Metal Oceania is an annual music festival held in major cities around Australia and New Zealand. The festival originated in 2005 in Sydney, New South Wales, and in Melbourne in Victoria. In 2006 the festival broadened to Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart and in New Zealand to Auckland and Christchurch.
It features a variety of international and local acts, spanning a wide range of heavy metal genres. The festival has been headlined by Napalm Death, Judas Priest, Cradle of Filth, Obituary, Danzig, and Motörhead. Including co-headliners Bloodbath, Cathedral, Cryptal Darkness, Immortal, Morbid Angel, Nile, Type O Negative, Cephalic Carnage, and Whitechapel.
The founder and organizer of the festival is notable local heavy metal fan and radio DJ Gary "Hammer" Smith, who first started organizing smaller concerts around 2003. In 2005 he contacted his friends in Encephalitic Punishment and asked them to play two gigs in Sydney and Melbourne. The band agreed, and mentioned that several other bands were eager to perform at the same venues. Smith organized for several other bands including Euphoria Down and Van Helsing to come to Australia and play as part of the growing festival.
Gary receives a phone call from Napalm Death's management inquiring whether the band could perform on the bill. Smith agreed, a big Napalm fan, and organized for the band to fly over for the two shows and named them as the concert's headliner. The first Metal Oceania took place in Melbourne and Sydney to rave reviews and a large turnout, prompting Smith to make the festival an annual event.
The first Metal Oceania was held in Sydney and Melbourne, and was headlined by the influential grindcore band Napalm Death. Also on the bill were Encephalitic Punishment, Euphoria Down, Van Helsing and Alice In Slaughterland. Despite the few though big bands the concerts generated equally large turnouts, allowing the event to become an annual concert.
- The Pit, Sydney, 20th of July 2005
- Victoria Hellgrounds, Melbourne, 22nd of July 2005