Yes, I’m at it again! The Meister will be rocking with the best of them for the third straight year at Sweden Rock Festival 2015.
Sweden Rock Festival takes place annually near Solvesborg, Sweden and began in 1992, making this its 23rd year in operation! I still wholeheartedly believe that North America has absolutely no idea how to put on a music festival. Certainly not like the Europeans do, especially considering we abandoned good music over here in the 90’s with that dark, suffocating blanket called grunge. That being said there have been an outcropping of North American rock festivals in recent years, some have been around longer, but just now gaining more popularity and media attention thanks in part to social media. Monsters of Rock Cruise (MOR Cruise blogs), M3 (M3 Reviews) and Rock n’ Skull are ones I’ve attended or will attend this year, but others of note are Northern Invasion (Northern Invasion: Metal and Rock Invade Wisconsin), Rock on the Range and Rocklahoma as well as the growing cruise fad….c’mon Toronto get in the game! Heavy Mtl goes on each year (and once it went off in Toronto), but it’s just not the same. Talk to the ole Meister and I’ll help you plan if you need, start with a good line up first off….anyways, back to the issue at hand: SRF-Sweden Rock Festival.
For this year’s excursion to Sweden Rock, my incessant ramblings have broken through the walled defenses of a friend from right here in Toronto. She has decided (rather nervously I might add) to join me in perhaps (in my experience) the greatest “on land” rock festival in the world. I have promised her that I won’t abandon her at least until we land at Copenhagen airport…..lol. Understandably, she has no wish to camp, so my camping accommodation of the two previous years is removed unceremoniously from the options and we have ended up at a B&B in Karlshamn, about 40 mins away (to get closer to Solvesborg and festival grounds you have to book earlier). Next year I say we rent a motorhome and camp! That way we have security and showers and can be right near the festival grounds…who’s in? We will also be joined by Decibel Geek staff writer The Lionsheart (The Lionsheart’s articles), who will decline the option of Wednesday’s acts and only purchased a three day ticket. I say he’s nuts to skip the first day, but he does live fairly close by so he has more options to see some of these bands. In the past years I have met many people, but made one very good friend and I certainly look forward to seeing her again after the passage of a year. Also, while aboard The Monsters Of Rock Cruise back in April, I met a flurry of new Facebook friends that are from Sweden, Switzerland and Germany that will be attending the 2015 event as well, so I expect a good party this time around! C’mon liver, we better get you trained up, beer please my good man! If you’ll be at Sweden Rock Festival I’d love to meet up for a chat/beverage, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend/follow me on Facebook (Rich “The Meister” Dillon-button below).
Ok! Enough Meister! Get on to the festival! Fine, 90 bands this year on five stages over four days promise another rocking year. A few (but not all) of my targets will be the big guns like Motley Crue, Judas Priest, and Def Leppard, but also some bands that are unlikely to visit Toronto at least anytime soon like HammerFall, H.E.A.T, Hell, Mad Max, Battle Beast, Wolf and Grim Reaper. From those seven “must-see” bands I just mentioned, H.E.A.T is the only one I’ve seen before, thanks to Firefest Festival, UK (Firefest: Final Fling Day One), but I’ve long enjoyed the records of the others. On top of those I fully expect to become fans of some underdogs as I have done in the past with bands such as Ammotrack (named in my Top Albums of 2014), Va!?, The Rods and Axxis. And some options there could be any of the bands involved in NEMIS (which stands for New Music In Sweden). I have found some gems by wandering over to the NEMIS stage to check out a band, that’s where I found Ammotrack and VA?! and it’s certainly in my plans to catch some of these NEMIS bands. Listening samples are usually found on the official Sweden Rock Festival website so I’ll give a quick perusal in the next couple of days to rule out the real riff raff, so-to-speak.
Be sure to follow my adventures at Sweden Rock Festival here as I post accounts of each day, but also afterward as I will be remaining in Europe for an extended holiday. I will be touring several cities that I haven’t been to since my 4.5 month backpack tour in 2002 and the dream is to see a live band every night (although by looking at tour schedules a lot of bands seem to be playing dates in May and then not again until July!), finishing up at HellFest Festival in France.
You can find all of Decibel Geek‘s coverage of the Sweden Rock Festival 2015 by both The Meister & The Lionsheart here: Sweden Rock 2015