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Killfest set to return to Kilmore next month

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Grace Frost
Grace Frost
Hi, I'm Grace Frost. I was honoured to report for the Review as their Digital Journalist from mid-2022 to the beginning of 2024. Ive since made a move to the Herald Sun.

By Grace Frost

HEAVY metal festival Killfest is making its grand return to the Old Kilmore Gaol on November 26, with a range of local, national and international acts on the bill.

Psycroptic are set to headline Killfest this year after recently completing their North America tour ‘Divine Ascension’, with Californian band Skeletal Remains also making the trek to Kilmore for the event.

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The Killfest lineup sees acts flying in from across the country, with Perth’s Innasanatorium, Sydney’s Flaming Wrekage and locals Dreadnaught, Firing Squad, Pistonfist, Nothing, Abreact, Vicious Cirle and As Flesh Decays all making an appearance.

Event organiser Mick Quee says the inspiration for Killfest presented itself after moving to the local area amid lockdowns.

“I thought it’d be great to bring some live music to regional Victoria,” he said.

“I’d been thinking about trying to find a location to do something at some point and it did fester mainly through the first set of lockdowns.”

Mr Quee said last year’s Killfest was a success, with over 400 attendees flocking to listen to the heavy metal performances.

“The last one sorta slid nicely between lockdowns so a lot of people were quite excited to get out and about and see some live music,” he said.

“I don’t think the area has seen anything like it before and we ended up having people come to the last one in May from all around the country.”

“It is a lot of work and there’s a lot of preparation that goes into it,

“I hope people do take the opportunity to come down if you’re into heavy metal…if it’s at a loss it may not happen again.”

Kilmore-based band Firing Squad are opening Killfest this year, which Mr Quee is bass player and vocalist in.

Killfest is providing locals the opportunity to support the homegrown band, with the event being Firing Squad’s fifth performance ever since starting up amid the pandemic.

“Firing Squad was sort of born out of the sitting around during lockdown,” Mr Quee said.

“I thought it would be good to find some guys around Kilmore and start a band together that’s into thrash metal.

“I saw a post by a guy on the Kilmore Buy Swap and Sell selling a drum kit, and I said ‘hey, this might be a funny question but I’m looking at starting a thrash band, are you interested?’ and he said… ‘100%’… it was sort of born from that.”

Additional to Mr Quee, the band comprises Kilmore’s Kyle Hawkless on drums, Sudbury’s Heath Ese Kongas on lead guitar and Wallan’s Justin Pietrobuono on guitar.

Mr Quee says since their first rehearsal at the end of 2020 amid lockdowns, the band now have a permanent rehearsal space in Kilmore and have recently released a couple of songs.

Killfest is sponsored by local businesses, including Tooborac Brewery, Dexter’s Hot Sauce, Instinctive Tattoo Broadford and Kilmore, as well as major sponsor DAEMCO.

Killfest is an 18+ event, and will run from 12pm to 11:30pm on November 26.

Tickets are $40 and are available at

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