That Norwegian music export has picked up over the last few years seems to be a widespread conception. Up until now it has been the music industry’s traditional commodities that have crossed borders: releases, touring bands, production services and merchandise. Now a new product is about to be exported: Inferno – Scandinavia’s most central metal festival.
Export of festivals is indeed something totally new on the Norwegian scene, a scene that is blessed with a plethora of events and festivals. The Oslo based Inferno Festival is undoubtedly Scandinavia’s most central event for metal and its related genres. The festival creates solid international media attention and few if any other Norwegian festival can match Inferno’s list of accredited international journalists. Since its birth in 2001 the Oslo festival that is held during the Easter holiday has grown steadily in proportion and public attendance and is now held over three days with live coverage in national media.
Over the years, the festival’s administration has been encouraged countless times to take the concept abroad. Says Inferno’s promotion and press contact Ann Frestad: “We have been encouraged by the Plastic Head label to produce a festival in London. Initially, we’ll begin with a one day festival to minimise the risk of a budget deficit. If the turnout is good enough we’ll expand the event to two or three days. The London event will be sort of a kick-off for the Oslo Inferno Festival so we’ll use the opportunity to publicise the complete roster for the Norwegian event. The aim of the London Inferno Festival is to present the width of the Norwegian extreme-metal scene and to lay down a foundation for later UK festivals.”
The date for the London Inferno Festival has been set to 27 January and the bands that are to hit the Underworld's stage are among Norwegian metal’s finest: Red Harvest, Arcturus, Enslaved, Grimfist and Madder Mortem. Prior to the festival launch, Inferno will host a press conference/music industry convention in collaboration with the central Norwegian showcase/music industry event by:Larm. The entire event will be covered by the national Norwegian broadcast company, NRK.
Red Harvest have hit the UK stages a number of times in the past, beginning with a string of dates as early as 1993 (with Cradle of Filth as a support act). The band’s last tour was in 2000 with fellow extreme-/black-metallers Mayhem. Red Harvest released their third album “Internal Punishment Programme” on 27 September to wide critical acclaim. Backed by their new release, Red Harvest’s guitarist TurboNatas feels confident that the venue will be packed come 27 January: “This is a very strong line-up. Together with Arcturus we played for some 600 people in Milan and London’s Underworld has double that capacity – I can sense that we’re talking about a sold-out house here. England and Scotland have been some of the most welcoming territories that we have toured in, both press and audiences and press have been very supportive. It seems as if the UK audience understands what we’re doing and they know how to appreciate it.”
The Inferno Festival in London is supported by the Arts Council Norway and the Fund For Performing Artists.