I've got my ticket for Daylight Dies, Katatonia, and the local support (don't really care about Moonspell) for tomorrow, and I did up my vacation for November to allow optimum writing and show-going time, but I'm looking ahead at early next year and gripped by indecision.
I want to go to Heathen Crusade, if only because I'm not likely to ever see Rudra or Skyforger any other way, but this does mean going to Minneapolis in the fucking dead of winter. I'm a hardy soul and could probably hack it, but the time off from work that even flying would require would mean that I basically couldn't take off any time during Impromptu Metal Winter Break, in which Destruction, Dark Funeral, and Unleashed all play in Boston or New Hampshire within a span of four days. This will be definitely two days off, maybe as many as four, and for various reasons I don't have that kind of time to burn if I'm out in the upper Midwest two weekends before.
The most important of these is the fact that my vacation counter sets back to 40 hours on January 1 if I don't burn down below that mark. Hence about 6 days off in November (well, 5 and then 12/1 so that I don't have to worry about transpo for Blind Guardian). However, while I'll be safely at 32-36 hours to start the new year, I'll only have a day and a half or so beyond that by the end of January. The math gets really tight, but doing both is possible, assuming I fly out Thursday and back Sunday (I'm not gonna try flying out and going to a show on the same day, I remember how well that worked at Wacken) and then only take off when I'm driving back from New Hampshire at stupid o'clock in the morning over marginally plowed roads, not when I'm coming back from Cambridge under similar circumstances.
The other factor (besides the fact that I need to pile up time for Wacken and Mass Metalfest) is that I'm looking at Wacken-level expenses for a much less attractive bill at Heathen Crusade. A round-trip plane ticket inside the US plus three hotel nights still doesn't touch the transatlantic connection, but it's more expenses that I don't strictly need. Staying local, all I pay is gas...but there's the chance that weather conditions may keep me out of one or more of the Bedford shows.
This bill involves about $400 of travel and lodging expenses:
Grey Skies Fallen
Will of the Ancients
Hordes of Yore
This bill involves about $100 in gas plus the chance of not seeing one or more blocks due to it being winter in New England:
[more local support likely]
[+ local support]
[+ local support]
If it wasn't for the fact that I go to Wacken and will thus probably see half the headliners of the local shows there in the next year or two, there wouldn't be any debate about this. Neither would there be any debate, additionally, if the Heathen Crusade organizers would hold their festival sometime when people aren't going to say "Minnesota?!? In January?!? Are you fucking kidding me?!?" There's a fine line between 'restricting the audience to the true heathen cult' and 'planning like a moron', and the orgas here are treading very, very close. Do this on the summer solstice (or earlier to account for the Euro festival season), and I'm there.