Rockstar Mayhem FestivalEuropean metal and hard rock fans are a lucky lot. Every year since the late 1980s, all-day festivals like Download and Hole in the Sky have become the norm there, satisfying a continent where heavy music's popularity has never waned. Outside of the Ozzfest, the United States has lagged far behind Europe in the metal festival arms race.

But in 2008, things got a bit more interesting when Kevin Lyman and John Reese launched the inaugural edition of what they called the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. Lyman had already built a sterling reputation in the underground through his punk-leaning Warped Tour, and Reese was known as one of rock's leading artist managers, working with acts like the Used and Story of the Year. In 2005, both men founded the highly successful Taste of Chaos Tour. But where that vehicle catered more to the post-hardcore and screamo side of the spectrum, the Rockstar Mayhem Festival would prove to be a full-on heavy metal party.

The folks at Rockstar Energy Company, makers of the ubiquitous energy drink, sponsored the traveling tour. Lyman and Reese knew they had to make a statement with the fest's first lineup -- and boy, did they. The maiden voyage for the festival featured Slipknot, Disturbed, DragonForce, Mastodon, Underoath and Machine Head, plus seven other groups that included rising stars like Black Tide. Mayhem also offered other activities, such as video games, autograph signings and performances from motocross rebels, Metal Mulisha, but it was the heavyweight artist roster that made Mayhem a huge success. There would be no sophomore slump for the tour. Last year's Slayer/Marilyn Manson lead run packed arenas and amphitheaters from coast to coast, too.

Lyman and Reese show no sign of slowing down with this year's version of the 2010 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Just this month, it was announced that hard rock behemoths Korn and Rob Zombie would be headlining the increasingly popular tour. You would think with two multi-platinum artists like that -- and Lamb of God and Five Finger Death Punch acting as the main support acts -- the organizers would have left it at that.

But there are two other stages that include must-see bands like Hatebreed, Atreyu and 3 Inches of Blood, among others. So while the U.S. and Canada still need to play a lot of catch up to Europe, tours like the Rockstar Mayhem Festival prove that North America takes its heavy metal very seriously.

Main stage


Rob Zombie

Lamb of God

Five Finger Death Punch

Mayhem Festival stage


Norma Jean

3 Inches of Blood

In This Moment

Jägermeister stage



Shadows Fall

Winds of Plague

2010 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour dates

July 10 -- San Bernardino, CA -- San Manuel Amphitheater

July 11 -- Mountain View, CA -- Shoreline Amphitheatre

July 13 -- Auburn, WA -- White River Amphitheater Southeast

July 16 -- Phoenix, AZ -- Cricket Wireless Pavilion

July 17 -- Albuquerque, NM -- Journal Pavilion

July 18 -- Englewood, CO -- Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre

July 20 -- Maryland Heights, MO -- Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

July 21 -- Cincinnati, OH -- Riverbend Music Center

July 23 -- Camden, NJ -- Susquehanna Bank Center

July 24 -- Hartford, CT -- The Comcast Theatre

July 25 -- Montreal, QC -- Parc Jean Drapeau

July 27 -- Mansfield, MA -- Comcast Center

July 28 -- Holmdel, NJ -- P.N.C. Bank Arts Center

July 30 -- Clarkston, MI -- DTE Energy Music Theatre

July 31 -- Noblesville, IN -- Verizon Wireless Music Center

Aug. 1 -- Atlanta, GA -- Lakewood Amphitheatre

Aug. 4 -- Virginia Beach, VA -- Virginia Beach Amphitheater

Aug. 6 -- Tinley Park, IL -- First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

Aug. 7 -- Pittsburgh, PA -- Post Gazette Pavilion At Star Lake

Aug. 8 -- Bristow, VA -- Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge

Aug. 10 -- Tampa, FL -- Ford Amphitheatre

Aug. 11 -- West Palm Beach, FL -- Cruzan Amphitheater

Aug. 13 -- Dallas, TX -- Center

Aug. 14 -- Oklahoma City, OK -- Zoo Amphitheatre

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