Closing the door behind us heading to the airport, it was hard to believe that finally after 3 long years we return to the sacred lands of Norje and to our beloved Sweden Rock Festival. Spirits were high, the eagerness even bigger. Arriving there, we were overwhelmed and moved and the feeling was quite strange. How can someone feel at the same time that a lot of time has gone by, but still it feels like not a single day has passed since the moment we said “see you again” in 2019!
The first day of the festival found us in a state of discovering the new surroundings!
Wednesday 08 June, we started with the control at the entrances where the division of the public was made on the basis of who was carrying bags or not, so that those who didn’t carry any bags wouldn’t delay at the entrance. In our humble opinion, this didn’t work very well all the time. Many people carried bags and in some cases a rather long queue was created. In general the process went smoothly though.
The doors opened 2 hours earlier than previous years on the first warm-up day.
The doors opened 2 hours earlier than previous years on the first warm-up day. We discovered the new location where the fifth and smallest stage of the festival was installed, Rockklassiker stage, under a huge tent. Another difference was that the second biggest stage, Rock stage, was also open on the first day, leaving out action only the biggest central Festival stage for the first day. Musically, we will focus on the two highlights of the day, first the Swedes Evergrey who, as always, gave a solid, beyond decent performance with their fellow swedish fans going crazy for them. Secondly, the headliner of the day, the awesome Megadeth, who were incredible. They gave us an awesome set with all their classic hits and Dave Mustaine at his finest.
The second day started very promising.
The second day started very promising, with explosive Eclipse delivering as always in front of a highly enthusiastic audience, only to get disappointed later with Alestorm and Lee Aaron, not because they were bad themselves but because they had huge technical problems with the sound. Especially Lee Aaron had to stop her set for about 10 minutes and after that she was complaining about her monitor. After that however, we were back to normal with Eluveitie, Accept and Dropkick Murphys lifting us up with their performances. Bands of high standard, performing at their best and confirming their popularity.
A short break was necessary while headliners Volbeat were on stage.
A short break was necessary while headliners Volbeat were on stage, in order to gather up our strength and refill our stamina for the Almighty Nightwish, who were following and closing the night. Here we need to mention that, according to many of the spectators, they were the best act of the whole festival and if not the best, surely among the top 3. And of course Floor Jansen proved once again why she is the greatest singer on the planet right now.
Third day and we started with beloved Sonata Arctica.
Third day and we started with beloved Sonata Arctica, who also faced problems with their microphones, but luckily that happened at the very end of the show, after enjoying the band’s great form and our favourite songs. Next were Amaranthe and another great female presence, that of their singer Elise Ryd! Despite the fact that Kingdom Come gave a very disappointing performance, that didn’t get us in a bad mood. The magnificent Saxon, who delivered a classically wonderful show, kept us up.
The day ended at that point for us due to personal issues, which kept us away from the festival area.
The day ended at that point for us due to personal issues, which kept us away from the festival area and unfortunately we missed huge names such as The Hellacopters, Praying Mantis and also Mercyful Fate, who were amazing as we heard from our lucky companions.
The fourth and last day of the festival consisted mainly of walks around the festival.
The fourth and last day of the festival consisted mainly of walks around the festival and especially in the vip area where you get to meet some of the artists if you are lucky. However, we couldn’t miss Night Ranger and Hardcore Superstar. Night Ranger in a super good mood, Hardcore Superstar too, gave the afternoon the sense of what such a festival is: a HUGE party! Next: Within Temptation. What can we say about this band and the unique as a voice, presence and person Sharon den Adel. Excellent set in a unique atmosphere, they gave us moments of infinite beauty. Somewhere there the festival should have ended because we had the feeling that after the incredible Within Temptation we didn’t want to listen to anything else.
And we thought well because the last headliners, the long-awaited Guns’n’Roses, turned out to be a huge failure. We will ignore the fact that they delayed their appearance by half an hour, we are used to Mr. Rose not respecting us, but we will commend on the fact that the man cannot sing anymore. The other members struggled in vain to save the show. Although the number of the crowd far exceeded the Iron Maiden record in 2018 (rumours talk about 46000 people), unfortunately most of people were leaving after the third song. It’s the first time I’ve seen something like this.
The disappointment and displeasure in the eyes and lips of people was quite sad. A great shame!
And that was Sweden Rock Festival of 2022, which warmed us up again, despite the technical issues with the sound and lights in certain cases. Also, we cannot avoid mentioning the quite large increase in food and drink prices within the festival area making their purchase even prohibiting. However, we are really looking forward to next year, as SRF will celebrate its 30 years’ anniversary so we do expect one even greater festival.
Tills vi möts igen
Sweden Rock Festival 2023
June 7-8-9-10, 2023