Blowup Vol. 4

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Blowup festival vol.4, the 2018 edition of the festival, organised by Blow Up That Gramophone. What a line-up! With these names we could only decide to attend this event and enjoy several of the biggest doom and sludge bands on these days, among other less-expected choices in the scene. We have been blown away for 3 days in Helsinki’s Korjaamo venue.

Overall Day 1 Day 2 Afterparty show

When arriving at the venue at first, the reason for the organisation to offer earlier pick-up of our bracelets became quickly apparent: the row of waiting people grew steadily. Once the security got into their groove, that line was fortunately worked away quickly. Time to explore the festival area! After passing the entry hall, we arrived in the dark bigger concert hall “Vaunusali” (which means carriage-hall). At first maybe a bit confusing when you only see a bar on the side, the mix panel and big curtains on all sides. It quickly became clear though that at the far end of the room the curtains were hiding the actual stage. A nice extra touch was the projection of the band logo’s and other visuals on that curtain. Originally the venue was a factory, maybe that explains the name and the multiple steel constructions on the sides of the walls in the hall.

To get to the second, smaller stage called “Kulmasali” (corner-hall), you had to exit the building in one of the corners to go through a sort of passageway outside, and enter the building across the square. This was also where you could find the smoking area. At first it was a bit of a disaster between shows when everyone got outside, but the organisation quickly decided to expand the smoking area, creating more room and thus having a better passage between the shows. When getting to the other building you entered a well-lit area where the band merch and other vendors were gathered for us to spend our money on. Occasionally you could see some of the band members show up there as well, to hang out with colleagues or fans or just sell some merch. An actually perfect location for such endeavors with its relative quietness and brightness. In the one corner you could access a bar/restaurant that was reserved for the festival and where you could find some good beers (like a craftbeer from Tempel Brygghus) and incredibly tasty looking (black!) burgers and other dishes. The other corner held the entrance to the “Kulmasali” stage that more often than not was overfull. A pity sometimes that it was a bit too tiny a room to hold all the interested people, but that was actually a minor annoyance.

Overall the experience at the festival was great. The biggest part of the visitors were actually there for the music and not to get wasted, the atmosphere was great and friendly. There were great bands and artists to be discovered in the sludge, doom and stoner scene, as well as some bands that didn’t completely fit that description – a courageous decision on the organisation’s part. Besides that, you could go see some artsy movies at the attached movie theater if you wanted a break from the music.  They also offered a spot to a couple of local artists to show off their work. I’ve heard this being said more than once, and I have to agree with it: this is a mini version of Roadburn Festival and is a great event in the making. Keep up the good work! Continue to the next pages to read more about the bands…