Guitar World Invades Norway's 2010 Hole in the Sky Festival
Guitar World's Henry Yuan (front, middle) with Autopsy. Clockwise from left: Karina Thorsen Eikeland, Henrik Palm, Chris Reifert, Pär Arvidsson, Danny Coralles, Joe Trevisano, Eric Cutler and Yuan. Photo by Christoffer Jonsson.
During the last week of August, Guitar World ventured to Bergen, Norway, to attend the eleventh edition of the Hole in the Sky Festival, one of Scandinavia’s most prestigious summer metal festivals.
Throughout the week’s worth of activities, our writer, Henry Yuan, witnessed performances from some of the most epic bands in heavy/extreme metal, including Ihsahn, Autopsy and Venom, bro’d down with the natives and imbibed more than a few local spirits.
Below, read Yuan’s day-by-day account of Guitar World’s journey into the heart of Hordaland.
Day One, August 23: A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland
When my plane approached the western coast of Norway (after nine-plus hours flying from NYC) and I caught my first glimpse of this countryside, I realized this was not going to be an average metal festival trip.
While I was aptly primed to witness sets by metal’s heavy hitters such as Angel Witch, Watain and Repugnant, along with a slew of underground acts, I was not prepared for such metal landscapes! To say the scenery around Norway is breathtaking would be a serious understatement. The small rustic homes inside the fjords, the mist, the mountains, the sun’s reflection on the arctic waters… It all seemed too perfect to be real.
But I was on a mission to get to the heart of the Hole In the Sky experience, and this was the perfect start to what I knew was gonna be a truly epic time.
After touching down and shuttling to the Marken Gjesthus hostel in downtown Bergen, I was ready to see some of the city. I was pleased to find out that one of Hole in the Sky’s main venues, Garage, was only 10 minutes away. This meant that I could party like crazy…and make it back to bed in one piece! So I dropped off my bags and headed off to Garage...
Posters at the Garage
An interesting series of events soon unfolded upon my arrival at Garage. First, I discovered how expensive this country was! This brutal fact hit me like a brick in the face when I had to pay 46 NOK [Norwegian Kroners]—$7.53—for a 0.4 liter cup of Hansa, the cheap (read: affordable) beer of Bergen and one of the festival’s sponsors. To add insult to injury for this American, the law here requires alcohol prices to be raised 10 NOK after 10PM. I thought it was rough back in New York… But, expensive or not, these details weren’t going to ruin a good time.