By "Metal" Tim Henderson
Well, you'll just have to wait for this year's report as I'm too excited to share the news about next's year's cruise! And obviously the future is looking bright for the organizers of 70000 Tons Of Metal, despite the fact that this year one day wasn't as "bright" as expected weather-wise. During the journey the metallic minds behind this brilliant concept held an exclusive press conference regarding next year's trip, which will be held from Monday, January 22nd to Friday, January 26th, 2015. And man, this can't come quick enough, given the size and scope of the event as there will be a new play area involved as the Majesty Of The Seas is being retired, at least in terms of heavy metal cruising. But more will be revealed below, as BraveWords gives you a peek behind-the-scenes starting with a bit of a summary of this year's event from Swedish mariner and Captain Karin Stahre-Janson, the first female captain in Royal Caribbean International's 21-ship fleet and the first woman in the industry to command a major cruise ship.
"I must say this has been quite an experience," she began with some hesitation addressing press from across the globe. "The ship itself is experienced with having this charter on board, and I've heard from all the crew members before, how much they look forward to it for many, many reasons. I was a little bit cautious about how it was going to go, but everyone told me, 'no Captain, they are nice people that are having a good time with good music and we're going to have fun." And they were right I must say. But I must admit I didn't know many of the bands, I think I recognized a few names and maybe it's not my personal kind of music. I still have a ship to run, so I haven't been up all night listening to music. There's been some that I really like and some that … well, you know. But it's been great to see people enjoy themselves. But as Wolfgang (Rott; Head Of Publicity for Ultimate Music Cruises Inc. and pictured with Andy Piller above) said, we can't do too much about the weather. You all know what the weather systems are doing in North America right now and that's pushing down into the Caribbean. They've seen snow in States which hasn't seen snow in 80 years! Again, I'm sorry about the rain. We've had some fantastic days and I can see a lot of red faces around, so some of you have been getting sun. But yes, we've had a great experience. Some of the staff may be a little bit deaf, but it's been great. So thank-you for coming as we really look forward in doing this special charter. And I hope you've found the Majesty crew - officers and staff - very good to you. That's what we are striving for; it doesn't matter who we have on board, we provide the same service. I sincerely hope it's been a memorable experience for all of you. Thank-you from the ship, we really enjoyed having you on board."
Next up, Andy Piller, who we can't thank enough for building this beast and his vision (along with his team's) for the future. This isn't a fly-by-night operation, as it it takes months to organize and of course create a line-up that will make any metalhead eat up the excitement like a school of hungry piranhas!
"As our journey comes to a close, we've had an amazing time on the Majesty," Piller addresses the small exclusive audience. "Of course the weather has been a challenge, that we haven't had to deal with before. Unfortunately we can't influence it, but this has been a new challenge as we've had to move all shows inside that were scheduled for the Pool Deck stage. Me and my production team are in constant contact with the bridge and how the weather is developing. In this part of the world it is really unpredictable, so we will see what we can salvage. As well, at least with this event we can take an elevator ride and get into a dry cabin. Somewhere else, we'd have to sleep in a wet tent, so that's something positive! So yes, something new. We've never really had any rain on 70000 Tons Of Metal. So be it, we have to live with it. It has been an amazing time here on the Majesty. I think we all created something great with all your help to spread the word all over the world. As you know we have 61 countries represented, which is a new record. Last year we had 55 and I didn't think we could beat it."
"So, what are we going to do in the future? We are going to the next level. Everybody in the beginning said 'why do we need 40 bands? Are you crazy?' My idea was always … we have 2000 tickets that we can sell here. On average a band has five members and with 40 bands that's 200 people. That's the ratio we wanted. No we are able to sell 3,000 tickets, so we will have 60 bands to kind of keep the atmosphere the same. I heard from some of our veteran cruisers that if we went to a bigger ship, it couldn't keep this atmosphere. But with this new ratio between artists and fans, I'm sure it's going to be a great experience once again."
"As you can see, this ship is a bit bigger. This is our new lady, the Liberty Of The Seas which has some great features. One of the really cool things is that you are going to have hot tubs closer to the stage. We also have a bigger theater and I've made sure that we are taking the front row seats out. I know some people like to sit, but if you don't have a mosh pit, it's not much of a metal show. And believe it or not, this ship has an ice rink, but of course we're not going to have ice dancing here. It has a hardwood floor which can be pushed hydraulically over the ice. So this will be our second main stage on board. And we are going to have a new challenge, our jewel the pool deck stage. Because it's in the middle, we are going to integrate those hot tubs into the stage. So people can watch heavy concerts while sitting in a hot tub in the middle of the Caribbean."
"And we've all gotten used to fine dining at a heavy metal concert, so this is the dining room and it's quite nice and certainly it will have the same good food as we have here on the Majesty. And for those that like to shop, there is whole shopping mall on the ship. The ship is massive. Of course I think this one is already big, but the Liberty Of The Seas is even bigger. It's actually double the size, but only 50 percent more guests on board, so everybody will have slightly larger cabins and we will have more room to move around. So I hope to see you all back in the Caribbean from January 22nd-26th. More news will be coming soon. We will be telling you where we are going to go. The nice thing about the Liberty is that she is a little bit faster than the Majesty, which opens up more possibilities of new destinations we can go."
So there you have it, a taste of 70000 Tons Of Metal 2015, The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise! Bands and destination will be determined soon Piller promises.
Stay tuned for a complete report on 70000 Tons Of Metal 2014!
Further details available at 70000tons.com
(Photo of Wolfgang Rott and Andy Piller by Håkon Grav)