In my book, June equals Sweden Rock Festival. And for many years, Sweden Rock Festival used to equal great weather. But the years 2009 – 2012 has provided us with mostly rain, cold winds and dark clouds. However, this year it looked like the weather gods were smiling at Sölvesborg. For four days, I hardly saw any clouds and the sun was shining on us with no mercy – and I loved every second of it. That meant that the beer were flowing so fast that we actually got ourselves cold ones, which hasn’t always been the case. As a matter of fact, they almost ran out of beer and had to order more from Stockholm for the last day of the festival. The only downside is that they still won’t provide the attendants with decent beer. Sure, we now have three different kinds of beer, but it really doesn’t matter as they are all pretty crappy beer. Zeunerts and Fagerhult are at least drinkable, something that Sofiero isn’t. The backstage bar also had some kind of decent IPA on draft, which was nice. Other than the beer labels I really don’t have anything to complain about. There are lots of toilets around the area and you never run short of food either, there are a little something for everyone there.
The line up this year is, in my book, one of the strongest ones for many a year, with killer headliners like Kiss, Rush and Europe. And when it comes to the music, there are always some bands that you’re planning on seeing, but you miss out on for various reasons and this year was no exception to that rule. The first day is always some kind of half day where half of the festival area is closed, which usually makes for not that big a crowd. This year, there was a way bigger crowd, at least it felt like that and I managed to see all the acts I had planned to see that first day. I did miss out on Swedish prog rockers Mårran, but they weren’t really on my list in the first place, more of a band I’d watch if I was around the area when they went on. I wasn’t. On day two, I did miss out on Demon, but they went on pretty early and as I have already seen them on one occasion and I really only dig their two first albums I found it better to chill out in the sun outside our lodge with a couple of good cold ones before heading down to watch Survivor. I also missed Thunder for some stupid reason, which was a shame as I really like the band and I have heard that they played a great gig. Bummer!
Day three didn’t have that many must see bands for me, the weakest line up of the festival. Although one band I had really wanted to see was Norwegian rockers Audrey Horne as their new album is a real killer, but unfortunately they played at the same time as Treat who are on their farewell tour and that was a gig I wouldn’t have missed for the world so Audrey Horne drew the shortest straw here. Hopefully they’ll be back in a couple of years or so. I had also planned on seeing UFO as they did a great gig back in 2005, but a small party at our place took the best of me and I couldn’t be bothered back down to the festival area. That meant I also missed out on Krokus and Saxon, but I’m not that big a fan of any of them so I’m not lying sleepless over that. Besides, Saxon plays every other year and I have seen them before. On the last day of the festival, I managed to see all the bands I had planned to, although I didn’t watch Rush for that long, so there will be no review of them. I have never been a fan, so I’m not that familiar with their songs. However, they had a great sound, their show was brilliant and they are totally impeccable as musicians and performers, but I still got a bit bored and couldn’t really focus on more than three or four songs and I found myself watching Skid Row play instead. So there you go.
To sum this up, this year’s festival was the best one in many years. Much due to the weather, of course, but more the combination of the great weather, cold beer, great music and most important of all, beautiful and awesome friends that made sure that the whole thing worked out great and that I have a great memory to look back on. It’s only one year to the next festival. Let’s hope for an equally great experience in 2014. Now to the reviews…
Thanks to Hanna Henrikson, Mattias Savage Wilmenius, Tallee Savage, Amanda Martinez, Björn Åkesson, Putte Eriksson, Catalina Bruna – Eriksson and Carin & Niklas Serrander. Love you!
Check out the reviews: