Bråvalla 2013

To paint a clear picture of Bråvalla I would call it a melting pot of sub cultures.

This year was the first ever Bråvalla festival in Norrköping. It is not the usual pure rock'n'roll festival or a pure electronic festival, it's really a bit of everything. To paint a clear picture of Bråvalla I would call it a melting pot of sub cultures. If you remember the Arvika festival, it reminds a bit of that. There is Rock, Metal and punk. There is Electro, Indie, DJs and Hip-hop. Ok sure, everything may not be to everyone's taste but there is more than enough of all of these to feel amply satisfied and with a whopping 51 590 attendees you’d have to say they must have done something right. I personally think it’s a cool way to whet your palette with a wide range of music.

The festival area provided two huge outdoor stages, two large tent stages and another two smaller stages that were setup in two cool underground hangers. As usual there was the various food stalls: Thai curry and noodles, pizza, burgers, Mexican, other BBQ style food. My personal favorite is the Extreme Food store! If you've not been to it at a festival, it provides an interesting mix of food with almost any type of chili sauce you could want! Now, as far as beer goes, there were a good number of places to get it, but there were not that many places to sit and drink it. I guess the organizers had thought people would sit on the grass hills around the festival but that wasn’t really going to happen because of the rain this year. One of the things I thought was really cool were the fairground rides. It gave the festival a bit of a carnival feel. They even had flaming daredevils, the Burnt Out Punks! They putt on a great show full of pyrotechnics and daring stunts each night. Last but not least there was a cool VIP area that provided a summery area to relax with a drink, they even had hammocks!

Starting out the first day Rival Sons and Airborne provided a nice way to kick things off. Following was one of my favorites for the festival Gogol Bordello. These guys were somewhat of a special treat for me as I had missed them last year when they played at Gröna Lund. The combination of gypsy and punk music really does it for me and how could you resist a band that has a fiddle player that wears a Slayer shirt! Ghost were next on the list followed by the always fantastic crowd pleasing In Flames who set the bar for the highly anticipated Rammstein. Rammstein were phenomenal with a fantastic stage setup and pyrotechnics to match their explosive performance. I saw them years ago in Australia when they played at the Big Day Out festival 2001 and have to say that although that was impressive, this was even better!

Friday brought another great line-up of rock, punk and metal. First up was Danko Jones, now I have seen Danko play at almost every Swedish festival I've been to in the last couple of years. I really think that the band must be in love with Sweden and it seems that Sweden is in love with them. Royal Republic was a bit of a surprise for me. I had fairly low expectation for them as what I had heard of their recorded material was really quite poppy, not my thing at all but, live, these guys were actually pretty good. They also really connected with the crowd. The biggest surprise for me was Stone Sour. I guess I've been living under a rock or something because I knew very little about them but, its fare to say that they were awesome! Really fantastic hard rock with a strong live show. I guess it must be easy for Corey Taylor after all the tours performing with Slipknot. The must see band for Friday was without a doubt Green Day. I think these guys are up there on the top as far as generosity displayed by a band goes. They just kept on giving to the crowd. It was almost as if they were somehow saying to each person "Hey man, are you having a good time? Well, let's make it even better!". I mean it's not that often that a band as big as Green Day gets a fan up on stage to sing a song with them or another fan to play guitar for a song... I heard on the grape vine the guy got to keep the guitar!? Kvelertak what can I say? I had high expectation for these Norwegian boys and they did not disappoint! In fact I liked them so much that when I got back home I went and found their self titled double LP and snapped it up. Can't really give a bigger thumbs up than that.

Saturday was spent chatting with festival goers and hanging out in the VIP area. The bands that I managed to check out were the Australian death core band Parkway Drive, another hard core metal band A Day to Remember and the always fantastic rockers from Denmark Volbeat.

So despite the on and off spattering’s of rain and the trudging through sticky mud and puddles I really have to say that Bråvalla was a success. The atmosphere was great and only enhanced by the diversity of the crowd. If this year's line up is anything to go by, next year should be absolutely killer.

Written by William Riever, 2013-06-30