New England Metal and Hardcore FestNew England Metal and Hardcore Fest is celebrating its 12th year of operations. The annual fest, held at the Palladium in Worcester, Mass., is always a good time and worth the cash metalheads and moshers shell out for a two-day pass.

The fest is about 40 minutes outside of Boston, and founder Scott Lee told Noisecreep that the fest is held outside of the city simply because "the Palladium fits like a glove. There are six parking lots, four hotels and it's right off the highway. It's easy, the venue is well run. There is a sausage guy out front. It's rad."

The fest is going strong because Lee is always looking for ways to keep it fun and economical, and he manages his and the bands' costs efficiently. "We are trying things out and are always going to try different things, to give the fan more bang for their buck," Lee said about the fest's philosophy. "Two nights is comfortable, and maybe in the 15th year, we'll do three nights. We might have something up our sleeve. We keep it spontaneous and keep people thinking."

The fest may actually even incorporate a third stage again eventually. "It depends on how, where, what," Lee said. The Palladium has always hosted two stages, but a third stage/venue around the corner was once used to accommodate even more bands. "If we had a place to do it, we will. It's gotta follow the formula."

Lee also said he gets "hundreds" of requests to play the fest from local bands, but he can't accommodate them all. "I most of the time say no," he said. "We check them all out, and there are locals that got signed and now play the festival, but it's hard. There's not too many unsigned bands who play!"

Lee, who also manages Acacia Strain, Vanna and MyChildren MyBride, among others, was also able to shed some light on the reason why Irish Times, the local pub and grill across the street from the Palladium, never seems prepared to accomodate the influx of metalheads, and thus, customers, every April. "They can read the paper and the schedule, but they don't," Lee laughed. "I don't get what their beef is. They are not smart people!"

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