Next month, Merced is about to get a whole lot louder.
On Oct. 2, dozens of hard rock and metal musicians will gather at the Merced County Fairgrounds for the fifth annual Monster Fest.
This year's headliner is George Lynch, formerly of Dokken, with his band Lynch Mob.
Other bands include Damage Inc., a Metallica tribute band; Izzy Osborne, an Ozzy Osborne cover band; and Paradise City, a Guns N Roses cover band.
This week, "Off the 99" spoke with Aaron Pearson, one of the promoters of the event and a member of Damage Inc., about the evolution of hard rock and metal over the years and how Monster Fest was born.
Originally from the Bay Area, Pearson said he prefers to hold concerts in cities outside the Bay Area, because shows draw a larger crowd since he thinks entertainment is devalued in cities where there are tons of options for an audience.
"A lot of it's straight up supply and demand when it comes to playing music," he said. "One thing that attracted me to Merced is that there's nothing big going on here."
Monster Fest is one of the largest rock concerts in the Central Valley, he added.
"We have more bands at Monster Fest than any other place in the Valley," he said. "It's a good variety from your plain old old-school rock bands to your cookie monster bands that sing, 'Barararara' -- you know, that kind of stuff."
Monster Fest starts at 3:30 p.m. until midnight. Presale tickets cost $20 and can be purchased at Merced Hydroponics or Smoking Jay's in Merecd or online at www.monsterfestrocks.com.
For more information call (209) 878-0380.
Reporter Jamie Oppenheim can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.