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Scan Magazine | Special Theme  |  Norwegian Festival Special 2017

Blastfest in Bergen attracts metal bands and fans from all over the planet, such as Swedish black metal band Watain from Uppsala.

Honouring all things heavy under the Norwegian flag Blastfest in Bergen always attracts some of the world’s best metal bands and thousands of passionate fans from over 50 countries. The critically acclaimed festival’s atmosphere is bona fide metal, but far from mean – and more melodic than ever before. By Eirik Elvevold  |  Photos: Roy Bjørge

Dedicated metal fans from across the globe will yet again descend on Bergen this February. The thousand-year-old capital of western Norway, which has played a central role in the international rise of black metal, is nowadays home to Blastfest – a yearly celebration cutting across all genres of metal music. “This year’s programme is more melodic than ever, but we certainly have more extreme bands for those who like that. I’m personally looking forward to seeing the debut of former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo’s new black metal band SCOUR,” says Yngve Christiansen, the musician, entrepreneur and metal head behind it all. In addition to SCOUR, Blastfest’s loyal crowd will be given genre-defying experiences like the Devin Townsend Project, which is keeping it going since their world famous four-album series, as well as the melodic Swedish doom and gloom band

Katatonia and the Norwegian prog metal band Leprous from the town of Notodden – the biggest prog metal act from Norway – which gained widespread popularity after backing Emperor-frontman and black metal mogul Ihsahn live. “Blastfest quickly got really popular worldwide, and the interest among bands to join the line-up is huge. Our challenge is deciding on whom to decline. We would have loved to have them all, but this interest is what creates the possibility for a strong future. I don’t think there has ever been a better age for the global extreme metal scene. Social media has made it so much easier to advertise your band and get in touch with like-minded people,” argues Christiansen. That is also the point of Blastfest. Bergen surely attracts extreme metal fans all year round, but the chance of finding new friends increases dramatically dur-

ing the festival. If you are lucky, you might even bump into some of your own metal heroes while hanging out. “The metal scene is not as scary as some people think, but rather friendly and compassionate. Just imagine waking up for a late breakfast at the official Blastfest hotel after a late night of great company, tasty food, cold drinks and, of course, some of the best metal bands in the world,” says Christiansen.

BLASTFEST FACTS: Location: Bergen, Norway Venues: USF Verftet and Hulen Dates: 22-25 February Minimum age: 18 Capacity: 1,200 Official hotel: Augustin Hotel

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Issue 96  |  January 2017  |  39

Scan Magazine, Issue 96, January 2017  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Linnea Larsdotter.

Scan Magazine, Issue 96, January 2017  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Linnea Larsdotter.