I just got back from Oslo's Øya Festival, an amazingly organized and diverse affair featuring performances from Enslaved, Aura Noir, Satyricon, and Ulver, as well as some more obscure acts like Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen, the Big Pink, and Ungdomskulen. I mainly only saw the Norwegian metal acts (surprisingly). Here are some pictures from the festival. There will be more from my stay later in the week.
This was taken from the press area. We had free drinks, free food, and comfy seats. Everyone else had to stand on the opposite side of this lake (or moat, as I was calling it). I felt like the king of a medieval castle...
... which was apt, seeing as the festival was on grounds with actual medieval remains. But you weren't allowed to sit on them even though they were in THE MIDDLE of the festival (and really didn't look that old either). You were allowed to piss anywhere you liked though, which was a bit odd.
I saw the beginning of an act called Florence & the Machine in the afternoon, who were actually OK. All the girls in the audience went nuts. As I was leaving, it started to get a bit ropey and apparently by the end of her set she was totally trashed. Which is pretty rock.
On Friday afternoon, I saw Norway's own Aura Noir open things up. It was a little weird watching their "unholy thrash attack" unfold in the sun at 3 PM, and I think it took them a track or two to warm up.
Although it wasn't long before Appollyon was pulling his infamously grim face.
And ex-Mayhem guitarist Blasphemer was shredding virtuously...
... much to the delight of me and Obliteration's Sindre (watch this space for an interview with him, Aura Noir, and Immortal's Appollyon in the near future, by the way).
Brad from Nocturnal Cult webzine was so amped after the show he kept getting his straight edge tattoo out...
... so much so that he ignored the wasps that were surrounding his cider. One managed to get in there but he drank the whole thing without swallowing the wasp, like a true pro.
For some reason, chicks wouldn't let me take their pics (maybe I'm scary looking?), even ones who were wearing Sodom shirts.
Then it was over to see Kvelertak at the stage that looked like Jaws.
Kvelertak are pretty much to black metal what the Gallows are to hardcore. They have three guitarists because apparently three are better than two. One of them plays with no pick, and he plays the majority of the solos too.
They were joined onstage for a number with Carpathian Forest's infamous front man Nattefrost.
Their bassist, Marvin, had to go to hospital because of his high blood pressure after the show. That's not a joke--he was so red-faced while playing that he looked like he was going to explode. Consequently, he missed the interview I held with them and Nattefrost after the show, which I'll be posting this week also.
After the interview, I was taking pics and Nattefrost really wanted to get his dick out. Luckily he stopped at showing off his new tattoo and how skinny he was compared to Kvelertak's lead singer.
He insisted I take a pic looking up at him. It was then I thought he'd pull out his dick and piss all over me. Luckily he kept it covered up.
Which is what this lady should've done with her backpiece. I'm fairly sure it was actually a self-portrait of her younger self.
Thursday night Enslaved played. I don't know what to say – I kinda gave up on them a long time ago but they were easily the best band I saw at the festival. Like a black metal version of Pink Floyd or something nuts like that. Their new-ish guitarist (in the middle of this picture) thought he was Gary Moore, though. He was playing solos on his knees and shit, with his top off. His pecs are bigger than most girls' titties. It was insane.
Unfortunately they played the same time as Madness, which kinda sucked because I loved Madness as a kid and was kinda psyched to see them, but seeing as somebody left their Madness banner behind the next day maybe I missed out on nothing. These people were all on the side of the motorway about 200 hundred or so meters from the main stage. Beautiful spot, that.
The weather fucking BLEW on the Saturday, and even though it was pissing it down, you were not allowed entry with umbrellas. Apparently somebody had thrown an umbrella at a band last year and they were now outlawed, giving this smiley young lady a job.
And this girl too. They actually had employed (pretty hot) chicks to exclusively pick up cigarette butts. There were also specific glass collectors (notice how there is NO rubbish in any of the shots).
Anyway, the "no umbrella" rule meant everyone looked like they were either going fishing...
... or like urban versions of those guys in Empire Strikes Back – the bad guys. I don't know what they were called but they looked a bit like a forest ranger version of a Stormtrooper and they rode these super cool bike things I always wanted as a kid.
I ended up taking shelter in the international area, but everyone around me was playing some dumb version of slapsies and had nasty Euro-trekker hair, so I bid Øya my farewell and went on an unholy metal pilgrimage. More on that to come.