16.-18.7.2009 Slottsfjell Festival (Tønsberg)

Hmm, okay… if a festival got “fjell” in the name, don’t go there. ‘Cause “fjell” means hill, and thus you have to walk uphill forever to get to the festival grounds… And once you are up there, you walk up and down all the time. *argh*

But: If the organizers are smart, you also have a great view at the stage from everwhere, because the area slopes towards the stage. And it’s not gonna be so crowded anywhere, because you got a good view at the stage from everywhere!

And yes, the Slottsfjell organizers seem to be smart. At least my first impression of the festival was very positive, even though it is gigantic (for Norway ). But part of that good feeling about the festival was probably also the weather. 25°C and sunshine until 10:00 pm – pretty good, right? Especially when the forecast said “gray and wet”. So let’s just hope that it’ll stay like that!

For me, the festivals started on Thursday with the Wombats – nice, but I thought I’d know more songs. Then some food (there was a great selection of food at the festival, actually!) and then Håkan Hellström – never heard of him, but I liked it. Then to the other stage to see Motorpsycho. And I noticed that I had confused them with – all Norwegians will probably kill me for that? – Dreamtheater. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know more than the name of both bands, and I have a rough idea about the music they play. And Motorpsycho played exactly the kind of music I had associated with them, and I liked it a LOT, so it was good that it wasn’t Dreamtheater. *gg* Then I had planned to go by the other stage and down to see Big Bang, but on the other stage, a WEIRD band called Peachcake was playing, and it was incredibly fun. So I stayed – I had been bored by Big Bang before, so I knew I wouldn’t miss anything. And Peachcake just blew me away… Then, to conclude, the last few songs of Big Bang were okay, but rather boring. But from far away, the singer reminded me quite a lot of Thees Uhlmann, which made it fun to watch. *g*

Slottsfjell day two – and the best festival weather you could wish for! Bright sunshine, but not too hot, and for some reason, I didn’t really get sunburned either. Just perfect!

So I spent all day at the festival – even though the afternoon was a bit slow. “Accidents never happened” sounded fine, Mathias Eick Quartet was really boring, and Xerxes & Bendikbeat sounded like a great band name, but the beginning was boring, so I went downhill to Mathias Eick Quartet, but as they were so boring and the sun was getting hot, I went back up again – and the end of the Xerxes… concert sounded pretty good, actually. Maybe I should have stayed in the first place, but you never know, right?

And I had my book and the sunshine, so I didn’t mind at all. That’s also the way it continued, with Pony the Pirate, Heroes & Zeros vs. Harrys Gym, Hjaltalin, and The September When. All nice, but not really sticking out. Good for reading and eating!

Then it was time for the highlights – first up: Art Brut. And it was incredible how few people were there to see them. They tried very hard to get everyone to go along in the beginning, but it felt like they gave up a bit. Too bad, but great fun anyway! I was just a tiny bit angry at Skambankt, ’cause they ran by me just before the Art Brut concert started, so I was distracted, of course. But I managed to force them out of my head when Art Brut came on, hah!

Up the hill again, the last few minutes of Soulfly (is there a band that is WORSE than Soulfly?), and then, after deciding that First Aid Kit was nothing I would care for, I settled in front of Kastellscenen with my book, waiting for Skambankt. The concert was amazing (not surprisingly *gg*), you can read more about it here. And it was so funny (or maybe annoying? Honestly, I’m not sure if I was only amused or also annoyed…) how they managed to just not see me during the concert. Not on purpose, by the way! I found it very interesting in a way, ’cause there’s a big difference between Kaizers and Skambankt here. When Terje plays with Kaizers, he’s gonna scan the whole audience right when he comes out. With Skambankt, it’s obviously tunnel vision instead. Never noticed that before! But it IS kinda funny… and even funnier when they actually DID see me towards the end of the show and some eyes seemed to fall out. *lol*

Anyway, right after Skambankt’s show, down the hill again, where Turboneger was playing. Yeah! I was a bit annoyed by the audience, but well, I shouldn’t complain – I was late as well and just pushed my way in, so I’m no better… The concert was great fun, but very short, I thought. But it was a great conclusion of a fantastic festival day.

On the last day of the festival, it was raining, but that’s just the way it is – etter solskinn kommer regnvær! Some days of sun, some days of rain… It just sucks if the rainy days are at a festival. Or well – a bit of rain is okay. But if the “bit of rain” means hours and hours of constant pouring, it sucks.

Well, but I knew right along that a summer vacation in Norway wouldn’t mean only sunshine, so I decided to not mind and went out into the rain. I was back at the festival grounds right in time for The Captain & Me – a very good decision! Not only because the rain had stopped for half an hour by then, but mostly because this really is a great band, and the concert was big fun. Then I wandered over to the other stage and watched the concert of The Chap – a very weird band, totally crazy, but it was pretty funny. Didn’t stay until the end though, ’cause it started raining again and they didn’t “blow me away” so much that I would have cared enough. Instead, I decided to go back to the hotel for a bit, because the next interesting bands wouldn’t come on until two hours later.

Not sure if that was a smart decision or not – in any case I was soaked until I was back at the hotel. *grr* OK, I had some time to get dry again, but I was soaked wet again when I arrived back at the festival grounds lateron.

But: The evening was worth it! First Bob Hund (and yes, I understand why he’s compared to Janove Kaizer *g*), then Ash up on the hill (and the way up was not too bad, actually, even though I had expected to slide more than to walk – but I guess Chucks ARE better than Docs in this respect. They get soaked sooner though…), and even though I would have loved to see all of their show, I decided to go down again in time for Katzenjammer – a very good decision, because they were just amazing. And: The rain stopped! The last band of the night and of the festival were the Kaiser Chiefs – a nice conclusion for me, but obviously a lot of people didn’t really care for them. Guess Norwegians are too patriotic in this respect. Or maybe their English DOES get worse with too much alcohol after all? I mean, if a band says “we stopped the rain for you!” and there is NO reaction at all? Or when they ask the guy with the laserpointer to point into the sky, and everybody raises their hands? *lol* It was funny though.

And a big applause to the festival organizers – up to now, I never experienced a festival that reacted so quickly to the weather. As soon as the ground became muddy in some place, it was covered with mats. Very effective, very quick, thanks!

So even though the weather was terrible the last day, the festival in itself was just great. I’ll be back next year!

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