Northland heavy metal band Alien Weaponry should have been playing some of the biggest music festivals in Europe about now, but the Covid-19 global pandemic put paid to those plans.
So instead, the band from Waipū will now take part in Europe's biggest online metal festival - the European Metal Festival Alliance - this coming weekend, August 7-9.
Thirteen of Europe and the UK's best independent metal festivals have clubbed together to deliver a unique event that will run over three days.
Alien Weaponry have played live at seven of 13 festivals involved over the past two years; and are one of three bands invited to the virtual stage by Slovenian festival MetalDays.
"MetalDays was the first ever festival we played in Europe," guitarist and lead singer Lewis de Jong said.
"We are stoked that they have asked us to be part of this historic event as one of their headliners."
Alien Weaponry will make up part of the first day's lineup; and are the only New Zealand band to have been invited. They will also be the only band to be performing songs in Te Reo Māori and will be starting their broadcast with a karakia.
"It's kind of cool that the rest of the world will be celebrating Māori Music Month with us," drummer Henry de Jong said.
The Alien Weaponry show also includes more "Kiwi" elements in the form of footage from the show they performed at the Auckland Town Hall in February this year - their last gig before New Zealand and the world shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The presentation features the band being welcomed to the stage with a haka from the group Te Manu Huia, as well as the first performance of their new song Tangaroa, which will be on their second album.
The rapid spread of Covid-19 has seen the cancellation of music festivals across Europe for the northern hemisphere summer season; so the online festival will go some way towards reconnecting fans with their favourite bands. With online meet and greets and merchandise, the festival will bring the metal community together in a very different fashion this season.
Alien Weaponry's performance will stream from 4am-5am NZ time, with a live Bandchat from 4.45pm-5.05pm. For Kiwis who can't stomach the early morning wake-up call, their performance can be rewatched at any time during the festival and for 48 hours after it ends.
Tickets can be bought from https://shop.metalfestivalalliance.com/and cost €6.66 which will go towards keeping these independent festivals and bands afloat during these trying times.