The first World Metal Congress will take place in London on March 23. Backed by Arts Council England, its aim is to celebrate the global success of heavy metal by bring industry experts and fans together for two days of panel discussions, documentary screenings and live shows.
“This is a world-first,” says the event's Alexander Milas, a former editor of Metal Hammer and the founder of science and music festival Space Rocks. “In these troubling times the fact that this music resonates with people of every colour and culture and creed is an incredibly special thing, and we want to shout that from the rooftops.
"With the w\m/c we’re creating a unique forum to help bring that truly global community together, and we’ve already had a phenomenal response.”
“I’m really pleased to hear that the World Metal Congress will be taking place in the UK,” says Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi. “The metal community is huge but rarely gets the recognition it deserves. My best wishes for a successful event.”
The first day of the congress will include industry-facing panels featuring contributors from labels, festivals and media including Metal Hammer's Dom Lawson, Radio 1, Wacken Festival, Music For Nations and Vice.
Artists appearing will include Napalm Death's Barney Greenaway, while other delegates will be attending from as far afield as Afghanistan, India, Lebanon, Nepal and Syria.
“Human rights and universal artistic licence are tightly intertwined,” says Greenway. “Breaking tired old stereotypes, celebrating free creative expression without borders and confronting and debating challenging ethical band decisions continues to be an absolute must.”
Day two of the congress will include screenings of documentary films, and live performances from Singaporean grindcore band Wormrot and South African metallers Zombies Ate My Girlfriend.
For more information, and for ticket details, visit the w\m/c website.