It looks like the pandemic is over its peak and we’re getting back to something more like our usual life. Many people have died, our hearts go out to all of the families who suffered.
In the shadow of all this a lot has happened as well. Bands decided to call it a day, after all the struggles, venues which couldn’t handle the long time without events and had to close down. Festivalorganisations which suffered from financial issues and lots of spilled energy.
But now the darkness fades little lights are gaining strength and the feed the hope we can leave Covid behind us. One of this little lights is coming from France and it’s growing and gaining strength. Actually it has absorbed so much energy it will soon burst out and a beautiful festival will be held again and we can hardly wait experience live bands and festival atmosphere again. We had a little chat with Nathaniel of Golden Stone Events about the sunset of the new festival age, with a little bit ironic name: Dark Medieval Fest.
Hi, glad you’re back with Dark Medieval Fest. How do you feel about the last two years with cancelling the event, finding a new date and this bad experience again.
“Hi ! It’s a quite strange feeling… A part of me is very tired because to produce such a festival, to postpone it then to cancel it demands a lot of job and a big amount of energy have been lost in the past years ! But in another way, I am very excited to be back, to work once again on concrete things… And a last part of me is careful and a bit disappointed ! To find a new date was not simple because of all postponements and we have to check news from French government every week to be sure the festival can take place… In France, standing concerts will be back on February the 16th and it’s a good thing ! Wait & see what will happens, but lights are turning green one by one…”
This must have cost you money, is there any compensation in your country for these losses.
“Thanks to the Gods, cancellation took place before to much money was spent ! Just some flyers and posters, but nothing very expensive… We also have to cancel Borknagar & Saor last December and some people decided to help us not asking for refund! That’s great and it helps a lot because it seems fans are still a little bit afraid by buying tickets in these disturbed times… But feel confortable with that point, every body asking for refund, concerning Dark Medieval Fest or other gigs, will have it in time!”
How were the contacts with the bands during all this ?
“Every one involved was very solidary and comprehensive because the situation was the same worldwide, even worse in some countries… We, producers and bands, had no choice but to accept fatality! The more difficult was to deal with the city renting the venue because they have used Covid to cancel our contract and we have no more news since then… Perhaps we will try to contact them once again if the 2022 edition is a success!”
Did you have to change the line-up due to all this.
“We had 2 choices : to do the same festival as the cancelled one or to bring some new blood… Finally, we choosed to bring some new energy to Dark Medieval Fest ! New town, just next to Lyon (France), new venue (very professional one) and also many new bands… The idea is to dispatch the 2020 bands in the festival future editions! For example, in 2022, our line-up is composed of Infinityum (epic pagan-metal / France) and Ukanose (Baltic folk-metal / Lithuania), two bands saved from the cancelled edition… Be sure to meet some other bands from 2020 on the stage of next festivals! This new dynamic is a kind of gift to the fans but also to every body involed.”
Are there any restrictions during Dark Medieval Fest ?
“Nothing is sure 2 month before the festival, but it seems that vaccination pass will be asked to access the venue, and you will have to wear mask! But the audience will be standing and there will be no gauge… We hope to confirm that in one month or even one week before the fest! Unfortunatly, it does not depend on us but on French government and it can change at every time… We will keep any one updated on social medias of course!”
On the other side it must be a great feeling to have one of the first folk-metal events in the (let’s hope) the post Covid era. How does this feel ?
“If the festival takes place, I think it may have some success because people are waiting for this for years now… But we have to stay careful! In France, Cernunnos Pagan Fest in February have been postponed, so the way to victory is still long and hard… It could be a honour to open the path for all the majestic festivals after us, but for that, people have to forget their fears! Without presales, be sure that the battle will be lost… We need each other to meet once again around music and beer!”
What do you do to make this a(n extra) great experience.
“As this year is a very particular one with great uncertainty, we are not able to do everything we have in mind. For now, we are still waiting for the city to confirm or not our outdoor medieval market… So the only thing we can confirm is a huge pagan line-up ! We wanted something bigger for a bigger party and I think we have it…
INFINITYUM from France will present their brand new album « The War », as well as AKTARUM (Belgium) promoting their new one « Trollvengers » !
The one-man band BELORE from France will become a real band on the Dark Medieval Fest stage, presenting their amazing second album « Artefacts ». AORLHAC, also coming from France, is also promoting its latest album « Pierres Brûlées », as well as SELVANS (Italy) presenting their new EP « Dark Italian Art » with a totally new live configuration… Be sure to come and discover it on April the 2nd !
UKANOSE will cross Europe from Lithuania to promote their EP « kai griaudėjo miškai » and to present new songs from their upcoming new album. And finally, the 2 German bands XIV DARK CENTURIES and FINSTERFORST are coming to offer a pure lesson of Pagan-Metal… These bands are very rare in France, I am conviced that Dark Medieval Fest will be the place to be!
This year, I think the line-up is very strong but also not mainstream… It’s not only a French party, it’s a European pagan celebration for all people who suffered these last years ! Every body is welcome to celebrate Spring and renewal…”
Is there anything else you like to say to our readers ?
“I know many of you are still afraid or angry, but with your help, we can make it happens ! The venue will be safe, the bands are on fire, so time is no more a time to hesitate… The time has come to live real things with real people ! We are waiting for you…”
Facebook event to follow all news from the festival : https://www.facebook.com/events/501038541045996