Heavy T.O. 2012 is coming back to Toronto on August 11th and 12th!

By Mike Bax


A few weeks ago it was announced that Toronto would see another Heavy T.O. Festival, scheduled for August 11th and 12th at Downsview Park. Put it in your calendars!!!

This announcement put a huge smile on my face, primarily because Heavy T.O. in July of this year was nothing shy of amazing. Seventeen of the bands included on Heavy T.O. this year were bands that I would have paid money to see in venues on their own as headliners. If the average price of seeing each of these bands was estimated at $30 (and I think you will agree that Slayer, Zombie, Motörhead, Megadeth, Anthrax, and yes, Billy Talent, would all push more towards the $50 to $60 range) - the cost of seeing these bands on their own would be well over $500.00. Heavy T.O. offers Toronto area music fans the opportunity to see a wealth of amazing bands in a one-stop-shop environment that I can't wait to see happen again this summer.

I was surprised by some of the negativity that I read online after this 2012 Heavy T.O. announcement, primarily around the intent of fans not to attend if they didn't like 100% of the line-up when it gets announced. Diversity is part of what I WANT to see when coming to these festival events!! Download 2012 just got announced recently, with the headliners being Metallica, Black Sabbath, and The Prodigy. This will be an incredible live experience - Black Sabbath and Metallica for obvious reasons, but The Prodigy for sure, as a band that will offer an eye-opening live experience to anyone willing to keep an open mind and check them out. Sure, they aren't heavy in the 'Slayer' sense of the word, but check out this clip and tell me they can't deliver some energy: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xie576_the-prodigy-world-s-on-fire-cd-dvd-blu-ray-trailer_shortfilms I would hope that we get a few bands on the Heavy T.O. bill this year that don't sound like they rely on buzz-saw guitar riffs and blast-beat drumming to deliver their own unique brand of Heavy.

Toronto fans seemed to take great offence at Billy Talent being included on the Heavy T.O. bill in 2011. Quite frankly, I don't understand this mentality at all. By dictionary definition, Billy Talent IS a heavy band. They play heavy. They tour heavy. And their draw is heavy. Add in this simple fact: there was one band on this year’s Heavy T.O. bill capable of selling out the Air Canada Centre on their own - and that band was Billy Talent. And we Torontonians got to see them in a package deal playing amongst other musicians for under $100.00 a day. WHO CARES if one or two bands on a festival bill like Heavy T.O. aren't a particular breed of pummelling metal?!? If fans don't want to see these more diverse heavy bands, just do something else. Go hug a Jagerette. Go get an autograph, have a beer, or eat some food. But for the love of all that's holy, support the scene people! The alternative is simple: don't show up and the festival goes on the wayside. And then Toronto has NO two-day outdoor festival of heavy music...and that would be an utter travesty.

What's next? Toronto fans show disdain over Kiss on a Heavy T.O. bill? Or the Foo Fighters? Or ACDC? Or Rush? I'd love to see these bands included on a bill like Heavy T.O. They would brighten any mix of metal bands that will round out the majority of future Heavy T.O. bills for sure.

As an ongoing event, Heavy T.O. is poised to become Ontario's PREMIER festival of everything Heavy. I look forward to WHATEVER bands the line-up brings. I'm sure the upcoming announcements for included bands on Heavy T.O. 2012 will blow people’s minds!!! Be excited!!! This years Heavy T.O. was THE BEST two days of heavy music I've ever seen in Toronto. I can't wait until August 11th and 12th to do it all over again.

Support the scene!!!

Whether your into Cannibal Corpse or Lamb of God or w/e, if you're like me and you NEED this kind of show coming to Toronto as much as fucking possible, you don't care if there's a "billy talent" or "insert unwanted band name here" on the bill so long as there's another chance that we can bring bands like Slipknot and system of a down to Canada. hell, sometimes a break in the lineup is a perfect chance to grab a beer or catch a breather from moshing, crowd surfing etc. I'm really only going for Slipknot, Manson, Lamb of God and System, but as far as I'm concerned it's MORE than worth to sit through some bands i'm not into, they're still bringing other metal-heads to the show and supporting the scene that I love, thus making these shows possible.

Support the Scene - Totally Agree

Nicely put!

Post Hardcore T.O?

What's up with periphery and protest the hero ?... do these guys really belong at heavy t.o? they aren't really the best excptions for a Heavy concert? they're nothing far from post-hardcore


Protest the hero and Periphery played at heavy metal toronto in 2012 and they are both incredibly talented bands and put on amazing performances. Although they aren't the most heavy of bands, Billy Talent is definitely less "hard core" for lack of a better term. With a line up fill of really heavy bands there needs to be balance, and the more people they can attract to the festival who have different tastes in music the better as it creates a better turn out and also makes them more money in the long run. I think the real question should be do YOU really belong at heavy to.... haha hater

line-up just got better!!

Just seen on the System of a down page that they are playing now ... Just went from maybe going to definitly going!!!

Is the event all ages? Coming

Is the event all ages? Coming up from the United States and want to bring our 12yr old son. Any response would be great.

All Ages - Definitely

Yes, this event is all ages.
There are designated drinking areas :)

where's metallica?

alright i likk the part where you mentioned metallica would be the headline, but i didn't even see them in the official line up?


You mean the part where I was talking about Metallica headlining Sonisphere? In the UK? Where they ARE headlining? I'm glad you liked that part.

the following bands are a MUST for heavy t.o 2012

Amon Amarth
Arch Enemy
children of bodom

that is all.. (none of that numetal bullshit )
"and if you not a metal fan, you suck" -Dave Mustaine

Yes \m/

Fuckin' Awesome list but alot of those bands wouldn't show up they all have been avoiding canada sadly

Shut and support a GREAT concert!

OK...having just read this article and the subsequent responses, people need to understand the putting on a concert is a BUSINESS! If the people that put this concert on aren't making money...you ain't getting a KILLER show like this...it's that plain and simple.
Whether Billy Talent is "heavy"...or whether they should have been on the bill...or whether you think they're "fags" is all opinion. Having booked shows across Canada for a number of years in the past, putting together a PERFECT line up is absolutely impossible. And realistically, you should all be thanking them to be frank as they sold a LOT of tickets to that show, which offset the cost of bringing in a lot of the other bands on that bill.
Am I a fan of the band personally, absolutely not. But I'll take one for the team in order to have this stellar concert hit Toronto every summer. Does anyone on this post know why we don't get Ozzfest? Or Mayhem (the entire lineup, not the half line up that we get in Toronto every once in a while)? Because the promoters lost a BOAT LOAD of money in bringing them up here...that's why.
SO...we can all sit here and bitch about Billy Talent being on the bill for WHATEVER damn reason you may have...but ultimately, we should all be looking at this as a means to a way. A way for us to get two full days of 99% killer bands, beers and a fucking music festival that we can call our own.
If people don't show the support based on one band...then accept the fact that you just won't have a cool festival like this in your city...that's a fact!
I cannot WAIT to see who's coming this year.
Rock on

Doesn't matter how much they

Doesn't matter how much they draw. They didn't draw dick to Heavy TO. There was barely anyone watching them. It'd be nice if some of these bleeding hearts that present themselves as "enlightened metal fans" would look at the cold hard facts. Billy Talent was on there as a cash grab by the promoters to bring in a different demographic, and that demographic didn't show up. Come on, how many BT fans would you expect to pay $100+ to see the one band on the bill they like play a short set?

Billy talent

Billy talent is not metal! Why are so many people asking tge same question, ask any metal head, they will tell you the same thing. I was at heavy mtl and billy talent was the only thing out of place last year, who ever came up with that line up should have known better, as well as Mike Bax. We can tell your not a metal head if you honistly think billy talent belonged on that line up.

I agree.

Get a life, pal. I posted this article BECAUSE It's called HEAVY TO. And HEAVY MTL. Not METAL TO and METAL MTL.

I'm not saying Billy Talent are Metal. What I am saying they are heavy. Cry a river over a two day line-up where one or two bands don't fit your particular stereotype of music - and watch it fail. Just sayin' :)


Billy Talent comment

Billy Talent wasn't booed because they aren't heavy. They were booed because they suck. I've seen metal bands get booed at metal festivals and shows as well. It's not because they play a different brand of music, but because they suck at making music. Billy Talent can fill the ACC? Fine. They should have booked a show there then. Their fans would have probably appreciated it more and they probably would have sold it out. But their fans obviously didn't show up in droves last year at Heavy TO, because for a band that can easily sell out the ACC, they didn't exactly have a lot of people watching them and enjoying them. Kudos to them for playing through their set and not backing down from the crowd, but they really didn't belong. Plain and simple. I'm all for diversity, but someone screwed up when they decided to book them for the event. In fact, it probably would have been better if they headlined the entire thing and played last. That way their fans (all 150 that showed up) could enjoy them and the people who hate them could have left.

Billy Talent

What you have to take note regarding this is that fans didn't care that Billy Talent was on the bill. The reason why the negativity turned out that way is because of where they were slotted. Sandwiched on the 2nd night between Slayer and the headliner Rob Zombie.

I remember how intense and amaising the the energy was after Slayer! Then as soon as they wrapped up and Billy Talent began their set on the other stage, I remember someone yelling "Who the hell turned the radio on??" All that excitement was lost.

If Billy Talent played in the afternoon, we wouldn't be having this conversation. No one would care. The fact that they were essentially billed and promoted as almost a headliner did this. Again not to mention that they came on AFTER Slayer which any metalhead regardless of how 'un-extreminst' you perceive yourself to be would at least raise an eyebrow to.

The only thing worse is if they brought in Nickleback next year to play AFTER a Black Sabbath or Judas Priest. All people want is commun sense.

Common Sense

I hear you.

And I'll steer you to the bit in this very article that states that Billy Talent were the only band on the entire Heavy TO bill capable of selling out the Air Canada Centre on their own. This isn't a lie. They have done this. They were the biggest band on Heavy TO. Slayer, Zombie, Megadeth and Motorhead can't fill half the ACC on their own.

I know Billy Talent aren't the same genre as Slayer. I get that. And I get why most people would take offense to this.

What I DON'T get is a close minded headset that would see a crowd of people toss their dinner at the band at a festival. I watched Journey and Foreigner get marquee billing at Graspop in Belgium this summer. They played after some pretty big names in the current metal genre. And there were ZERO sour grapes from the crowd while they played. people were civilized enough to let them play without riddling them with garbage. Hell, most people actually enjoyed them.

Go watch some Talent footage of them performing in Germany - where the band can fill a field of 40,000 people - to just see THEM.

I'm not saying that it's RIGHT that Talent have a larger audience than genre heroes like Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. But this doesn't change that fact.

Honestly... I think people attending a festival need to keep their eye on one single word. FESTIVAL. It won't be like the Liquid Metal station (which I HATE, by the way... nothing like a station that literally shows off how limited in sound the genre is. An hour on Liquid Metal and most listeners would quickly decide that heavy music all sounds the same).

I think heavy music can be all kinds of things. I think Electric Wizard are heavy. Also the Prodigy. Also Biffy Clyro. Also Muse. Also Godflesh. Also Ministry. Also Pain. And also Billy Talent & Cancer Bats.

Warped Festival has every band dump their names in a hat in the morning, and they draw the line-up out of the hat every morning. I Like that formula. No egos. No bullshit. Just a bunch of bands playing every day - and whatever time they come out of the hat the morning of the show. There is something to this method that i really like, honestly.

Missed point

You are making good points in saying that people ought to be open minded musically and that heavy music covers many genres, but I think you are missing the point of the argument here. The crowd was disappointed because Billy Talent did not fit the bill. People that listen to Slayer don't listen to Billy Talent, and vice versa. I respect that they took it on the chin and behaved as men for the bad treatment they got, but I am among the majority of ticket holders that did not want to see them. Especially right after Slayer, which was probably the most energetic crowd of the weekend.

Only a minority of attendees behaved poorly toward the band but they probably still outnumbered the minority of attendees that were excited to see Billy Talent. I hope the organizers learn from this.

Think of it this way: if you're a really bit Billy Talent fan, why the hell would you want to see Opeth play with them?

Exactly my point

I think Billy Talent DID fit the bill. That is my point. They play heavy music. They just happened to be one of the only bands on a line-up that was primarily metal bands. And they took the lion's share of flak for this.

I totally get that most metal fans at Heavy T.O. thought that they were an odd band on the festival line-up. Looking at it as a cluster of twenty bands - they WERE. But really, no different that Alexisonfire at Heavy MTL the year before, right?

There will always be a band on a two day line-up that some fans won't want to see. We could be having this dialog about Nickleback (a Roadrunner band). Or Rush. Or Kiss, who performed at Heavy MTL last year; not metal... but hard rock. I know a lot of die hard metal fans don't dig Opeth, and likely thought their set wasn't as cool some of the more extreme bands on the two day Heavy T.O. bill.

What I really feel is this: everyone has an opinion on what heavy music is. And certainly not everyone will agree on each others opinions of this respective heaviness. It doesn't mean that catcalls and food should be hurled at the band in question. That was pretty insulting. And if fans really got their panties in a bunch over Heavy T.O. in 2011 - then DON'T COME this year. They'll just be missing out on one of the best Toronto two day live experiences the city has to offer.

I'm looking at going to the UK for Download this year. The three headliners: Metallica, The Prodigy and Black Sabbath. In Toronto, based on last year, our crowd would throw food at The Prodigy. And that's truly sad - as the Prodigy are a heavy band and put on a kick ass live show, that is jam packed with energy. We seem to be a closed minded city about diversification in heavy music, and that will affect the integrity of festivals like Heavy T.O. in the years to come.

What's in a name?

I think you're investing too much emotion in the Heavy TO moniker. People that bought tickets for Heavy TO were buying tickets to a metal festival. I listen to a lot of different styles of music, and when I see a lineup that includes Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Children of Bodom, Mastodon, Testament and Exodus, it appeals to the metal fan in me. I did not once sit back and ponder what bands ought to be added because the title of the festival was Heavy TO instead of Metal TO. I'm willing to bet the only reason it ended up called that because it was an offshoot of Heavy MTL, which reads an awful lot like Heavy Metal, the genre which is meant to be represented at such a festival.

In the spirit of your argument of Billy Talent being a heavy band (an opinion I would not attempt to dispute), ought Bob Dylan be invited this year for his heavy lyrics? Should B.B. King be asked to play because of heavy stature? Maybe someone should dump a pile of topsoil on stage, because it is pretty heavy too. See my point? Being heavy in any way, shape or form does not earn an immediate place on the bill. And I think the crowd has spoken. It was made very clear by paying customers that they did not want to see Billy Talent there, for whatever reason. You are entitled to your opinion but when such an overwhelming majority of fans (paying customers) disliked that Billy Talent was there, you are wrong. Billy Talent can be called heavy as often as you like, but people were paying for a metal concert and Billy Talent is not a metal band. The same argument could be made for Opeth and Motorhead too, but any such argument would also be invalid because those bands were well received by the crowd.

To answer your question, it is no different than Alexisonfire being at Heavy MTL the year before. And if I was there I would have been equally disappointed to see them on the bill. However, despite the fact that we clearly do not agree on this issue, we can agree that the crowd response to Billy Talent was inappropriate and would hope to not see that behaviour repeated. Oh and it is also agreeable that anyone who would avoid the 2nd instalment of this festival because they didn't appreciate one band being there is a fool. I don't like Billy Talent but their presence at the show didn't phase me one bit.

We're talking about two

We're talking about two things:
1) How popular Billy Talent is on their own.
2) Whether they should have been included in a heavy metal festival.

No one's arguing that Billy Talent isn't 'big' enough to be slotted almost as the headlining act, but when that fact positions them between Slayer and Rob Zombie, you have to wonder if they're playing at the right festival.

I was there and to be honest, I very simply couldn't process music that poppy after being brutalized by Slayer for the last hour, even though I think Billy Talent is a decent band. It really wasn't fair to the band.

I was also at heavy t.o.

I agree with placement on the bill making things difficult. I was surprised to here people collecting change to throw at the band though. Disgusted me in fact. I am a hardcore deathmetal fan but had no problem with billy being there. Who cares how many seats they can sell. I had never heard of as i lay dying and there now one of my faves. The real thing i liked that i heard was the mixing of bands , not for numbers but to show people that they can enjoy metal . Some people have never experienced it and if they did might find it really is the shit. Music should be enjoyed not a divider of cliques.