John Gerhardt started Ironfest to celebrate the music-loving spirit of his friend and fellow musician “Iron Mike” Davidson; the pair were the rhythm powerhouse behind seminal Cincinnati hardcore band Oxboard Drain. Following Davidson’s untimely death, Gerhardt turned his stage management and booking chops to building an over-the-top orgy of sound: two nights of more than 50 bands at the Southgate House Revival.
A melange of metal, punk, and hardcore acts run back-to-back with lighter acts. This year’s bill—Gerhardt announces line-ups at midnight on September 7, Iron Mike’s birthday—includes Mad Anthony, the Dopamines, Smoke Signals, and Moonbow as well as local American Idol alum Jess Lamb, Billy Catfish, The Perfect Children, and much, much more.
Back when they played music and Gerhardt was already booking shows, “Iron Mike would be like ‘Man, you booked way too many bands, which is kind of awesome,’” Gerhardt says. “I’d ask ‘How much should I charge?’ Iron Mike replied, ‘I don’t know, like five bucks?’” So Gerhardt ensures that Ironfest remains an event with way too many bands for $5 (for advance tickets).
“Mike knew a lot of people,” Gerhardt says, “so a lot of bands are just extremely stoked to do it.”
Nov 10& 11, southgatehouse.com