The Notodden Blues Festival is starting next week. This will be the 27th festival, and it has established itself as the largest blues festival in Scandinavia, and also one of the largest ones in Europe. In 2012 Notodden was named a part of the Mississippi Blues Trail as the only place outside of the USA. Here are some thoughts about the artists, plus some pictures of the highlights from last year. (Picture above: Vidar Busk and His True Believers)
Sweden have had many big pop acts during the last 40 years, starting with ABBA and so far ending with Avicii. They also have and have had some really great rock acts like Ebba Grøn, Thåström, the younger Lars Winnerbäck and Håkan Hellström. And then they have Ulf Lundell. He has been around since the mid 70’s and is still going strong. Yesterday night he played for an almost sold out Rockefeller in Oslo.
Tons of Rock was held June 19-21., but I have been too busy afterwards to manage to post anything from the festival. This was the first time the festival was held, but it is an easy bet that we will get a new festival next year. Everyone there enjoyed themselves, and the line up was very good with Slayer, Anthrax, Sepulture, TNT, Volbeat, Turbonegro and many others filling three stages for three days.
The second day of the Steinkjer Festival had Timbuktu & Damn as headliner on the big stage, and Highasakite and Black Debbath at the tent stage. But before them many good artists and band played. I had special pleasure hearing Maria Mena, Skambankt, The South and Highasakite again. (Picture above: Timbuktu)
One of my routines every summer, is to start my short summer vacation at the Steinkjer Festival. It is a local festival in Steinkjer which is a town in the middle of Norway. The festival is run by Svein Bjoerge, the same man who is behind the new Norwegian heavy rock festival Tons of Rock, which was a big success last weekend. The Steinkjer festival has grown to be a semi-big festival, with lots of good bands and a very nice atmosphere. Here are pictures of some of the bands from Friday. (Picture above: Oslo Ess)
Two years ago I held an exhibition at the Galleri MAP in Oslo called Norwegian Metal in Concert. Last year the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs bought the rights to offer the exhibition to Norwegian embassies, and yesterday the embassy in Warsaw, Poland hosted the first exhibition together with a concert with the Norwegian black metal band Order. (Picture above: Billy Messiah from Order)
Sunday started just as beautiful as Saturday, except for some more wind and a few scattered clouds. The festival schedule started later than the day before, with fewer bands and artists, and the schedule was also more condensed, with less time in between. That was the good news. The better news is that there were many good concerts by Monica Heldal, Tom Odell, James Vincent McMorrow and Bow To Each Other, with John Mayer as the musical climax. (Picture above: John Mayer)