A local comic as well as a local band have been asked to perform at the annual festival, which brings people from all over to East Tennessee in March.
John Upton, a local comic who has been performing since early in 2010, has earned quite a reputation in the regional stand-up community. He recently placed fifth in The Rocky Top Comedy Contest, in which 48 amateur comics from across the United States participated. Upton was recently asked to join a group of comics from the Knoxville area known as The Black Liver Society.
"I am honored and looking forward to being a part of Wallypalooza this year," he said. "I will finally get the opportunity to ask metal bands why they scream all of the time, I may even give them some hugs because it seems to me that those guys need hugs."
Labirynth — yes, that's the way they spell it — is a metal band that formed in late 2010. It consists of Jesse Moyers on bass, Austin Turner and Tyler Wolfenbarger on guitar, Jason Seals on drums, and Dave McKinney on vocals. They are influenced by such bands as Lamb of God, Mastodon, and Pantera. They have played local venues in Claiborne County and Nashville.
"We are very excited to play Wallypalooza. We think it will open doors for us with other bands and other venues in the Knoxville and Maryville area," said Moyers.
There will be, of course, other entertainment at the four-day event. Wallypalooza is a music festival that started in Maryville 15 years ago. Its goal is to bring the biggest and newest names in the metal and hard rock music scene together for a three-day event.
"This year an extra night was added by demand," explained Upton. "Also, bands do not ask to play in Wallypalooza, they have to be asked to play. This year, stand up comedy was added in as well. This is an event that has grown from just a few spectators in the early years, to hundreds each night of the festival."
The line-up for the festival includes: Labyrinth, Centric, German Deathwish, Cooter Punch, Joe Coe, Afterlife, Binfield, Divided We Stand, Psychosystem, Rockslyde, Badmouth, Shallowpoint, Catalyst, Big Trouble, Crome Molly, Warclown, Altermatum, The Aftermath, Rot Iron, One of the Fallen, Great Poison White Ratt Snake, Hollywood and Dirty D and The Micheal Gunnz Band. The line-up is subject to change.
Comedians performing this year are part of the upcoming group of comics known as The Black Liver Society. They include: John Upton, Waylon Whiskey, Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan, J.C. Ratliff and Dave Wright.
"What is Wallypalooza? In a word, insanity. But one word isn't going to cut it. You're going to need several, like...unbelievable, exciting, energetic...well, you're going to need a lot. Wallypalooza is like a weekend trip to Vegas, minus the empty wallet, double the hangover. A... feast of the finest local talents East Tennessee has to offer. Wallypalooza is one man's dream becoming an entire city's fantasy. Discover new local bands, encounter friends you never knew you had, send your liver in a tailspin. This is one weekend you'll never forget, if you can remember it...." according to the website.
Labirynth will be playing the festival on Thursday, March 1, and Upton will be performing on Friday, March 2.
The festival will be held at 2641 Highway 411 South in Maryville.
In addition to the music and comedy, there will be contests, raffles, and more. Admission is limited to ages 21 and up and the fee is $5 per night. For more information, see the Wallypalooza page on Facebook or go to www.reverbnation.com/wallypalooza.