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The day you’ve all been waiting for with bated breath has arrived. Today we announce those all important day splits and put our individual day tickets on sale, meaning you can finally start planning your Desertfest weekend. As ever, we’ve tried our best to avoid as many clashes as possible, but with a lineup as strong as this year’s, we could only avoid so many (though we did make sure those Weedeater sets didn’t overlap).

Friday sees KOKO back in the Desertfest fold and, as the largest venue of the day, it plays host to our retro rocking headliners Graveyard, making their long awaited UK return. Speaking of returns, they’ll be supported at KOKO by doom royalty The Obsessed, with the punk infused Zeke and Greece’s Planet of Zeus joining them. The Old Empire stage invades The Electric Ballroom with their brutal assault headlined by crust punk progenators Napalm Death, who are joined by sludge survivors Eyehategod, doom game-changers Warning and more, followed by a late night set from ASG. The Black Heart gets experimental with The Quietus stage, bringing the psych freakout inducing White Hills, the heavy and atmospheric Ghold, the positively insane Snapped Ankles and others. Also appearing across the day are the atmospheric Jex Thoth and the utterly psychedelic Radio Moscow at The Underworld, reefer riffers Dopelord and the thunderous Tuskar at The Dev and even more across the day.

Saturday gets even heavier at The Electric Ballroom as they welcome stoner metal heroes High on Fire, whose headline set celebrates their 20 Sunless Years. They have appropriately gargantuan support at the Ballroom in the form of North Carolinan sludge machines Weedeater, Japan’s doom legends Church of Misery, extreme metalers Akercocke and the crushing sludge of Sourvein. The Nightshift Promotions stage returns to The Dev, inviting the melodic Darkher, post-metalers Telepathy and more to the Desertfest party. Elsewhere on the Saturday, Steak Number Eight bring another slab of post-metal and Black Rainbows bring the heavy psych to the The Underworld, while grungy stoner rockers Miss Lava and the fuzzed up The Watchers hit up The Black Heart.

Sunday brings another huge lineup to The Roundhouse, with stoner psych heroes Monster Magnet closing off the weekend with their headline set. Not only that, but one of psych rock’s most important bands, Hawkwind, will be co-headlining our tripped out Sunday. Also appearing at The Roundhouse are returning stoner rock kings Nebula, the best band in recent years Elder and Sweden’s Monolord. The Human_Disease_Promo / When Planets Collide stage takes over The Underworld, with a special early years set from Weedeater, the caustic Denver trio Primitive Man and more, followed by a late night set by Death Alley. Elsewhere across Desertfest’s closing day, the warm psych of King Buffalo and stoner rock supergroup Kind play The Black Heart, with France’s The Necromancers and Brighton’s heavy trio Solleme at The Dev.

With the days well and truly split, and the lineup all in place, day tickets are now on sale (linked below). Priced at £40 for Friday or Saturday, and £45 for Sunday, your day ticket will grant you access to all venues for the day it is valid. So if you can’t make the full weekend this year, be sure not to miss out on the heaviest lineup of the year. And if you can make the whole show, be sure to snap up your weekend ticket while you still have a chance.


We promised you we weren’t done yet. After months of building what we are certain is our biggest and heaviest lineup yet, it’s time to announce the last bands for Desertfest 2018; all 22 of them, including Sunday's co-headliner.

First up this team of cosmonauts has been in search of utopia, infinity and beyond for a staggering nigh-on fifty years now.  As a collective that has defined genres, influenced every single record that you and your folks have ever liked, and spawned off-shoots such as a little rock ‘n roll band you might have heard of called Motörhead, their importance to every single one of us cannot be overstated, and we are damn well chuffed to announce that Hawkwind’s silver machine will be touching down at Cape Camden as they co-headline Desertfest 2018!

Thirty albums down the line, these British kings of the underground are still going strong under the leadership of none other than founding member and Grand Wizard of Space Rock, David Anthony Brock. We can’t wait for their unstoppable Wind to rip through Desertfest as co-headliners of our huge Sunday at The Roundhouse.

Also announced are North Carolina’s ASG who have been blasting their brand of stoner metal since the beginning of the century and have a healthy five albums in the vaults. Iowan power trio, Radio Moscow, whose reputation as one of the most exciting, eclectic and electric bands in the scene is hard to argue with will be joining them as will Wino as he pulls double duty on top of his The Obsessed appearance to play a special acoustic set.

Gothenburg three-piece Monolord have ascended to the upper echelons of stoner-doom royalty in recent years, rightfully earning their place at Desertfest. Satanic sludge merchants Sourvein will be spreading darkness with their vast back catalogue of brutal filth, with Belgians, Steak Number Eight, bringing postmetal to the mix.

Poland’s reefer riffers Dopelord make their Desertfest debut, as do psych rockers Dead Witches and King Buffalo. Boston’s Kind, a stoner rock supergroup, are on the heaving lineup, alongside the chaotic sonic assault of Cattle and French retro rockers The Necromancers.

Crumpet, the latest project of all round hero Bill Steer, make an early appearance at Desertfest. They’re joined by two vastly different bands in the shape of Brighton’s wall of misery, Solleme, and upbeat Marylanders, Lionize.

But we’re not done yet, post-apocalyptic Danish metalers, LLNN, skull flattening doom peddlers Chrch and the grim sludge of Mastiff all squeeze onto the bill, with monolithic two-piece, Tuskar, a solo appearance from ex-Arrows Down and Crystal Head’s Tom Cameron and the swampy rock of Lo Chief rounding off a mammoth year of announcements for Desertfest.

So with a lineup now totalling over 70 of the best bands the underground has to offer, what better time than now to make sure you’re at the heaviest weekend of the year? Book your tickets at the website today.


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The Quietus stage is back again for Desertfest 2018, this year taking place at The Black Heart on Friday 4th May. In the past few years, The Quietus team have brought us a diverse stage with some of the most exciting bands at the festival and this year, as ever, they’ve provided some of the lineup’s more unique and experimental bands.

Headlining The Quietus stage this year are White Hills whose concentrated blasts of interstellar noise with a tank load of psychedelic glam makes them the truest space rock goliaths of our time. Their preposterously prolific output, with studio albums now in double figures, has been one glorious trip to the outer reaches after another. White Hills’ music is not so much a sprawling and bloated psych-rock behemoth as a concentrated blast of otherworldly energy and so their shuddering, booming, blistering yet blissful intensity is something to behold; they are the worthiest of headliners for The Quietus’ stage.

They’ll be joined by Ghold, whose balance between crashing waves of and vacuums void of sound creates an unsettling feeling live and on record. Their latest release, 2017’s Stoic escalated the concept of stripping down sound, casting aside every unnecessary beat before inviting noiselessness to settle into the seams. It’s an experience to behold.

Snapped Ankles have long been lurking in the darkest depths of the wood. They are a feral, primal proposition, a quite literal force of nature. The band’s debut album Come Play The Trees rose from the soil last Autumn, a ferocious, frantic delight of an LP that made its way straight to the upper echelons of The Quietus’ favourites of 2017.

Also appearing on the bill are Newcastle based psych-noise supergroup, Melting Hand, the colossal, chaotic explosion of a band Casual Nun and garage-psych Londoners with hooks as catchy as their name, Swedish Death Candy. Yet again, The Quietus Stage holds the glory of hosting the most divergent stack of bands on the Desertfest lineup. Make sure you don’t miss out this May.


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Our friends at Nightshift Promotions have been smashing it at The Dev for the last few Desertfest weekends, and 2018 is no different. This year, they’ll be bringing six diverse, but equally dark bands that will be sure to pack out one of Camden’s best pubs

Headlining the stage are Darkher, the melodic creation of Jayn H. Wissenberg whose beautiful vocals are complemented by the rumbling guitars of collaberating husband Martin T. Wissenberg. 2016’s Realms is a must listen record, which journeys through the haunting and the challenging. With the addition in 2017 of original My Dying Bride Drummer Rick Miah, Darkher’s sound has grown yet more ominous, and we can’t wait to catch them this May.

They’ll be joined by Colchester’s Telepathy. Formed by the three Turek brothers & Richard Powley before later being joined by bassist Teddy James Driscoll. The band adds a breath of life into post-metal, showing there is still plenty to be said within the genre. Last year’s Tempest may well have been one of the better post-metal releases of the decade, with sludginess in abundance.

Ghent, Belgium’s Crowd of Chairs will also be on the bill, bringing a sound that is hard to pin down within a genre. Their experimental style, which has elements of math-rock influence seeping inwards. For best reference of their sound, seek out last year’s release, FUCK FUCK FUCK and wallow in the noise.

Chicago’s Snow Burial join the bill, bringing another slab of post-metal though this time filtered through The Melvins and Converge. Heavy and brooding, though at times strangely bouncy, the energy pulsating through their music has a distinctly punk feel.

Monolithian bring us blackened doom from Falmouth. Their crushing boulder of reverbing fuzz is brutal, but matched equally by the precision of the band’s slightly psych-tinged floatier sections.

Last but not least, openers The Moth are a Hamburg based three-piece who have been turning heads in their currently short lifespan. Rattling sludge pinned together with dual vocals of bassist Cécile Ash and guitarist Freden Mohrdiek, The Moth will undoubtedly be a highlight of the weekend.

The Nightshift Promotions Stage will take place at The Dev on Saturday 5th May and will be open to any Desertfest three-day or Saturday passes. Make sure you get down early to ensure your spot inside as The Dev is our smallest venue. With these latest additions, and still more to announce in the coming weeks, Desertfest 2018 is just getting bigger and bigger. Book your tickets today to make sure you don’t miss out on the UK’s premier underground festival.



Yet again, we've got our good friends from Human_Disease_Promo and When Planets Collide rolling in with their annual heavy stage. As ever, they'll be delivering a slab of pure brutality this year bringing 6 new bands to the bill as well as a special second set from the previously announced Weedeater. Staggerin' Matt tells us more about what to expect at The Underworld on Sunday 6th May below.

"This year we’ve gone for an all out colossus of weighty heaviness for the Human_Disease_Promo / When Planets Collide Stage at Desertfest 2018.

Along to top proceedings we have North Carolina reefer riff rascals Weedeater coming in for a special set - their second appearance of the weekend - heading up the Underworld to play a packed bowl of tracks from the earliest strains of their career. It’s gonna be a low down dirty hoot.

Backing them up will be the obscenely punishing, abrasive blows of Denver’s most crushing Primitive Man, stomping and hard driving riffs from Canadian bruisers Bison, a lush hammering pysche vortex in the form of Swedish outfit Suma, joining from St. Louis, the engulfing intensity of destructive filthsters Fister, Nottingham D.I.Y. downers / viscous sludge nasties Moloch and the gigantic cavernous rumblings of UK duo Bismuth.

All said it’s likely the heaviest lineup we’ve ever forged together for the Underworld to bear witness to, so come join us all day on the Sunday to have ya brain fried up and handed back as a pile of stewed mush! It’s gonna be bloody loud in there!"

With this latest set of additions to Desertfest 2018 and more still to come, on top of the dozens of great bands already announced, this year's heavy weekender looks to bigger than ever. Don't miss your chance to be at the UK's premier underground festival. Book your tickets today.



For 10,000(ish) years, you have asked us, begged us, pleaded with us and wished with us and now we are ecstatic to reveal that 2018 is the year the rumours of war finally come true: High On Fire will celebrate 20 Sunless Years when they headline Desertfest in Camden Town. Not only that, but we've added another 11 killer acts to Desertfest 2018.

You all know the story. Californian legends of the riff Sleep split in 1998, leaving a void in the stoner ozone that would take significant time to refill. But a presence such as Matt Pike can't disappear. And so High on Fire was born; a breakneck, foot-down, exhaust-blazing approach to primitive piledriving like no-one had ever attempted before. The amps, the volume, the force and the grandiose nature of Sleep were still there, but the newfound speed and aggression was at the time of The Art of Self Defense (and still is now) mind-blowing.

With every album, a little bit faster, a little bit tighter and a little bit heavier, High of Fire have evolved over their two decades, resulting in, by the time of 2015's Luminiferous, one of the most comfortable, complete and devastatingly powerful trios that heavy music has ever seen. You'd be a fool to miss them at Desertfest 2018.

Also on the bill, after a hefty absence from the UK, are The Obsessed. Almost synonymous with the doom underground, Wino and The Obsessed are true rock survivors. Up there with fathers of doom such as Pentagram and Saint Vitus, The Obsessed are as vital now as they were back in 1980, with 2017's Sacred sure to be hailed by many as their album of the year; and rightly so.

We've managed to snag Japan's greatest band, Church of Misery, to play Desertfest too. Founded in Tokyo, Japan in 1995, Church of Misery were immediately a force to be reckoned with in the doom scene. Centred around constant member Tatsu Mikami, the pure brutality of their output is doubled down on with haunting lyrical imagery surrounding infamously grisly crimes. Six dark, destructive discs in they continue to slay.

Yet more bands on the bill include the brutality of extreme metal quartet Akercocke, one of the most underrated bands in the UK, the fantastic Old Man Lizard, the Pantera meets Orange Goblin madness that is Pist and the syrupy thick riffs of Morass of Molasses.

But that's not all. We also have the swaggering stoner/hard rock of Black Rainbows, the psyched out riff-worship of Death Alley, the measured rock tones of
Puppy and the doom laden The WatchersBlackWülf.

So make sure you don't miss out on our biggest Desertfest to date, book your tickets today.


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We've had a long and happy relationship with Old Empire over the years at Desertfest - mainly because of the astonishing and diverse lineups they put together for their very own stage. The Old Empire Stage at Desertfest 2018 might be the most astonishing and diverse yet.

Taking place on Friday 4th May at Electric Ballroom, 2018's Old Empire Stage is bigger than ever and to prove it, they've only gone and booked THE undisputed kings of the UK underground metal scene, Napalm Death, to headline. 

The Midlands-founded and world-famous four piece have been called many things over the years, from extreme metal, to crust punk, to grindcore, but simply put, they are breakneck rapid and guttural as all hell. Innovating metal and all its subgenres from the moment their first record, the impeccable Scum, reared its furious head, Napalm Death have not only been innovators as a unit; they have also provided the launch pad for former members Lee Dorrian, Bill Steer and Justin Broadrick to name but a few.

Now, a quarter of a century from solidifying their mainstay lineup, Napalm Death have continued that path of breakneck brutality right through to their last record Apex Predator - Easy Meat... and it's looking likely to continue with their next. 

Of Napalm Death's headline appearance, Old Empire say, "Napalm Death’s influence on modern metal, doom, grind and stoner music is immeasurable. From the utter head fuck of ‘Scum’ to the short sharp shock of ‘Apex Predator’, these legends have been firmly at the top of our wishlist since it all began. We are incredibly honoured to be hosting them and for a headline slot no less!" We couldn't agree more and are ecstatic to catch them at Desertfest.

Joining them on the bill are the recently reformed game-changers, Warning. Beginning life as a traditional metal band inspired by the likes of Baltimore’s doom forbearers Revelation, Warning evolved into a band unafraid to test the boundaries of what doom could be. In a genre dominated by fantasy, machismo, and morbidity, Warning proved that a metal band can be as much about heart as banging your head, contemplating relationships, longing, and loss.

Reformed early in 2017 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the perfect Watching From a Distance, Old Empire have convinced the band to stick around for a wee while longer. Old Empire tells us, "On the eighth day God (Patrick Walker) created ‘Watching from a Distance’ – he saw, and it was good… You better have my funeral in a big church because at 50 minutes long it’s going to be a slow walk to the Church doors."

The previously announced Eyehategod will be making their Desertfest appearance on the Old Empire Stage too. The NOLA sludgesters have survived everything from Hurricane Katrina to the untimely passing of former drummer Joey Lacaze, turning that pain upside down into walls of riffs punctuated by the unmistakable poetry of Mike IX Williams. Old Empire adds, "We think Eyehategod absolutely embody the spirit of what Old Empire and Desertfest is about. A little bit of heavy metal, a whole bunch of venom and tons of groove – we’re all well aware of the party that ensues when these NOLA heavyweights take the stage, so get fucking ready! "

Also joining the Old Empire stage are black-metal Mancs, Winterfylleth. Known as much for their historical aesthetic as for their dark, black-metal atmospherics, they'll be attempting to give Napalm Death a run for their money as heaviest band of the day. Old Empire adds, "We first saw Winterfylleth in the backroom of a Kingston pub in 2011. The output from this Mancunian quartet since then has been simply staggering, they have consistently been one of our favourite bands."

Shrouded in mystery, we're interested to see where Five The Hierophant take us when they finally take to the stage to perform. Given their releases, we anticipate one of the darkest, most unsettling sets of the whole weekend. Old Empire adds, "We were immediately grabbed by the intriguing artwork and the dark jazz soundscapes on FTH's new release ‘Over Phelgethon’ – Part doom, part drone, part jazz and all oppression. This mysterious band will be making their live debut at Desertfest 2018."

Last, but by not even the slightest means least, we're proud to be hosting upstarts ACDX of whom Old Empire say "New Kids on the Block, we were immediately impressed when their new EP ‘The Day I Heard the Moon Roar” turned up in our inbox. Equal parts Isis, Hawkwind and Opeth. The dictionary definition would simply say of this Essex group, ‘indefinable.’" The London based newcomers are sure to be an early treat, so make sure you're in Camden the second those doors open at Desertfest 2018.

We can't state enough how over the moon we are with what Old Empire has brought to the table yet again, so, before you rush off the page to buy tickets, we'll leave you with these final words from Old Empire.

“We have been comrades with Desertfest for a long time. Back in the day we were both promoting bands at spit and sawdust boozers and now here we are, together again for our 4th year, at Desertfest 2018 and the hallowed Electric Ballroom no less!

From the vitriol of Napalm Death to the haunting polyrhythms of ADCX, this is our most eclectic line up to date. We hope you will join us." Old Empire



Now that you’ve all settled down from the huge first announcement for Desertfest 2018, which included Monster Magnet, Nebula, Eyehategod and more, we think you’re ready for some new names. So we’ve added 8 more killer bands to the lineup.

If any band can claim responsibility for the surge of retro-infused, blues-stuffed rock n roll seeping through the underground over the past decade, it has to be Graveyard; which is why we’re beyond proud to announce that they’ll be headlining Desertfest 2018!

Rising to the top of the fertile Swedish (and indeed European) fuzz-drenched scene thanks to their four immaculate albums, Graveyard quickly mastered their straight-down-the-middle rock foundation and built outwards. Effortlessly creating mind invading hooks just waiting to rattle around your brain for weeks and peppering them with doses of heavy psych, subdued moments and the soulful vocals of Joakim Nilsson, it isn’t hard to see why Graveyard are one of the best bands on the planet.

After a brief hiatus, we’re delighted to have Graveyard make their long awaited UK return in the way that they deserve; headlining Desertfest 2018.

They’ll be joined by goliathan sludge shovelers Weedeater, who have been laying down tar-thick, slowly-swaggering riffs for almost twenty years. It’s hard not to love stoner titans Weedeater with classics like God Luck and Good Speed and Sixteen Tons under their belt and apocryphal tales of frontman "Dixie" Dave Collins shooting off his own toe with his ‘favourite’ shotgun only adding to their legend. Weedeater are simply not to be missed this May.

We’re pleased once again to be bringing Elder back to Desertfest, hot on the heels of yet another mesmerising album in Reflections of a Floating World. No question that the trio had their work cut out in following-up 2015’s epic Lore, but as they expanded to a four-piece with the inclusion of guitarist/keyboardist Mike Risberg, the reach of their craft moved likewise outward. Evolving over the past five years, from one of heavy riffing’s most potential-filled practitioners to a progressive scope entirely of their own, we can’t wait to see where Elder are going next.

Also on the bill are Seattle underground legends Zeke, a band sandwiched somewhere between the rapid-fire, speed-guzzling lunacy of punk and the distinctly bourbon-scented outright abandon of heavy rock n' roll. Now heading into their 25th year together of blasting those raging motorcycle anthems of rebellion, attitude and sheer heads-up metallic mania, Zeke are finally back upon our shores and we're thrilled to announce they'll be joining us in Camden.

But that’s not all. We’ve also added the fuzz filled frenzy that is Freedom Hawk, Portugal’s stoner-grunge quartet Miss Lava (making their first UK appearance), proggy Londoners Mountains and the chunky stoner riffs of Trevor’s Head. And this is just the beginning. We’ve got lots more to tell you about the 7th Camden shindig in the coming months. So keep your eyes on Desertfest website for more and book your tickets today.