Hammerfest IV 2011 – My Blog

My Personal Hammerfest Blog – originally published online at The Bite Mag’s website.

Well I’m back in one piece after my first Hammerfest experience…which is more than can probably be said for a few people haha! Hammerfest IV was held at Pontin’s in Prestatyn, an ingenious use for this holiday camp out of season…Hard Rock Hell is also here every year. It is a strange but not unwelcome experience to have regular access to a bed, shower and toilet at a festival. The fact it’s mostly indoors helps significantly with weather issues and this in turn means lots of people wearing fabulously weird and wacky clothing (not covered head to foot in plastic waterproofs!). On a personal note it was also nice not to have a sea of people wearing those awful printed ‘festival wellie’s that are so fashionable these days! I’m all for having your own sense of style, but as a girl who grew up on farms I think I care less whether I have pink skulls on my wellies and more about whether my feet are dry and comfortable…perhaps I’m just getting old.

Infact Hammerfest is probably a festival that appeals to a more mature crowd anyway due to its amenities and atmosphere, there were young people but not in the quantities you get at other music festivals. Of course being an 18+ festival has something to do with that too. Overall everyone we spoke to from bands, staff, festival goers agreed that there was a very warm, welcoming, partying atmosphere. I didn’t worry about people trying to half inch my purse and thought nothing, as a lone female, of wondering around the stages on my own. I met tons of lovely people, all willing to chat, mosh and drink with me. It was a great festival and I will definitely go back.

The Bite Magazine Staff arrived laden with our equipment, cowboy hats and a suitcase full of booze. We shared a chalet and I was the only female member of the team. Yes, I can confirm boys smell. But then according to them so do I! A huge amount of alcohol was consumed, in between hard working of course, but it was in no way equal to the legends staying near us who lined up their bottles and cans in their windows. It was impressive and my liver hurt just looking at it.

I won’t lie, we knew we’d have to do a lot of work, but I think we also all felt we’d have a bit of a jolly too! Late nights, early mornings (for some anyway!), long days on our feet and running from stage to stage actually was a little harder than we’d imagined. The key is more staff we think, we started small but we’ll have to expand as we do more of this kind of thing. It became apparent how a few people can’t be everywhere at once! And so I spent the majority of the festival on my own getting my jobs done, as did the other staff as we had little time to socialise with each other. This did mean I got to chat to lots of people and enjoyed a different kind of experience all round. And at night of course we had a few cheeky pints together and let off steam. Thankfully the camera went home at that point so there’s little photographic evidence of this!

Naturally the staff team did their research before they came and lined up interviews with some promising, up and coming bands. We will be writing a small feature for the next issue, including interviews, with my top tips of the festival …the bands to keep your eye on in the next twelve months. These include Fury, Inferno, A Thousand Enemies, Raven Face and AR. All our interviews will feature in the next issue of the mag and reviews and photos will be posted on the blog in the coming weeks.

As a huge Anthrax fan they were always going to my highlight, and boy did they bring it! I have seen Paradise Lost and Skindred before and both are great bands so I looked forward to their sets. I missed Skindred as I was getting a tattoo at the same time. Paradise Lost were a little disappointing, I’ve seen them do better. Another band I was really looking forward to was Senser, as I was a huge fan in the 90’s. I wasn’t disappointed, they were brilliant. I also enjoyed Evile, first time I’ve seen them, and Lawnmower Deth! Evil Scarecrow really stole the show, lots of people talked about how great they were and they won a lot of new fans at Hammerfest. On the third stage Kyrbgrinder and Trucker Diablo tore it up with crowd pleasing gigs. Of the up and coming bands Fury, Inferno and A Thousand Enemies excited me personally the most. For very different reasons I loved these bands and will be watching their future careers with great interest. I was very sad to have missed Falling Red’s set and I shook my ass to AC/DC tribute Dirty DC.

Don’t forget to check out our June issue which will feature a full Hammerfest review, interviews with lots of the bands, an interview with award winning tattooist George Astrix, fan comments, reviews and pictures.

To Chic Festivals, Metal Hammer, Pontins, The Bands, The Crazy Fans, Staff and all those involved…Thanks for a memorable weekend , and we’ll see you next year! x

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