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Pit Stories: Mushrooms And Flaming Statues At Cromfest

For the first Pit Story of November and one of the last of the year, we've got a truly epic tale of the best of metal culture: getting stoned out of your mind and hitting up a proper festival.

This week guitarist Nate Jones from Florida stoner / sludge metal outfit Junior Bruce shares a tale of fiery terror from Cromfest 2010. Nate recalls the events like this:

February 2010, with very loose directions and gear loaded up, we embarked on a journey to an isolated area just outside of Cassadaga, FL to play a party called Cromfest. $5 all you can drink, bonfires, and metal celebrating fucking CROM? Seriously I can't make this shit up!

Darkness falling and people starting to show up, it was time to eat some shrooms! Moments later the bonfire was blazing and things were warming up fast. These guys even had the forethought to have shit laying around to throw on to the fire all night long - old sofas and other random junk furniture and flammable garbage. The people at the party were fucking nuts - there was a guy walking around with a python, people with legit sharp ass dangerous as fuck battle axes, fuck - even the guy carving the smoked pig was using a jacked up sword to cut the meat (you know the kind that you'd find at a flea market or outlet mall for "decorative purposes only").

There was another guy that fashioned a mace out of a steel chain and bowling ball, another guy had a giant hammer to smash things with, and someone built a flame thrower out of a propane tank and was torching the pigs head mounted on a steak. This shit was intense! Did I mention they smoked a pig? People were smashing shit, throwing shit on the fire, and getting fucked up. It was Ocala / Volusia county at its finest! Pure testosterone filled redneck destruction - all in the name of CROM!

The mushrooms seemed to be really mild at first so the 4 of us proceeded to eat the rest of the ounce I scored for the night. We figured that either way that the night went this party was rad as hell and we were at its mercy. I really don't even remember what other bands played as I was far too distracted at the goings on around me to pay much attention at the time. Anyway the time finally came for us to play the closing slot so we loaded up on stage and did a quick sound check.

Now let me color this properly - the stage was probably 2-3 feet off the ground and 40 feet on either side looking out from the stage was a giant dragon (stage left) and a giant soldier (stage right) both made out of vines and wood. The soldier had to be close to 20 feet in the air and the dragon to match in length - impressive to say the least.

Anyway we setup and started our set - at that time the dudes throwing Cromfest lit the dragon and giant soldier on fire using torches and the flame thrower. At last the mushrooms were finally taking hold, some guy grabbed a 40 gallon drum filled with fire and kept trying to shove it under the stage as if he was going to set us aflame. I think our 2nd song in I was peaking and I remember noticing that I didn't hear vocals.

I looked over, now playing guitar on complete autopilot, to see Scott had been given a 5" broad sword and was waiving it around watching the trails of the sword and the fire, Tom looking back over at me laughing at the insanity in front of us (also jamming on auto-pilot) and Brett in the back smiling ear to ear pounding away on the drums as the fire raged on right in front of us. Scott came back to the planet after a few more measures and we were able to get a few more songs out before the cops/fire dept. showed up to make sure the fire was contained, thus ending the party.

No fatalities, No arrests, TONS of CROM!!! That party is and will always be one of our favorite memories we shared with Brett Tanner before he passed and so far our best pit story.

Footage from that insane fest can be seen below, along with a new song from Junior Bruce's freshly unleashed album "Endless Descent," which just dropped on Halloween.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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