Weezer. Creed. Marianas Trench.
Screams pierced through the crowd on Tuesday night as Hockeyfest organizer Ralph Spoltore announced the headliners for the 2012 Hockeyfest music festival, taking place June 1 to June 3 at Brant Conservation Area.
“I think it’s the best lineup the city has ever seen and it takes Hockeyfest to the next level,” Spoltore said. “This kind of lineup puts a stamp on Hockeyfest as an elite music festival in Ontario.”
Brantford’s third annual Hockeyfest will feature three days of rock, starting with a night of what Spoltore calls “jock rock” on Friday, featuring Creed, Theory of a Deadman, Puddle of Mudd and Bleeker Ridge.
Friday’s headliner, Creed, has sold more than 40 million albums and was named one of Billboard’s best artists of the decade in the 2000s. The band broke up in 2004, but came back together in 2009. Its members are currently working on their fifth studio album. Hockeyfest will be the only Ontario stop for the Grammy award-winning band.
“Their live show is unbelievable and now they are all back together,” Spoltore said.
Saturday’s headliners include fan-favourite Weezer. Spoltore said he fought hard to have the American alternative-rock band on the lineup after an overwhelming number of requests from Hockeyfest fans.
“I got a lot of feedback from the community and the one name that kept popping up is Weezer,” Spoltore said.
Over the course of the band’s 20-year career, Weezer has released nine full-length albums, six EPs and sold more than nine million records in the U.S. alone.
“They’ve got hit after hit,” Spoltore said. “They’ve been around for a very long time and they cross over to so many fans.”
Weezer’s presence at Hockeyfest is unique, considering the band is not currently touring. They’ll play only a few shows this summer.
In addition to Weezer, Hockeyfest regulars The Trews are back, along with U.S. newcomers Foxy Shazam.
Spoltore has another trick up his sleeve for the Saturday of Hockeyfest, with a mystery band to be announced next Wednesday. He won’t say who it is, but did say it’s going to be a big one.
“I think people will be shocked at who we got for direct support for Weezer,” he said. “I think we will be bringing people from all over North America to the show.”
Sunday’s concert is aimed at Brantford’s youth, with a return performance by Vancouver-based pop-punk band Marianas Trench. The band performed during the inaugural Hockeyfest concert in 2010. Backing up Marianas Trench will be Down With Webster, illScarlett and KO.
“I’ve had tons of requests to bring Marianas Trench back,” Spoltore said. “Since we had them two years ago, they’ve blown up. I’m bringing them back before they get bigger.”
More than 200 people turned out to see Tuesday’s announcement, as well as performances by Hockeyfest performers Bleeker Ridge, as well as local bands The Ascot Royals and Dickens and Redfearn.
Fans went wild as each name was read out, but Weezer got the crowd most excited.
“This is huge,” said concertgoer Leila Kuzyk. “I have to come out and check out a show that big. No one would have ever expected Weezer.”
Melina Fachin and Christina Macaluso said they were excited to see most of the acts announced.
“It’s a really diverse line up – people will like it,” she said. “There are some really exciting names. Weezer stands out.”
General admission tickets to Hockeyfest cost $39.99 for Friday or Sunday and $49.99 for Saturday. General admission weekend tickets for all three days can be purchased for $99.99. VIP tickets cost $69.99 for Friday or Sunday and $79.99 for Saturday. VIP weekend passes can be purchased for $179.99.
There are a limited number of campsites available at the Brantford Conservation Area. Sites range from $49.99 to $99.99 for the weekend. Sites can be reserved by visiting www.brantfordhockeyfest.com.