From the beautiful city of Bergen, in Norway, happens every year the Blastfest. This year's edition includes some of the great names of Norwegian black metal. Abbath, Ihsahn, Kampfar and Gorgoroth were some of them.
I've asked some questions to Ragne Rognebær.
BRS: Hello and thank you for answer my questions. First of all I want to know how did it go, this year’s edition of Blastfest?
Ragne: This year's Blastfest was a great success. Wednesday was sold out, and Saturday was almost sold out. All the 3- and 4-day passes were sold out early. And, of course, there were absolutely no trouble from the guests, the bands were happy, and no major problems underway.
BRS: Blastfest is a festival in Norway with only Norwegian bands. It was an idea from the beginning or did it happen by chance?
Ragne: It's only this year we had only Norwegian bands. That was a one time thing, next year we're back to international line-up.
BRS: The festival is based in Bergen and the concerts happen in several places. It's easy to the audience move between each space where the festival is taking place?
Ragne: Bergen is rather a small city, and one can walk everywhere in the center. This year, we only had one venue (except the club-night Wednesday), it's a concert venue with several stages.
BRS: Blastfest is a music festival but has other activities taking place in the meantime. Could you tell me more about this year’s activities?
Ragne: This year, we didn't have much other activities. There were the market , which was at the venue, and an exhibition at the art museum. We kept it rather small this year.
BRS: Bands of all genres played in the festival but black metal is the main genre of the festival, isn’t it?
Ragne: Black metal is the most common of the genres, and the most popular. However, we do try to have different genres, like viking- and death metal.
BRS: Since it’s a Norwegian metal festival it’s easier to get local bands to play in Blastfest or it’s the same as with foreign bands?
Ragne: Some local bands are naturally easier, many of them are located in Bergen, and are people we meet regularly when out on the town. However, other bands are easier to get for each year, as our reputation as a good festival for musicians spread.
BRS: As I could saw in your facebook page, there’s audience of several countries. Could you tell me what was the country with more fans at Blastfest apart from the Norwegians, of course.
Ragne: I'm not sure where the most guests came from, it would be a European country as it's easier for them to travel to Norway. Of fans on this page, the second largest group is from Brazil.
BRS: Finish this year’s edition you already start to prepare the next year’s edition or you will take a break for a while?
Ragne: We're already well on our way to plan next year's edition. No rest for the wicked.
BRS: For us, the people who love Norwegian black metal, Blastfest it’s a dream, that for some of us, come true because it’s the festival where we can see many of our favorite bands but the prices of the tickets and the prices of everything, in Norway it’s a little high. Have you thought about talk with the Norwegian tourism department to lower a little bit the prices for the visitors because black metal is nowadays a mark of exportation the Norwegian culture?
Ragne: We have tried to get in touch with the local tourist industry, but even if we live in Bergen, the metal community are met with a certain degree of sceptisism, and they don't seem to take us too seriously yet. We are still working on it though, especially because we have many guests who save for years to be able to afford a week in Bergen.