Thinking ahead to Sweden Rock 2018 makes me think back a few years. I always wanted to go to one of those huge rock/metal festivals in Europe. Every year I look at the lineup of Wacken, dreams running wild. Many of the bands were ones that I have loved since forever. I believed I would never see them here in Toronto Canada in most cases. In 2012, I became affiliated with the Decibel Geek Podcast and Website as a writer. Here was a group of folks that knew, supported and understood the love of hard rock/metal. Something “popped” in my head that year and I threw caution to the wind vowing to go to one of these European festival events.
The research began. The more I searched, the more events I found. I had no idea there were so many. Especially since there are so few over here. I studied lineups, surrounding areas, flights, and accommodations. This was not even as expensive as I first expected. The choice became more and more clear in the coming days and weeks. Sweden Rock Festival was the clear frontrunner winning my attendance.
The lineup was absolutely undeniable. Bands I’ve listened to for a lifetime appeared in the roster. Saxon, Doro, UFO, Krokus, KISS, Rush, Accept, Europe, and Hardline. Most of them I’d not seen live before. But the less North American household names were an even bigger draw. Names like Sister Sin, Bullet, The Scams, even Huntress. I was going to Sweden baby!
I purchased a regular 4-day ticket (VIP may have been sold out by the time, don’t recall). Even applied for a press pass. Went to see my travel agent and booked flights. I spoke to the boss at work and was ready for the biggest adventure of my life. Nervous and scared, yet excited and basically on pins and needles.
As the time drew closer disaster struck. It seems that the boss had rather forgotten our talk of the time away. Or more likely had only been paying half attention. Without going into too much detail, my job hung in the balance and I was told I could not go. Being the determined bugger I am, I buckled down and slaved hard for the next month, excelling at my job, completing the project in half the time of anyone else’s abilities. As a reward, I again brought up the time off and we came to an agreement. Adjusting my flights cost a little but better than losing everything and not going! This was the week before departure.
Unorganized and panicky, I arrived in Sweden. With no time to secure accommodations, I was fortunate enough that the good folks at Sweden Rock Festival were able to fit me into a camping space in the Media campground. And I was off to the races.
I simply fell in love that weekend. Love with the bands, the festival, the people, the country. You can read more about my time at Sweden Rock 2013 through my daily diary recap articles here:
Now I couldn’t imagine June without Sweden Rock. I look forward to the event all year long. A place I really feel at home. I’ve met and made very many friends over my five years there and it’s a pleasure to see one another again every time. I’ve even convinced other North American friends into going, creating their own addictions as they return year after year as well.
Thank you, Sweden Rock for giving me a place to belong. And for so much awesome music discovery. The big name bands are fantastic, but the discovery of new ones takes the cake. Some of these are Corroded, VA Rocks, Browsing Collection, Bloodbound, Vdelli, Thundermother……and many more.
Bring on Sweden Rock 2018. June can’t get here fast enough for me! Hey, if you’re going too, let’s meet for a beer.
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