ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! These stunts can be considered extreme to some. Parental guidance suggested.
Beware loud music and strobe lights!
Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow dares audiences to “Face Your Fears”
The rock ‘n roll circus will bring their death-defying freakshow to U.S. cities. OLD TOWN (14 June 2022): When the world was freaking out with fear over the last two years, the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow heeded the call like Batman responding to the Gotham City bat signal.
The tatted and pierced rock ‘n roll circus donned their greasepaint and costumes and headed back out on the road as the first live production to return to touring last year, leading the way by mounting their “Face Your Fears” tour throughout America. The world’s largest and last remaining troupe of sideshow freaks and circus performers will bring their mind-blowing brand of entertainment to U.S. cities beginning July 14 in Birmingham, Alabama.
A Hellzapoppin’s show is an extreme sensory experience cranked up to maximum volume. Pushing the body and mind beyond the possible with unimaginable death-defying feats, the “Face Your Fears” production is part fantasy, part vaudeville, part freakshow and all rock ‘n roll. Risk-taking acrobats perform without safety nets or wires and stuntpeople swallow swords, eat and breathe fire, hand balance, juggle, unicycle, walk on broken glass, and perform magic and illusions set to raucous rock music by Motorhead, Motley Crue, Nine Inch Nails, Avatar, In This Moment, Texas Hippie Coalition, Highly Suspect, Saliva, Apocalyptica, Skillet and others. This is definitely not the circus you grew up watching.
“Hellzapoppin takes more of a modern approach to the circus with a rock ‘n roll vibe. When I put together a show, I seek out performers who are among the only if not the only people in the world who can do what they do. Our artists have performed on ‘Ellen,’ appeared in the Guinness World Records, and have been featured on ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!’ and AMC’s ‘Freakshow,’” said Hellzapoppin creator, producer and director Bryce “The Govna” Graves who also serves as the circus’s ringleader.
Accompanying Graves on tour will be all three-foot-three half-man daredevil Short E. Dangerously, who walks on his hands through broken glass while lit on fire; the tantalizing Willow Lauren, one of the few women in the world who swallow swords and regurgitate razor blades; a world famous hand balancer Roilan;
and a juggler, unicyclist and comedian Lucian Fuller.
As soon as pandemic restrictions eased in February 2021, Hellzapoppin hit the road determined to entertain and alleviate the fear gripping the collective consciousness.
“Hellzapoppin desperately wants to inspire the world not to live in fear. As performing artists, the group feels the burning desire to be on stage now more than ever to give people an opportunity to escape the pain and struggle they have endured over the past few years. Live entertainment provides a platform for people to come together, to forget, and most importantly, to let go and have fun. Hellzapoppin’s performers have an obligation to try to bridge the gap and bring people back together,” said Graves.
While Hellzapoppin performers conquer their fears every time they take the stage, they made fear the central theme of the current touring production knowing how much fear has impacted the world in recent years.
“‘Face Your Fears’ was meant to be more or less a metaphor of what we do as circus performers and the things we put our bodies through to entertain people. We tied it together with everything that has been going on in the world in the last few years. During previous pandemics and economic depressions, circus performers were the stars much like movie stars are today. Circus performers were the ones who brought hope to the hopeless. They put themselves at risk to entertain during those tough times just as our show does now,” said Graves.
“In the beginning of our ‘Face Your Fears’ tour, you could literally see the fear on the audiences’ faces, and in their demeanors and attitudes. But once the show started, all that fear disappeared. We gave people hope during the toughest times of their lives. The show allowed people to forget their fears, even if only for a brief time. We took on this challenge, one town after another, and we are slowly seeing things get back to what used to be normal.”
Named after a 1930s Broadway musical that inspired a 1941 film of the same name, Hellzapoppin’s first ever show was opening for Marilyn Manson in 2009 followed by a US tour with hardcore metal groups Mudvayne, Static-X, Black Label Society, Suicide Silence and Bury Your Dead. The troupe has since toured with more than a dozen rock bands and played at major music festivals, performing thousands of shows in more than sixteen countries. Unlike traditional circuses and sideshows that set up in one location for a series of shows, Hellzapoppin purposely adheres to the rock band touring model that has them performing in a different city night after night.
While Hellzapoppin shows are created to entertain, Lauren says that this circus also has a greater purpose.
“We want our audiences to leave a Hellzapoppin show feeling inspired. We want to shatter what people see as being impossible, not just on our stage, but what you see as being impossible in your lives. The only limitations we have in life are the ones we place on ourselves. What if we took just a fraction of that belief that we so freely give to others and we put it into ourselves? Think of the impact that would have on our lives as well as in the lives of every person we come in contact with. We tend to play small with our lives and think that great things are meant for other people. That is only true if we allow that to become our reality. Within every single one of us is the ability to accomplish our wildest dreams. If we can think it, we can believe it and if we can believe it, we can achieve it. Sometimes, all it takes is a change in perspective. When you have the ability to change the way you look at things, often the things you look at change.”
To learn more about Hellzapoppin, please contact:
Bryce "the Govna" Graves
bryce at hellzapoppin dot com
(In This Moment) Mother's House of Horror Traveling All Hallows Eve Masquerade tour (2019)
MushroomHead Madness & Mayhem Tour (2019)
Epicenter Festival (2019)
Lunatic Luau Festival (2019)
John 5 US Tour (2018)
Avatar Country World Tour (2018)
Hellzapoppin World Tour (2018)
Wacken Festival Germany (2018)
Alcatraz Festival Belgium (2018)
Dutdutan Philippines (2018)
Riot Fest Tour (2013/14/15/16/17/18)
Metal Town- SWEDEN (2007-12)
G-Fest- Denmark-Faroe Islands (2011)
Pedal to the Metal Tour (2009)
West Coast Riot Festival- Scandinavia (2007/08)
Peace and Love Festival- Scandinavia (2011)
Sturgis Full Throttle Saloon (2008-13, 15, 16)
Harley Davidson & Biker events
Theaters, Night club and Music Venues Nationwide + Canada and more.
Black Label Society
Kings of Leon
Travel Channel, DISCOVERY CHANNEL, FOX, National TV Commercials with Epiphone Guitars, NASCAR & Tony Stewart, featured in music videos with national artists Texas Hippie Coalition, AVATAR and Jasmine Cain.