Brian and Claire Mear have announced some killer bands for this year’s Mearfest celebration, with NWOBHM stalwarts Cloven Hoof headlining over bands like Thunderstick, Seventh Son, Traitor’s Gate, Sacrilege, Gang, Trojan, Overdrive, and many more. The festival takes place at The Queen’s Hall, Nuneaton on August 30th to 31st with early bird special tickets going for just £30! Great price to see some classic and fresh new metal bands, for sure. We had a chat with Mearfest founder Brian Mear in our latest issue, when he told us a little about the organization and how it came to be.

“I started Mearfest initially after my mum died of cancer back in 2010. I put on a small three day festival in the back field at a pub in Berkshire to raise funds for the Thames Valley Hospice where she died. Fourteen local bands played. I begged, borrowed, and stole a marquee, then built the stage by hand and lived on site all week in a donated wreck of a caravan. The whole event cost a whopping £34.20 to put on and raised £2000. In 2013 me and my Wife lost our daughter Molly who was Stillborn and full term. 3 years later I decided to put on a all Metal event in Central London at the then Borderline venue in Totenham Court Road. We hosted 6 bands and sold the venue out raising £7,500 for the Willows support group in Reading.”

What sets Mearfest apart?

“Our logo is Mollys left handprint, which is all we took home from hospital,” Brian says. “Our shows have been held in memory of her since 2016 for over ten years now. That image has travelled the world, has adorned 1600 t shirts is known in over 40 countries around the globe. To use the power, strength,  support and unity in Metal to highlight preterm, stillbirth and infant death is a unique and amazing thing.”

Over the years, Mearfest has grown into one of the best underground metal events of the year, with past years finding bands like Spartan Warrior, Avenger, Tysondog, Satan’s Empire, Kaine, and Desolation Angels, among others, taking punters by storm.

“I grew up with the NWOBHM,” Brian says. “In 1980, I bought Iron Maiden’s debut on release. My first gigs were from that movement: Saxon, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Maiden, and Samson, along with UFO, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, and Thin Lizzy. That’s why I love to host bands from that era now 45 years on.”

What can punters expect from this year’s event?

“Last year we changed our logo slightly and adopted the name Mearfest’s FLAME. We have a new venue THE QUEENS HALL in Nuneaton in the heart of England and it’s a wonderful venue with fantastic warm and helpful staff. It’s the 45th Anniversary of the NWOBHM this year and on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st of August we will be hosting 15 bands ten of them being from the NWOBHM era. Headling acts on Friday CLOVEN HOOF and Saturday THUNDERSTICK will lead the celebrations and we provide an atmosphere like no other in the Metal World. A unique fantastic celebration of music and rememberance.  This year it will be held in aid of Doorway the Nuneaton charity for young homeless people. Tickets and details available at and from the venue from March onwards.”

To read more from Brian, grab a copy of our NWOBHM special from our webstore.

Mearfest takes place August 30-31st at The Queen’s Hall, Nuneaton. For more information visit:

Picture of Brian, Claire, and Amelie Mear courtesy of Claire Mear.

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