The Mayhem Festival, which was heavily sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink, was a traveling heavy metal music festival that visited cities in the United States and Canada. The festival ran for eight years, until co-founder John Reese wrote in a Facebook posting that the 2015 festival would be the final one.
Reese created Mayhem Festival with his business partner Kevin Lyman, who had previously started the Vans Warped Tour. The first season took place in 2008. Mayhem Festival was originally started to act as an alternative to Ozzfest.
Most of the musical groups that appeared on the festival tour are considered to be heavy metal bands. For example, the headliners in 2015 were Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah and The Devil Wears Prada. Supporting bands included Whitechapel and Feed Her To The Sharks. The Mayhem Festival in 2015 ran from June 26 to August 2, moving from California to Texas via Toronto.
Earlier in 2015, Lyman said that the festival that year would be smaller than it had been previously, as expenses were increasing. He complained about headlining bands increasing their fees and venues being unwilling to build extra stages.
Along with Rockstar Energy Drink, other companies that sponsored the festival over the years include Jagermeister, Hot Topic, Silver Star, Revolver, Sumerian Records and the Musicians' Institute.