Massgrav in Norrland
Festivals. The 20 year old subconcious you gets all excited by the word, but the current old and comfortable you instantly starts thinking about waking at 4 am, needing a piss so badly you’re about to burst and the rain is pouring down on the crappy tent you’re sleeping in and you shudder with disgust. But there’s festivals and there’s festivals. And being in a band, you can often get a cushier festival experience than most. So… let’s talk about Ostämman. It’s a small festival halfway up the coast of northern Sweden, arranged by the members of Kronofogden and their friends. This year was their second time and they really wanted us to play, so we agreed on a good weekend for the festival and were promised a house to sleep in and shook digital hands.
This summer, Sweden has been fucking HOT! There’s been drought and forest fires and a nation-wide ban on fires and BBQs so we were expecting a nice, warm festival with lots of swimming in the lake and beer guzzling in the sun. Except, when we got up on Saturday morning, all weather forecasts were suddenly swapped for a steady drizzle throughout the day and the expected 30 degrees had changed to 20. Also, the papers talked about the main road north in Sweden being shut down due to forest fires. Our festival mood was a bit dampened as we drove north. Fenok, always the optimist, only packed a toothbrush, swimwear and a towel, saying “forecasts have been wrong before”.
We arrived and were shown the place where we would sleep. You might think that sleeping on the floor in the away teams dressing room at the nearby soccer field would be below our standard (and you might be right) but hell – as everyone else was camping in the rain, we had six showers, two toilets and more space than we’d ever need. We also brought our own stereo and a couple of coolers full of beer. We were all SET!
Ostämman is a really small and cozy festival focusing on punk (on the main stage) and noise (in a small party tent) where a lot of people know each other from before. After walking around and saying hi to everyone, the drizzle had stopped, and we decided to go for a swim. Fenok had some initial problems getting past the rocks in the shallows but soon we were floating around in a lake in the north of Sweden, which is pretty damn relaxing. You’ve gotta treat yourself to stuff like this sometimes.
Late in the afternoon, bands started playing and we watched the local könspunx in The Hunks do their debut gig and then started waiting for our turn. We had issued a strong voiced request to play somewhat early so that we could focus properly on what’s important so we were on at nine. Or… should have been. With festivals like these, unlike someone enforces military precision timewise, there will be delays. And there were. A little after nine, we got access to the stage for soundcheck but were asked to cut it short because we were disturbing the “quiet noise performance” in the tent. Being no fans of noise music and having had a few beers, we didn’t react to this in the most mature way and may have played a couple of AC/DC songs just for the hell of it. Sorry.
However, once that was over and people were let inside and the place filled up, we were in a great mood. Despite the cooler weather, the place was hot like an oven and we were sweating like pigs, but we were in a great mood, insulting people left and right. Apparently, neither the people in the north nor the noise scenesters had gotten the memo on Massgrav and got in a huff, started throwing cans and whatnot. Who would have thought they’d have such delicate little toes for us to step on, them acting all tough?
But hell, most people knew the drill and appreciated Stockholm’s finest and we had a great time. Warm though. Those showers sure came in handy. And those beers.
After that, things got blurry. Kronofogden did a killer gig and so did Radium Girls. We were interviewed by some podcast, a guy drew a comic about us being stuck up Stockholmers, we had a few beers and talked to a bunch of people. Whiners and can throwers preferred to whine online instead of talking to us though, to nobody’s surprise. Not a bad night, all in all.
The next day we got up, swam in the lake, sat in the sun and then went home. To sum things up, Ostämman is a really nice festival, the complete opposite of big festivals. If they do it again next year, you should totally go! Thanks for having us.