Downtown Pontiac will be shaking on Aug. 13 when Killswitch Engage, Asking Alexandria, Hatebreed and other heavy rockers will bring Dirt Fest to town after 18 years at the Birch Run Expo Center.
Tickets are on sale now for the event, which will feature more than 30 bands on multiple stages both outside in public parking lot #9 near the Phoenix Plaza -- and christened the Crofoot Festival Grounds for the day -- and inside the Crofoot complex. Organizer Matt Dalton of Rochester Hills-based Dalton Brothers Entertainment says the move has been something his company's been contemplating for awhile.
"We've always loved Birch Run. The town has been very good to us, but always in the back of my mind was the idea we might outgrow it," Dalton says. "We've had a very good relationship with everyone at the Crofoot for a long time. It was a no brainer to say, 'Do you guys want to partner up with me and put it in your backyard?'"
Dirt Fest drew an estimated 5,000 people to last year's show in Birch Run. Dalton says the space in Pontiac is large enough to accommodate 20,000 but attendance will likely be capped at 10,000 to let the festival grow into its new space.
"There's obviously just a higher population area and a place where more people are into this type of music," he explained. "We found that from the Detroit area most people aren't interested in making that drive north, even though it's only an hour in most cases, or an hour and a half. It's like pulling teeth to get people to go north.
"So we're going to get a strong influx of newcomers and, I think keep that Flint audience that we had (in Birch Run)."
Dalton says he feels this is Dirt Fest's most exciting lineup in years. In addition to the headliners the show will also feature Trivium, Attila and Detroit-area bands Wilson and Walls of Jericho. Bury Your Dead, meanwhile, will perform its top-selling "Beauty and the Breakdown" album to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Dirt Fest ticket information, VIP packages and other details can be found at dirtfest.com.