Getting Stoked: 70000 Tons Of Metal 2020 - X Marks The Spot!


Event: 70000 Tons Of Metal 2020
Written by: D.T. Metal
Published: 09.11.2019


Round X - like 10 - like it's the 10th time for 70000 Tons Of Metal to set sail en route to a tropical destination with thousands of metalheads on board.


Check out the official Aftermovie of the 2019 sailing





Really, you might ask. How can you get stoked for a festival which you have been to so many times Easy! 70000 Tons Of Metal is not like any other festival and over the years it has morphed into so much more than even the organizer could have hoped for or dreamed of. The event is the biggest music cruise in the world, featuring 60 plus bands from all genres and subgenres of metal and beyond. 'Skipper' Andy Piller, promoter and mastermind behind the idea of "extreme cruising" always says that his customers (cruisers) are like International Ambassadors, the United Nations of heavy metal. And over the years this statement is backed by the fact that more and more metalheads from all kinds of countries are represented on the cruise. In comparison, the inaugural sailing of 70000 Tons Of Metal in 2011 had metalheads from 48 countries on board which climbed to a whopping 73 countries during the last outing in 2019.

Well, to be fair, the first couple of years the festival took place on the smaller Majesty Of The Seas before moving onto a much larger ship (now, and probably for the last time in 2020, the Independence Of The Seas). The larger cruise ship also meant an increase of 1000 passengers and 20 more bands.

What the heck, since it's round X of 70000 Tons Of Metal, below are some stats for the Year / Passengers / Nations:

2011 / 2038 / 48
2012 / 2051 / 55
2013 / 2037 / 55
2014 / 2051 / 61

2015 / 3114 / 70
2016 / 3007 / 72
2017 / 3022 / 74
2018 / 3087 / 75
2019 / 3061 / 73

On that note, and since the cruise is sometimes portrayed as a 'sausage-fest' by some nay-sayers , the male to female ratio is probably just like your hometown club show, maybe even higher. I couldn't find the stats for the first two cruises but from 2013 up until this year the percentage of female cruisers did increase by 2.3%; with 2019 seeing the highest female outing to date. (38.3%). Not bad ladies

So, now that we got this out of the way, back to topic on why I am stoked to once again be part of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise. And not just the cruise since the 'festivities' ahead of sailing start 3 days earlier.




Party Central At The Clevelander Hotel - Pic courtesy Foto Jagla



To be perfectly clear, ALL the events and parties before the cruise are NOT official events by the cruise promoter. The events are CRUISER organized and to read a little history on how it all started, click here. This year the pre-party organizers even made a dedicated website so everyone can stay informed of all the happenings. http://heavymetalbeachparty.com/

Ever since moving to a bigger ship in 2015, the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise left shore on a Thursday, which meant all of the pre-cruise activities took place during the week. No weekend regular party people to be seen. Let's face it, it's Florida, South Beach to be specific, and the amount of weekend party warriors is astonishing all throughout the year. But due to the annual NFL Super Bowl being held in Miami during the time of the cruise, Skipper Andy decided to change the dates almost one month ahead. Instead of late Jan/early Feb sailing, the 2020 voyage will depart on Tuesday, January 7th. Smart move since the prices for flights and hotels would be ridiculous during the Super Bowl weekend in Miami.

Anyhoo, instead of having 3 days of pre-parties with fun events exclusively at the Clevelander Hotel in the heart of South Beach, the Heavy Metal Beach Party organizers changed course and are planning 3 days of other fun filled events ahead of the main course. The Beach Party

Other events on the menu right now are a Roof Top Party at the Clevelander on Saturday, starting in the late afternoon. A full day at Virginia Key Beach on Sunday including Beach Yoga, Volunteer Beach Clean Up, paddle boating and concluding with live bands, local beer, a full bar and a bonfire on the beach to cap off the night.

The day before 70000 Tons Of Metal sets sail the awesome Beach Party takes place on South Beach. This annual event is getting bigger and bigger and is a nice opportunity to catch up with friends and meet new likeminded metalheads; surely something not to be missed. Once the sun goes down another round of fun will be had at the Clevelander with Live Band Karaoke, Miami Metal Merchants on hand to sell those hard to find albums and parties lasting all night.

Yes, this is what all is happening before we even set foot on the boat. As already mentioned, the Independence Of The Seas will be once again the vessel for 70000 Tons Of Metal in 2020. I detailed the ship before here when we sailed on the sister ship Liberty Of The Seas and briefly here after the ship underwent some renovations.



The Route


The destination for Round X is the same as for the first cruise in 2011; Cozumel, Mexico. I am actually pretty excited about this one since I have never been there. I have been in Mexico before, but not on this island, which is a 45 minute ferry ride over from the coast around Playa del Carmen. While on the mainland there will be opportunities to visit the ancient Mayan city of Tulum or shop in the bustling streets of Playa del Carmen. There are tons of cenotes (water-filled sinkhole in limestone) around the area as well.

Cozumel is also known for its excellent diving and snorkeling and I am pretty sure some excursions will be offered along those lines since Cozumel's coral reefs are one of the world's premier snorkeling destinations. Or, one can just sit on a beach, relax and take in the scenery of the island.

I dig it. Living in an area where it is rather cold during this time of the year and I am soaking in the sun on a Caribbean Island.

Now onto the festival itself. I have talked to several first time cruisers over the years, and one of our own Metal Storm users noted it also in his thoughts on the cruise in 2019; 70000 Tons Of Metal is like no other festival. There is a reason why it's called The Original, The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise!

60 bands playing twice. scattered over 4 venues, meaning 120 shows. The day is so packed with music nonstop it's unreal. Another plus is that over all those years I have never witnessed a drunken fight, maybe there were some spats, but I didn't noticed any. When people have enough they either go to their cabin or take a catnap on one of the plush loungers all over the ship. Yes, no walking a mile back to your tent or taking a ride to your hotel. I also never noticed some random puddle of puke I had to avoid stepping in; everyone is actually very well behaved on the cruise.

Bars or drink-carts everywhere and free food available at all hours. Seriously, there is no shortage of free food options. Be it the buffet style Windjammer, the a-la-carte dining room, Sorrento's Pizza, or the Café Promenade. There are also some eateries which can be patronized for an additional cost, mainly Johnny Rockets, an all-you-can-eat burger joint, Chops Grille (Steakhouse), Giovanni's Table (Italian), Izumi Hibachi & Sushi (Japanese), Sugar Beach (Candy and Deserts) and the a-la-carte seafood spot on the Pool Deck, Fish & Ships. I never went into any of the pay-as-you-go restaurants since the FREE food options are plenty and quite good. But I have heard that the Steakhouse is to die for. And of course there is always the option to order Room Service.




Fun On The Beach



No shortage on bars or lounges neither on the Independence Of The Seas. From the Schooner Bar to Boleros, the Solarium and Pool Deck Bar, both on the Pool Deck, the English Pub and my favorite, the Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade. Playmakers also serves regular 'bar food' such as chicken wings, but those are also at an extra cost. I never made it to the wine bar Vinatages or the Champagne bar; but hey, there is always time to check them out this time around.

If you want to take a break from the nonstop music, the ship also offers their regular cruise amenities during 70000 Tons Of Metal, with the Spa & Fitness Center being probably the most utilized facility. The regular shops are also open during our sailing if one wants to stock up on all sorts of duty-free items. Word of advice though, if you purchase alcohol in the stores they will keep it until you leave the ship.

A lot of cruisers also take advantage of the free sports activities while on board. The surf simulator Flowrider is always fun, as well as the Volleyball/Basketball court, miniature golf and the rock climbing wall. New in 2019 was the gravity-defying Sky Pad, and The Perfect Storm waterslides.

There is so much more to do and you won't get bored for sure. If all fails, maybe hanging out with some old or new found friends will tickle your fancy. Yes, you will make lifelong friends on 70000 Tons Of Metal. You will meet people from all over the world. I can't even tell you how many people I have met on the cruise, instantly connected and making sure to visit them whenever I am in their neck of the woods. There are regular 70Tons meet-ups at all types of festivals in Europe and beyond. It's really one big family.

And to top it off, there is no dedicated VIP or artist only area on the ship. The 'rockstars' are just like anybody else. They will dine and drink at the same places as you. That's a really unique concept and most artists enjoy the relaxed atmosphere as well since other than their two performances the bands are treating the cruise as a vacation as well.

For the 2020 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise the eager followers had to wait longer than usual to find out which bands are going to play on board. But the first announcement was worth the wait - Emperor! and the bands keep on coming and coming. Yes, the cruise organizers are not conforming to the usual practice of announcing bands in a timely fashion, but this adds to the mystique of the cruise, since at the end it all works out and the variety of genres provides something for everyone.




Fun On The Pool Deck



It's also customary that several bands will perform a 'special' or 'anniversary' set during the cruise and 2020 is no different. For instance, At The Gates will play Slaughter Of The Soul in its entirety for one of their performances, Moonsorrow Verisäkeet and Epica Design Your Universe. Aborted will play TerrorVision for one show and an exclusive 25th Anniversary set for the other. Apparently Wintersun will play their ONLY show in 2020 on the cruise… maybe we will finally hear Time II

But kidding aside, there are so many exclusives, specials, anniversary or reunion shows happening on 70000 Tons Of Metal; it's mindboggling some times. And not just shows, each and every band is doing a Meet 'n Greet session and select musicians also put on clinics while on board. A lot of artists also partake in the now annual All-Star-Jam which is so popular that the Theater is usually jam packed. And while the 'stars' don't partake in the Belly-Flop contest, they are tagged to judge the performances. As you see, so much more than just shows to go to while on board.

As of press time there are 25 of the 60 bands announced (check here for all the artists) and I can't wait to see who all will play in 2020. So far I already have a couple of 'must see' bands on my list and I assume plenty more will follow.

Public sale for the cruise already started, but there are still cabins available. Granted, the cheaper ones are long gone, but if you plan on going, either head over to the booking page or check the Official Forum where metalheads are recruiting others to fill their cabins. Shit, with so much going on you really won't spend all that much time in your cabin anyways.

Make sure you follow the 70000 Tons Of Metal social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to stay up to date with band announcements and other information.

Ship ahoy and see ya on board






 



Written on 09.11.2019 by Admin / Photographer / Reviewer

Former boss lady and now just a
professional concertgoer... dangerously armed with a camera!



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