The Ditch and the Delta

A Monster in the Making: Looking Back on Austin Terror Fest 2017 + 2018

As we race within striking distance of the third annual Austin Terror Fest - coming up June 7-9 - we thought we’d take a look back through the haze at some choice shots from years one and two, on an event that’s grown exponentially into a national powerhouse.

In its inaugural year, the fest bunkered down within the trusted cavity of The Lost Well in March of 2017, using familiar turf cement its foundation in Bat City after the discontinuation of Southwest Terror Fest in Tucson the year prior. Year two saw a shift in venue, and timing - with the fest eschewing the melee of SXSW week in favor of a June date (great call), and splitting the now three-day event between The Lost Well and the two stages at Barracuda downtown on East 7th (on rotating days). Though The Lost Well lurks among my favorite establishments in the country, the decision to alternate the festival days between venues was a welcome shift, a notion that seemed to be widely shared amongst festival attendees. From a photography perspective, shooting different rooms, and particularly shooting outside at Barracuda, provided opportunity for some visual variance. To be brief, it can be an exhausting exercise in patience and creativity shooting three consecutive days in a scantly-lit venue.

Dusty, Dorian and company seriously upped the ante once again for year three, assembling a staggering lineup and moving the fest entirely into the Red River district to be held at Barracuda and Empire Control Room & Garage. My speculation here really isn’t worth shit, so I’ll let you draw your own assumptions about the quake readying to shake Austin in a few weeks. The ATF camp also just dropped the following teaser:

Sunday night will also feature a very special, intimate show at Beerland beginning at 7:00 p.m. Performing acts and additional details will not be released until day-of-show although fans can continue to expect a dynamic, curated lineup of top acts in today’s heavy metal scene. This secret show will only be $10, cash-only.

Directly below you’ll find the Austin Terror Fest 2019 lineup as well as daily schedules, followed by a collection of images from ATF 2017 and 2018. I shot the black and white photos, and the color shots from 2017 were taken by Jay Conlon. I’ll see ya up front. - mg

ATF 2019 Lineup (Daily set times below)

ATF 2019 Lineup (Daily set times below)



6:30 - 7:30 PM: Goatwhore

5:30 - 6:15 PM: Pyrrhon

4:45 - 5:15 PM: Genocide Pact

4:00 PM: Doors


11:30 PM - 12:30 AM: Church of Misery

10:15 - 11:15 PM: Primitive Man

9:00 - 9:40 PM: Unearthly Trance

7:45 - 8:30 PM: Terminator 2

7:00 PM: Doors


12:30 - 1:30 AM: Pig Destroyer

11:00 PM - 12:00 AM: Integrity

9:30 - 10:15 PM: Full of Hell

8:30 - 9:15 PM: Taverner

7:00 PM: Doors



5:30 - 6:30 PM: Panopticon (*Blaze Foley - Cover Set*)

4:30 - 5:15 PM: Dorthia Cottrell (*Townes Van Zandt - Cover Set*)

3:45 - 4:15 PM: Deep Cross

3:00 PM: Doors


11:30 PM - 12:30 AM: Indian

10:15 - 11:15 PM: Dalek

9:00 - 9:40 PM: Street Sects

7:45 - 8:30 PM: Crowhurst

7:00 PM: Doors


12:30 - 1:30 AM: Lightning Bolt

11:00 PM - 12:00 AM: TR/ST

9:30 - 10:15 PM: Daikaiju

8:30 - 9:15 PM: Machine Girl

7:00 PM: Doors



6:30 - 7:30 PM: Bongzilla

5:30 - 6:15 PM: Thou

4:45 - 5:15 PM: Temple of Angels

4:00 PM: Doors


11:30 PM - 12:30 AM: Bongripper

10:15 - 11:15 PM: Black Cobra

9:00 - 9:40 PM: Dreadnought

7:45 - 8:30 PM: Mountain of Smoke

7:00 PM: Doors


12:30 - 1:30 AM: Alcest

11:00 PM - 12:00 AM: Panopticon

9:30 - 10:15 PM: Dark Castle

8:30 - 9:15 PM: Echo Beds

7:00 PM: Doors


8:00 - 10:40 PM: TBD Special Guests

7:00 PM: Doors

Electric Funeral Fest III Gallery

“We’re not fucking Gwar,” cracked Speedwolf frontman Reed Bruemmer, laughing as their Wolf mascot adorned in Broncos regalia poured another bucket of water on the heads of the front row. Not Gwar, or any other imitation, that’s for sure. This was Speedwolf through and through - raw power chomping at a packed house following a five-year hiatus. I don't think Gwar or any other band could have perched the crowd on the precipice of insanity the way Denver’s beloved did last Friday night. The crowd teemed at the stage’s edge the entirety of the show. This town has fiended for this reunion for years, and the fire was bright in their eyes. In the midst of the band’s “Denver666” finale, the charged-up mass overtook the stage entirely. 

Now, following up Speedwolf on a festival headlining spot is not a position to covet. It takes a special group of maniacs to successfully deliver such a follow up. Had their been any lingering doubts that Saturday’s ender could would turn as loose the night previous - and I didn’t hear any - they were rapidly exhaled as Weedeater’s Dixie Dave growled out a quick sound check about crack rocks, fucking and whiskey. A few moments later, the 3 Kings stage was once again awash in sweat-soaked human.

Though Speedwolf and Weedeater closed out each night with a fury, the mania began early each day and rarely ceased. It was the relentlessness of the party, and the talent, that’s rendered it all such a blur. And by no means did 3 Kings have a monopoly on the hi-jinx. Not to get into too much detail, but R.I.P. incited a pair of brawls inside the Hi-Dive, Zeke sent the body-to-body room spinning into a speed-lusting frenzy, Malahierba joined last minute to stun once again, and the rap sheet rattles on… Apologies for being trite - but you simply have to be there.

The lineup for this third edition was built with Denver’s nation-leading heavy music scene as a cornerstone, with 15 or so Denver bands taking the stage alongside a smattering of Texas talent, as well as acts from both north and south of the border. In that regard, this was the most international the event’s been, both in terms bands and attendees. Continuing the trend from Year 1 into Year 2, the third iteration broadened in musical scope, including industrial crushers Echo Beds, Necropanther’s deaththrash, Zeke’s pedal-to-the-floor attack and so on.

This was also the first year to include a stage in the Mutiny Information Cafe, the famed South Broadway book/record shop. The third venue brought a slew of new angles to the table - staging for more acts, obviously, and an option for those eager yet under age, a change in venue aesthetic, life-saving cold brews, a new read or record for those taking back to the road, or just a comfortable place to rest and recover between sets.

In short, Electric Funeral III tore through Denver like a barroom brawl. Bodies were launched, soaked and bruised, rooms strewn with various items of clothing and beer cans, the floor mapped with puddles. Too long a drag on your IPA and you’d have missed it, left ogling scattered wreckage and wondering why you feel like the world’s largest pile of shit. But ease up, a good party will disorient even the most seasoned reveler. If you missed it, you can live vicariously through the Almighty Internet and vow to never do so again. If you were fortunate enough to be there, this rambling missive should jog your mush brain. Following is a selection of shots from the weekend. - MG

Photos by: Michael Goodwin, Sam Giles, Mitch Kline, Kate Streber

*More photos to be added to the gallery next week.