Metal Mania At Goymar Fest in Guimar

A sultry Tenerife evening, the gentle lap of waves on the shore, a promenade kiosk for a cold Dorada, and loud, angry, ranting singers screaming against the world as guitars thrash, screech, and wail – aah you can’t beat a night at the Goymar Fest. Every type of music has its stage in Tenerife and for the fifth year Puertito de Guimar was the setting for 10 heavy metal and rock bands in a 12 hour kerrang feast of head banging and mosh pit bundles.

The General and I arrived as day turned into night, the approach roads were packed with parked cars and awesome dudes and dudess’s discussed the latest trends in body piercing as they took a breather from the action. What a shocker, after previously being a free event the organisers imposed a 3 euros entrance charge for the concreted outdoor sports court – but it included the first drink and a raffle ticket to possibly win a tattoo or an electric guitar. There are some nice posh modern dwellings in this bottom part of Guimar plus a large marina and a nautical club but they have got used to this friendly annual invasion. Uniformed security staff manned the entrance to the inner sanctum as we filed in and got our ticket and wrist band. First stop was one of the temporary bars to get our first drink, the barrels were warm and the Reina spluttered into plastic glasses with large foaming heads.

As we waited to be served I tried to work out which group was hammering out a little ditty with all the subtlety of a piledriver, I didn’t suceed but they were pretty good and one of their members was shinning up the scaffolding at the side of the stage like a dark brooding rock version of Spiderman. Drinks in hand we mingled just behind the main throng that was pressing down on the stage and chaarging at each other in a gleeful dance of darkness. The large crowd seemed to be younger this year, or am I getting older, I thought the bright green inflatable crocodiles tossed back and fore between the band and the audience didn’t fit the wild rock and roll image but noone seemed bothered so far play to them.

The bands were mainly from Tenerife, apart from 2 from Gran Canaria and one from Barcelona. Next up were The Slaughter Inc (above) their musical juggernaut of a performance really whipped the crowd up. Don’t ask me anything technical about the guitars, I only knew the black star shaped guitar looked pretty damm impressive to me. After the bands set finished there was a flurry of activity to change the stage instruments around, so to avoid another warm shaving mug of Reina we went outside to another kiosk near the beach walkway and ordered 2 cold cans of Dorada. It was very busy on the outside, quite a few tents were set up down on the sand and little groups of fans were enjoying their own parties along the beach, the music was loud enough to get them jumping at the distant lights of Gran Canaria so people weren’t missing out by taking the cooler sea air. A few tables had been put out beach side of the kiosk and a couple of local families sat there with young children enjoying drinks and snacks – much better than taking the kids for a McGrotburger and a sugar rush shake.

Back in the concert Pio band An Endless Path (above and top) took to the stage, probably the best of the bands we saw, their lead singer was as skinny as a yard of pump water but leapt around the stage like a mad thing as his guitar wielding friends added a thudding backing to his tirade of a delivery. Most of the bands were very hardcore, not so much of the punk influence from previous years, but down in the mosh pit heads were bowing in frantic reverance. Another noticeable difference was a marked increase in the number of female worshippers, rock chics were diving in the mix in front of the stage and giving as good as they got, on another trip outside a couple of tattooed young ladies were getting a bit of a clean up from the attending ambulance after a clash of heads. Several chaps were sporting small gas masks, the latest must have in metal circles I assume, black t-shirts displayed mainstream influences from Metallica to Anthrax, and as the whole concert was being videoed souvenir stalls were selling recordings of last years bash.

The last band we saw were familiar to us from previous Goymar Fests, Thrashtorno (above) have long been a fixture on the Tenerife circuit and have a large following, many of them had clearly been waiting for their slot on the bill. The bands seemed to be geting longer on stage as they worked their way up the pecking order, a couple of more beers and we were ready to leave as the clock headed for 1 am. Heading back to the car fans were spread all over the nearby area and all still in good friendly spirits. I should imagine early TF 1 motorway drivers would be slightly distracted by a stream of tired, sweaty rock fans heading up early next morning, it was good to see that this annual pilgrimage continues to thrive and cater for the less mainstream music fans on the island.