Warrant will not be playing Firefest 2011


It is with great sadness and not an inconsiderable amount of anger that we have to announce that Warrant will not be playing Firefest.

Despite us having a signed contract with the band since last January, and the band having been paid in full some months ago for their performance, we were advised by their agent via Email just this week that Warrant would not be playing the show. Needless to say we made contact with their agents (with whom we have an excellent relationship for many years) who explained to us that Warrant’s management had just informed them that the band would not be travelling. We immediately sought an explanation from the band and/or their management with regard to their cancellation of the Firefest performance, and to date we have not had the courtesy of a reply despite us requesting one via Email and by phone

At the time we booked Warrant we were expressly requested not to book flights for the band as they wished to play extra European shows around the Firefest date and would like to route flights around a full tour schedule with Firefest as the sole U.K. date. It is our opinion that the band was unable to confirm any extra shows in the time-frame and they then decided that it was not a worthwhile exercise to travel from the U.S.A. to play a single show. At no time over the past number of months did any extra European shows appear on the tour schedule on their web site, which further reinforces our opinion that the lack of other shows is ultimately the reason that Warrant have chosen to cancel. Once again we would like to reiterate that this is our opinion as repeated requests for an explanation from Warrant’s management remain unanswered.

It seems to us that a signed contract is not worth the paper it is written on when a band can simply decide not to travel to play a show a mere five weeks before they are scheduled to perform. Their booking agency have been totally professional and offered to assist us in any way in finding a replacement act, and we in no way bear any ill will towards them. However we do find the behaviour of an international multi-platinum act leaves us with a sour taste as over the past seven years every act that has been scheduled to play Firefest had done so with the notable exception of Tony Harnell due to a serious illness to an immediate family member and Saracen at FF2 due to guitarist Rob Bendelow’s illness. Work visas for Warrant had been applied for, passport copies for the Warrant party were sent to us in order to do this and book flights for the band, something which we agreed to do even though flights would have cost a lot more this week than we would have paid for them at the time we booked the band.

We, as you are extremely disappointed that we will not be able to see the band perform, as I’m sure everybody was looking forward to it, but it does appear that Warrant are not interested in playing for you.

With the Warrant cancellation happening late this week, the search for a suitable replacement began. Kieran spent hours on the phone and Email looking for a suitable replacement, but given the short notice (5 weeks and a day or two) of the 14 bands he spoke with no one was available to play due to some having previous engagements, some on vacation, some members playing solo shows and one or two asking extortionate amounts to “help you out”. Thanks, but no thanks.

As luck would have it one of our good friends got wind of the situation and immediately contacted us to see if he could help. And this was a genuine offer, so following discussions that started in the UK, and finished in Madrid last night, we do have a rather nice surprise in store.

Firstly the headline slot on Saturday night will now feature the Steve Augeri band. Steve and his merry men are stepping up to deliver a set list full of hits and instantly recognisable anthems. Whilst not wanting to give the game away, Steve will be featuring many tracks from his rich past and debuting some tracks from his forthcoming solo album. Need we tell you that he was the lead singer in Journey for over a decade? And also managed to be a part of Tyketto and Tall Stories.

We have seen the set list and we can tell you Saturday night in Nottingham will be R-O-C-K-I-N-G!!!!!

Strangeways will move to the Special Guest slot, Ian and Terry having been beaten with a big stick to make them play longer. In fact we have considered calling it ‘Walk in the Fire ......and more’ Expect Native Sons to be plundered for a lot of the extras (and especially the tracks they didn’t play last year...shhh....don’t tell them we told you!) Strangeways will also look to release their new studio album at Firefest assuming it is completed on time, which according to Ian, they are bang on schedule.

So to the other important piece of news, who is joining the Saturday night line up? Well, we told you he was a good friend, in fact they all are. For the first time playing live ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD is ..... W.E.T. Jeff Scott Soto, Eric Martenson and Robert Sall released one of the best selling albums of 2009 within the melodic rock genre. Loaded full of melodic hard rockin’ anthems such as ‘Brothers in Arms’ ‘Invincible’ and ‘One Love’, W.E.T. have been on almost every wish list sent to Firefest over the past three years. Firefest would like to publically thank all the guys in the band for literally dropping everything and offering to jump on board to play for us. We would also like to thank the one and only JSS for the call proving indeed that we are all ‘Brothers in Arms’. W.E.T. will play just before Strageways in the revised schedule and most definitely are a band NOT TO BE MISSED.

Are you ready to get W.E.T.?

Click here and here to watch W.E.T. on YouTube.

And so to the second line up change. Farcry will not be joining us at Firefest for the reasons outlined by Kivel Records boss John Kivel and Farcry’s own Pete Fry

"Hello to All,

It is with regret and disappointment that Farcry will not be able to attend this year's FIREFEST event. Both the band and label are honoured that there was such an interest in them to perform. For that we sincerely thank you. I wish that I could lie to you and say someone is unable to attend due to >insert cliché press reason here<, or blame it on a "disagreement" etc., etc. I wish it was that easy. However, both myself and the band have far too much respect for the fine folks at the Firefest organization, not to mention, YOU. The faithful fans that attend each year, and show your support for our modest genre/scene.

So the bottom line? Why? Who? Well, the buck, so to speak, stops and lands with ME. Unfortunately the expense of 5-6 international plane tickets has proven way too expensive. We had hoped that the price would drop, and they were starting to show promise to a somewhat "reasonable" price. However, time was not on our side. Firefest needed Visas in this week and could not take the chance that the airfare would be procured. So it was agreed that we had passed the deadline. Fault does not lay with the band, or anyone associated with Firefest (Maybe the Oil Co. perhaps? LOL.) Both I and Pete Fry have looked into every possible idea and suggestion conceivable. In the end FARCRY is a 5 piece band, and no one was going to be left behind. We weren't going to find a local "fill in" guy to sit in, or play as a 4 piece, just so I could save $$$. If we all couldn't go, then none of us would go.

Let's look at this as a delay for the UK fans to see FARCRY in concert, and hopefully, FARCRY will be asked to play next year. I would like to thank Kieran, Bruce and Co. for offering Farcry the chance to play their shindig. It truly was met with great appreciation, and we sincerely thank them. We are sure the weekend of Oct 22nd will be a blast!

Now please allow me to get on my soap box for a second. Please, if you haven't purchased your tickets for FIREFEST yet, then I strongly suggest you do just that. Please get out there and show support for this scene. These websites, Labels, Bands and Promoters. Don't assume that you'll just go to the "next" Firefest. Go to Firefest NOW. Like a Plant needing sunlight to grow, our genre and scene needs positive support to grow as well. Be well my friends and enjoy music, as it’s the soundtrack to our lives.

John Kivel "

From Pete Fry - FARCRY

"I would just like to sincerely echo John's appreciation for all parties involved in giving us the honour of a spot on the bill. I really can't even put into words how it feels to get that kind of support. We are truly sorry to disappoint all of you by not being able to perform. Please don't take any of this as a lack of appreciation on our part. Believe me, like John said we looked at this from every angle and we just couldn't make it happen. I and everyone else in the band knows that the label did everything they could, sometimes things don't work out the way you want them to. As John mentioned we hope to have the opportunity to play Firefest again!

On a slightly more positive note, being as I had already purchased my airfare, I will be attending the show and staying in Nottingham the entire weekend.


And so the search was on for a second act to join the Sunday line up. Call it fate; perfect timing, luck or whatever you wish to, but on the end of the phone was another good friend of ours who called to say that he had just finished production on his brand new live album. The voice on the end of the phone was that of none other than Mr. Steve Newman and in the space of approximately 30 seconds it was agreed that Newman would open the show on Sunday.

Remembering last year’s Newman performance you are reminded just why Steve is so highly thought of and respected by fans and fellow musicians alike. Steve will of course be promoting his new album ‘Under Southern Skies’ along with playing a selection of Newman fan favourites from his long career. Steve will also be happy to sign copies of his brand new live album recorded live at Firefest 2010 ‘Another Step Closer’ which will be available to pre order shortly from both the Firefest and Newman web sites. This is Newman’s first live recording of his 20 year career and is indeed a little bit special.

FIREFEST would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any disappointment caused by the non appearance of Warrant and Farcry, both of these decisions were completely out of our hands as explained in detail above.

There was simply nothing we could do about it. It has been an unbelievably stressful few days for all the Firefest crew as we worked around the clock (literally) endeavouring to bring you the absolute best we could in nigh on impossible circumstances given the timeframe we had to work in. Find extra flights, book them, change hotel rooms, add some subtract more, change transport arrangements a few times, process more work visas, and all the time cursing the rock and roll gods for making life even more difficult than it already is dealing with 17 bands on a daily basis and making sure that every other aspect of the show goes to plan.

The last thing any of wanted was to be typing this press release a mere five weeks before the show. It goes to show you how the less than responsible and professional attitudes of some make life unnecessarily difficult for some and bring disappointment to all.

We hope that you will continue to support us and the bands that have graciously stepped up to the plate as late replacements. Knowing you are on our side as always gives both Firefest and the bands that come to play a massive boost. We have always said it openly, YOU are the best fans in the world and for the bands that are not travelling, and it is their loss NOT to play in front if you.

The Crew


DOORS OPEN : 12.30 

TALON: 12.50 – 1.30

VEGA: 1.50 – 2.30

SILENT RAGE : 2.50 – 3.40

JEFF PARIS: 4.00 – 5.00

W.E.T. : 5.20 – 6.25

STRANGEWAYS-: 6.45 – 7.55

STEVE AUGERI BAND : 8.25 – 10.00

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Comments (2)add comment

Hysteria said:

Warrant? Pride comes before a fall! Was not keen seeing them in the first place ... Cannot wait to rock to WET and the Steve Augeri Band. COUNTING THE DAYS!!! smilies/cheesy.gif
September 17, 2011
Votes: +2

FrankK said:

Who needs Warrant?! Just have a look at the great bands performing on the the entire weekend. They were a nice bonus, but not essential IMHO ...
September 17, 2011
Votes: +2

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