Inferno, Norway’s leading metal festival is soon ready to spark some musical flames. More than 5000 listeners and 100 international journalists from publications such as Kerrang, Terrorizer, Metal Hammer, and the fashion magazine Dazed & Confused are showing up to see Mayham and Gorgoroth in Oslo over the Easter break
For three days during the Easter, people are flying in from England, Sweden, Germany, Italy, the USA, even India to experience extreme metal in Norway. Not that strange, according to Ann Frestad, Inferno’s festival manager, since Norwegian black metal is known all over the world.
“Norwegian extreme metal, and especially black metal is world famous and has a very unique history. People are coming to see the bands in their local environment,” Frestad says.
Little interest from Norwegian media
In its third year, Inferno can present an impressive showcase with names such as already mentioned Mayhem, My Dying Bride (UK), Grimfist (No), Defiled (Ja), and Disiplin (No), to name a few. Totally 30 bands are playing between April 8 -10, 10 bands each day at two different venues in Oslo, Rockefeller and John Dee. More information is available at the festival’s web site.
Strangely enough, Norwegian media have shown little interest in the festival that was voted among the 10 best festivals in the world by the readers of Terrorizer magazine. As the international interest is growing both among audience and media, the festival is struggling to get attention at home.
“General Norwegian media do not seem to care because it is in the middle of their holiday. Niche media that writes on about metal, on the other hand, is doing a great job. But as Norwegian black metal is Norway’s largest music export abroad, Norwegian journalists have a duty to present what is cool within the field. It is embarrassing that only one third of the accredited journalists are Norwegian,” Frestad argues.
Celebration of extreme music
The festival was started in 2001 by Borknagar guitarist Jens Ryland who wanted to gather the Norwegian metal community for a celebration of extreme music. The first Inferno premiered in Oslo 2001 with bands like Cadaver Inc, Borknager, and Enslaved on the poster. With Dimmu Borgir as the headline the next year, Inferno was doomed to be sold out. But the festival took a lot of time and energy, and Ryland decided to retire from Inferno to concentrate on Borknagar. A team consisting of Radar Booking's Jan Martin Jensen, Khaoz Productionz' Gro Narvestad and Ann Frestad and webmaster Lars Frode Hansen decided that Inferno was too important to let go and decided to immediately start organizing next year's festival.
One more day is added, most gigs are expected to sell out, and more international journalists than ever are coming to Oslo as most Norwegians escape the city for their cabins in the mountains, melting snow, cross country skies, oranges, and chocolate. Trust me; Inferno is staying inside in the dark.