Phase one of the much-discussed clash of Norwegian summer rock festivals is over. Newcomer Hove met expectations with a string of great concerts from exciting artists, but the gods proved capricious and let torrents of rain fall on the neophyte.
Despite the seas of mud the general impression is that Hove actually may have pulled of their very ambitious scheme; to claim directly the throne among Norway’s big summer rock festivals. 72 000 spectators, more than twice the estimate, stopped by the event. And considering the reviews it is clear that the four days, packed with must-see artists, really did prove a festival experience out of the ordinary. The Arcade Fire, My Chemical Romance, Slayer, Damien Rice (yes the diversity was extraordinary), QUOTSA and many others delivered top-notch performances according to most of the media that had gathered for the spectacle.
Today older brother Quart kicks off for the 17th time and it is really a matter of huge interest and uncertainty whether it can defend its #1 position. Critical voices claim the roster is conform and boring, and it is an open secret that there have been grave problems and setbacks in the preparations. To boot, Denmark’s huge Roskilde festival has altered its dates, and it now overlaps with Quart.
Still, heavy-weight names such as the Who, Beastie Boys and Chris Cornell have a tendency to draw huge last-moment crowds (Quart’s pre-sold ticket numbers are poorer than before) and if the skies clear it is no denying that true summer happiness is within reach. -For it is of course the combination of music, sunbathing and fresh saltwater swims that really defines the concepts of both Hove and Quart. Thus this year’s underdog might still retaliate and become the summer’s favourite memory. On the other hand, if the rains continue, (and the forecasts aren't great) it will be a tall order indeed for Quart to match the wet sucess of Hove.