This local heavy metal extravaganza has been going on for a few years now, so I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed the orgin of the event’s name at some point before. But I’ll recap here.

The Saint Valentines Day Massacre took place in Chicago on Feb. 14, 1929. Prohibition was in effect then, and rival gangs were battling to control the illegal booze trade. On the South Side, it was an Italian gang led by Al Capone. On the North Side, it was an Irish gang led by Bugs Moran.

You can get Hollywood’s take on the massacre below.  What it boiled down to is in a flawlessly executed hit Capone’s gang rubbed out five members of Moran’s gang, plus two collaborators, at a gas station in North Chicago. Moran had been targeted as well, but he managed to avoid the trap. And while the hit weakened Moran, he did not lose grip of his territory until several years later. Public revulsion at the massacre, though, did result in government action to crack down on gang activity (and eventually, even, the genius idea of legalizing booze again to deprive gangs of an easy revenue source).

Kind of like the situation with marijuana today. BUT… I… DIGRESS.

Riffing on the whole idea of a morbid event like that occuring on what is supposed to be an uber-romantic day this festival stands as an anti-Valentine’s Day type event. Depending on how the calendar works out, it sometimes even falls on Valentine’s Day. This year, though, it’s on Saturday Feb. 9.

Bands who will be taking the stage at the Exchange include Itchy Stitches, Kelevra, Suffersurge, Nine Gates and Dystopian Wasteland. To close, here’s the trailer for a 1967 movie about the massacre directed by Roger Corman: