Heavy Metal Cruise

Photographs by Charles Ommanney

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On a late January day in Miami, more than 2,000 metal fans from 55 different countries boarded a cruise ship for four days of music, booze, and mayhem. 70000 Tons of Metal (named after the gross tonnage of the ship) is a heavy metal festival that takes place annually aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship the MS Majesty of the Seas. First started in 2011, this year's sea-borne festival featured 42 bands each playing two sets on three different stages. Every genre of metal was represented, including black metal, death metal, folk metal, gothic metal, heavy metal, power metal, thrash metal, and viking metal. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 gallons of beer were consumed per day, and music blasted from 10:00 AM to 5:00 AM. 70000 Tons of Metal is known for its laid back atmosphere and freindly patrons, and has become a touchstone celebration of the global metal community.