDonald but also lawyers and Engineers.

You're very kind person!
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24.07.2016 - 04:13
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave
Written by Green Imp on 14.07.2016 at 09:59

I'm into the darkness. I hate summer, not because mosquitoes...well except that, but I'm into the foggy darkness, the rainy afternoons and whatever is kinda blast of darkest shit and...yeah whatever But why cruise? Why anyway? How the hell you can enjoy your black metal band in Jamaica in summertime? It's weird, but for the thrash metallheads, it's a different thing. They're drinking beer, enough to be drunk as fuck, eating sausages and whatever including meat and headbanding and moshpitting win a can of beer in their hands, hell yeah, hahaha... WackenOpenAir, but I'll try that one, 'cause there will be Kalmah!!! I just booked my tickets. It will be cheaper to fly with 'VirginAustralia' for me, if I book the tickets 4-5 months the tickets before the event or even better if it's earlier. But the bands haven's announced then anyways, so...I'll give a try. I will fly...well not me, the plane, lol, so I will fly with my brother from Perth to San Francisco and then to Miami. Over 40 fuckin' hours of flying...


I think most would agree with your view here haha!

I'm not one for cruises, but i think it would be pretty damn fun and an experience to go on one of these metal cruises. The lineup for this one is actually pretty decent so far too. I've been to Wacken and Hellfest, and they are great, but it's still crowded and there are so many clashes with bands you never see all your favourites. I like the idea of bands playing more than once on this cruise.

(also, hey fellow Aussie! )
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07.01.2017 - 02:34
Folkbill
Nice article, I have read/heard many sceptic comments about this festival, even I was one of them until I attended, how do I convinced myself?
Because the last year (2016) They announced my favourites bands everyday (Insomnium, Týr, Thyrfing, Carach angren...) so I had to Book my cabin

The best experience for any metalhead, even if you hate the sun or heat (so am I). Where you can see all the bands close up, get meet and greet, drink as die with your fav bands, pee everytime you want (no rows), and I could continiue with more shit, but you have to attend to understand it.


Now I am ready for my second round , I was the virgin the last year (as the people call you as your first time, is like a big metal family, all people know each other). and cannot wait!! The bad thing is the MOENY $$$ But totally worth every fucking dollar!!
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08.01.2017 - 18:26
D.T. Metal
Editor In Chief
Written by Folkbill on 07.01.2017 at 02:34

Nice article, I have read/heard many sceptic comments about this festival, even I was one of them until I attended, how do I convinced myself?
Because the last year (2016) They announced my favourites bands everyday (Insomnium, Týr, Thyrfing, Carach angren...) so I had to Book my cabin

The best experience for any metalhead, even if you hate the sun or heat (so am I). Where you can see all the bands close up, get meet and greet, drink as die with your fav bands, pee everytime you want (no rows), and I could continiue with more shit, but you have to attend to understand it.


Now I am ready for my second round , I was the virgin the last year (as the people call you as your first time, is like a big metal family, all people know each other). and cannot wait!! The bad thing is the MOENY $$$ But totally worth every fucking dollar!!

AWESOME !!! Glad you won't be a "virgin" again this year. Make sure you also attend the Beach Party the day prior See ya on board
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