Terrorfest 2015

Terrorfest – Nico Liengme

Event promoters are the shadow of the music world. The people that are always there but seemingly never tangable. An essential and vital cog in the production line that gets little recognition yet does the bulk of the work. It is an unenviable and thankless job, rewarding only to the person involved, but it is a job Darwin based promoter Nico Liengme seems to have a genuine passion for.

“When I started Terrorfest in Darwin in 2010 it was just intended to be a showcase of all the local heavy talent, both metal and rock,” he explained.

“The aim was to get them together in the one place at the one time, instead of having them spread over, say, one every month or so with three or four bands. I just wanted to do the one big gig where you could basically pay one price and see the best of what the town has to offer within that genre and it kind of grew from there. That was successful for a few years so then I expanded it to Townsville and Alice Springs in 2013 and then last year we did Cairns as well so we included Hellbound, just through contacts we’d met in Queensland doing Terrorfest in Townsville and Euan helped us out there and the Salacious boys were a big part of making that happen. This year we are looking at expanding some more and possibly including another Queensland date and making it a combined Terror/Bound tour and including Cairns, Townsville and maybe Mackay.”

Terrorfest, for the uninitiated, is a traveling one day hard rock and metal festival showcasing the best of local talent as well as touring bands. It is a festival that is rapidly making its’ mark on the touring circuit, with bands of the calibre of Psycroptic, In Hearts Wake, Rise of Avernus and Azreal among the recent headlining acts.

It is growing to the point that where it started as a one man labour of love, Nico is coming around to the idea of having partners.

“I started Terrorfest myself and I’ve pretty much been carrying it on my back the whole time, financing it, organising it, doing all the budgets, booking all the bands and designing all the posters so it’s pretty much been a one man operation for the last four years but just recently I’ve had to start taking on partners and working with some good people who provide alot of insight into new territories so we can hopefully expand our market and reach more people.”

When a concert runs smoothly, it is always the bands who get the accolades, but when the smallest thing goes wrong it is the promoter who gets the blame. It is the promoter who loses money when sales don’t go as expected and it is the promoter who has to carry the burden of the whole show, but again, Nico seems to take it all in his stride.

“I guess it’s just the satisfaction of being able to pull off a great gig and make sure that everyone has a great time, the bands have a great audience and the audience gets to see great bands that sound good and look good. I guess I’ve just gotten into a bit of a habit,” he laughed.

“I’ve probably lost close to $10,000 over the last five years of shows. There’s been more losses than wins in that time. I really enjoy it and just love working with bands around Australia and having the opportunity to discover incredible bands in small towns that wouldn’t have otherwise heard of them.”

With this years Cairns leg set to be held in mid July, Nico is on the hunt for bands who want to be a part of it.

“I’ve put a public call out for artists to approach me because obviously you’ve got new bands coming along all the time. We worked with some great bands last year but if there’s any new bands that have started their journey over the holidays or anything or kids got together out of school and started jamming with their mates that might be ready to start playing live it’s a great opportunity to get in touch and let us know what you’re all about. If you’ve got any demo tracks send them through to me. Terrorfest is on facebook and twitter and all the usual social media sites. You can send me an email to topendterror@gmail.com. We’ve also been getting alot of interest from interstate acts from Sydney and Melbourne. I think bands are loving the opportunity to get out and see and play in parts of the country that they don’t normally get the opportunity to go to which is what Terrorfest is all about. It’s about taking music to the people and giving people the chance to see music.”

Kris Peters

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