First off, an album update! Stubb is officially dropping September 29th! We’re so happy with this project, and can’t wait to share it with you!
Pre save it here: https://orcd.co/stubb
WOW! What an amazing summer we’ve had!! 6 countries, 10 festivals and venues, and probably 10.000+ audience members! It feels pretty surreal… Living the dream!
We started off at Førdefestivalen (6.7) where we played a really fun concert, it was Oskar’s 24th birthday!! We’ve wanted to play there for a long time as it’s a festival with a great reputation, run by wonderful people who have become good friends of ours. Our good friends Aslak Oppebøen and Karl Seglem were sitting on the balcony during our concert, commenting like Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet show.. There were a lot of good friends at the festival, so we had to stay up a tiny bit later than planned and chat, even though we had a long day ahead of us….
We got up at 5 AM the next day and started the long travel to Germany. We met our light and sound techs Torfinn and Simen at the airport in Oslo, and the NRK (Norwegian national radio and tv) at the airport in Berlin. We drove for 3 hours to Rudolstadt, and arrived around 6 PM. We had time to get into our rooms and shower, but not for a nap, even though we definitely needed one.. We made it to the festival, and found our german PR agent, Christian, who had made sure that we were on the Rudolstadt 2023 compilation CD. Then it was time for food and Soundcheck. We soon realised that we were playing on the biggest stage of the festival! None of the whole gang had ever been involved with such a large production before, and the nerves were starting to show. Soundcheck went very smoothly, Showtime midnight! We went on stage and were immediately blown away. When i said “Rudolstadt, make some noise!”, it was like a shockwave hit me in the face. 5000 people yelling is pretty loud, i have learned.. The concert went great, and we were received very well! We played for 1 hour and 20 minutes, and the crowd kept getting wilder and wilder. Mosh pits, and even a wall of death! The burning fiddle at the end was also a hit. We played our encore, walked off stage, and were met with at least 100 people in line for merch and signed CDs. We were completely overwhelmed, and probably sold 1/3 of what we could have (lesson learned, sign CDs ahead of time, and have a quick payment solution). Saturday we got to hang around the festival, and enjoy a ton of great music and dancing!
Next stop was Kaustinen folk music festival in Finland. (13.7-14.7) We travelled with Richard’s sister, Zandra, and videographer Kasper. When we arrived we met a lot of good friends from conferences. Laia, Minna, Marisa, and many more. We played first at the large outdoor arena, the legendary Kaustinen tent. This was a show where the audience took a while to get going, but at the end the floor filled up nicely! The next day we played at the club, and that time the room was packed! We decided to play the hardest and most energetic show that we could pull off, and it worked really well. I even got to do my first stage dive! After the concert we had a couple of beers with the band Elephant Sessions, who played an amazing set at the club right before us. Great gang, hopefully we get to share the stage with them again soon! The trip home wasn’t that smooth. First our flight got cancelled, and we were stuck in Seinäjoki for 2 days. We were rebooked on Finnair, and they almost left me stranded in Vaasa because they thought my fiddles were to big.. Never again, f**k Finnair!! Long story short, i had to sprint through the entire Helsinki Airport in 15 minutes, but it ended well!
Next was a weekend with Urkult in Sweden (3.8) and Montelago Celtic Festival in Italy (5.8). We flew to Östersund, and suddenly we had lost the bass… The airline left it behind because the plane was full. We arranged to borrow a bass, and to pick up our bass in Oslo on our way to Rome. We played a great show at Urkult, and the crowd was amazing! They knew the songs, and we saw a couple Gangar T shirts in the crowd! (Second stage dive). The technicians were great, our friend Anders was coordinating the sound, we knew him from Delsbostämman last year. We were on stage at 00:45, and off around 02:00. Long day ahead again…
Photo: Timjan Foto
We drove from Näsåker at 7 AM, and flew to Oslo, and there we found the bass. Then we flew to Rome, and suddenly the bass was gone again?! Even Jonas, who usually is very optimistic, was pretty frustrated at this point. We were picked up at the airport, and raced to the hotel. The next day we got to the festival, and were pretty amazed by what we saw. Everyone was wearing medieval/viking costumes, and there were sword fights in fields etc.. We met our Coach from Global Music Match, Michele, who booked us for the festival. Great to see him in real life! The concert was extremely warm, but a ton of fun! (Third stage dive), Goat skull in the audience, and a great reception from the audience! The stage manager said “i’m going to kill you for using the fiddle torch on stage”, and then proceeded to book us to his festival in Italy next year! We hung around the festival that night, got to meet Faun, and then saw them perform later on. Great vibe! It was very nice to play a little earlier than usual, and then get to enjoy the festival after. Dullum enjoyed himself the most, even got warpaint!
Next stop was Sziget festival in Budapest (11.8). This is one of the largest festivals in Europe, with around 600.000 visitors each year. We managed to miss our first flight due to the chaos from the storm that was raging in Norway at the time. Low point of the summer.. Luckily we got our money back! When we finally made it to Budapest, we were amazed at how big the festival actually was! And the food was great! Our concert went well, and the audience was very enthusiastic. Even some Norwegian flags in the audience! After the concert we went and listened to Imagine Dragons on the big stage. Can we write in our bio that we warmed up for them? I think we can…
Our last two concerts were in Norway at Midgardsblot (18.8). and at Farsund folk festival (25.8).
Midgardsblot is a famous festival for Viking, Folk, Metal music, and it has visitors from all around the world. We met people from USA, Isreal, etc.. Crazy! The concert went well, and we got great feedback afterwards! We tried mead, mistake… We got to see concerts with Einherjer, and were a part of our first row-pit (where people sit down and pretend to row a ship in the middle of the crowd). Then we saw Týr and heard some of the sickest guitar shredding i’ve ever experienced. Our friends in Mio also played a great gig!
In between Midgardsblot and Farsund we played a short gig for the music students at the high school Jonas, Richard, and i went to (Oslo by steinerskole). It was very nice seeing old teachers again, and a bunch students looking forward to a new year at school!
We drove down to Farsund on friday the 25th. 5 hours, longest drive of the summer. Farsund is a beautiful little town on the southern coast of Norway, just an hour away from Kristiansand. The festival had set up a fairly big stage on a football field with a great view of the ocean! We had a wonderful dinner, and met a lot of friends from the folk music scene in Norway. The concert went smoothly, and even though the audience probably was the oldest of the summer, they seemed to get into it more and more. They started out sitting pretty far away, but then slowly but surely they got up to dance! After the show we got back to the hotel for billiard, shuffleboard, and a couple beers with friends. It was very nice to wrap up the summer on our home turf, at a folk music festival in Norway with a bunch of familiar faces in the crowd. Our good friend Ann Helen was our artist contact, which also was a nice surprise. We travelled home the next day, Oskar had a gig in a different city and had to leave devastatingly early with Dullum, but Jonas, Richard, and I had a very calm drive back home.
Going back to daily life in Oslo was a pretty huge transition, but it’s also a nice feeling to unpack my suitcase for good after 2 months on the road. Shed one tiny tear, pat myself on the back, and then start thinking about the coming months!
The next step in making this tour a reality was made possible by Oskar and Jonas. Oskar sends out at least 20 applications for travel, marketing, project funds every year. Applying is a long and complicated process, but Oskar has turned into a wiz, and thanks to this we can go on crazy tours without going completely broke! Once the travel fund applications are sent and hopefully successfully processed, then Jonas can proceed with the puzzle of booking all of the flights, rental cars, trains, hotels.
Next up to the task is Henrik, who has to order merchandise to sell on the road. In addition he contacts all of the venues, and communicates with them about our technical requirements. Richard updates the website with all of the tour dates, and then he puts his IT skills to the task, and works at making sure we have payment solutions that work in all of the different countries we end up in.
Thanks to a spectacular group effort, we were able to plan the tour, and pull it off! It was a great feeling to confirm that we’re good at tour life, could consistently deliver good performances, and have fun at the same time! We’re ready for more of this in the future!
Thanks to everyone who came to our concerts, everyone who gave us kind words of feedback, everyone who bought merch and CDs, everyone who booked us, and everyone who keeps supporting us on our journey!