70000 TONS OF METAL - Overview: Metal & Dolphins & Rasta... Oh My!
February 9, 2016, 2 years ago
Once again sailing from Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the sixth installment of the 70,000 Tons extravaganza saw a sold out ship bask in February sunshine, get pummeled around the ears by virtually non-stop liver performances (beginning at 10 AM and lasting until at least 4 AM, ubiquitous technical delays not withstanding). In 2016, the US, Germany and Canada took the top three slots, in terms of attendees. The check-in process took a carefree 20 minutes, curbside to boarding the Independence Of The Seas. Thankfully none of the 2+ hour serpentining through cattle chutes encountered previously.
Morning, noon and night music (and food, for those that could break themselves away from the concerts long enough). No cash required, everything's linked to one's credit card, via a ship provided piece of plastic that allows one to simply swipe and sign for any purchase (even procuring gambling chips, in the small centrally located casino, the only indoor site to allow smoking). The quick transactions are a godsend, especially for frequent beverage purchases, kiosks seemingly located every few feet. All beers, regardless of size, were essentially the same price: $6.50 USD, plus mandatory (already added, thank you) gratuity. Thus Foster's 25 oz. "oil can" (two drinks in one!) was easily the cruise-wide favorite.
Four varying size venues for live entertainment from the band-set-on-the-floor, no sight lines, club stage in the Egyptian themed Pyramid Room. Several hundreds were shoehorned into the converted ice rink, aka Studio B, including some of the more adventurous death/black metal sets, while the three tier Alhambra Theater provided plush seats (and standing down front) to witness some of the genres biggest names. Topside, out in the wind/sun, the pool deck stage (created from scratch, overnight Thursday) played host to all stylistic comers. However, past of Saturday was reserved for a Jamaican port of call (Falmouth), a desolate, cruise line owned tourist trap that required pre-planned excursion or hefty taxi price to leave. Many opted simply stayed onboard.
In the coming days, BraveWords will offer in-depth retrospectives of each day, as well as conversations with some of the artists. Until then, enjoy this pictorial recap of 70,000 Tons, 2016.