5 reasons to go to Desert Hel 2024

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The summer festival season starts early in Finland with Desert Hel, a stoner rock and doom metal festival that has been going on for several editions already and has become a valued part of the Helsinki event scene. With it offering a rather unique collection of great bands within a genre that isn't as often pushed within Finland, reminiscent of what the much bigger Desertfest events do in Belgium, Germany and the UK, it has quickly turned into a yearly appointment for the lovers of the genre. But if you still need a bit convincing to go to Desert Hel 2024 from April 19th-20th, let us give you a handful of reasons why you should attend this year:

1. Line-up: great Finnish selection

Straight from the very first edition back in 2022, the organization managed to impress with a damn solid lineup within the realm of stoner music. Featuring mostly Finnish acts and topping it with headliners from other countries seems to be a successful formula and they are very much sticking to that. You can find some of the top of the Finnish scene again with 8 domestic bands spread over the 2 nights.

On Friday you’ll find Heezer from South Karelia opening, a stoner rock born out of a jam session during the frustrating global situation 4 years ago. Still quite new of a band, they’ve gathered a lot of praise already with their releases and sounds like a not to be missed band, so show up early! Followed by Orbiter, a Helsinki band that has a more doom metal approach to their stoner rock and have a great reputation as a live act through their atmospheric shows over the past couple of years. Continuing with an impressive atmosphere, the Tampere rock band Polymoon will take over the stage next, blending psychedelic rock, prog and shoegaze into an absolutely unique sound. They’ll take you on quite the ride live with an energetic performance, bringing a rollercoaster of emotions to the crowd. And the last Finnish band to blow minds on the first night of the event will be Kairon; IRSE! A modern psych and space rock outfit that has impressed people all over the world the past decade, being heralded as rising stars of psychedelic post-rock!

The Saturday starts with a trip through the galaxy with the Tamperean space rock trio Skyjoggers, followed by what could be rude awakening coming from the industrial metal band Dome Runner, who we’ve experienced before and are an absolutely oppressive force of nature that will blow you away if not completely disintegrate you where you stand. Mansion will take it back to that still intense, but more chill doom metal/cult rock atmosphere with some impressive compositions and arrangements. And before the headliner of the night, we’ll get a serving of more rootsy rock music with the Helsinki based band Maan Tomu, a project filled with talented musicians that should result in an amazing performance.

And if you didn’t get your fill yet by the time the headliner of Saturday ends, you can stick around for One Inch Band who will be covering the legendary Kyuss in a late night after party performance!

2. Line-up: visitors from abroad

As mentioned before, every edition of Desert Hel has some killer bands from outside of Finland to headline each event day. The first edition we got Lucifer and Lonely Kamel, last year they brought in Skraeckoedlan and Greenleaf, and for this edition they managed to impress again with 2 stellar bands!

On Friday, we are visited by the Italian doom rock outfit Messa, who has only released a couple of albums but have had an impressive rise within the scene. Especially their latest studio album from 2022 ‘Close‘ put a spell on people all around the world and their performances at festivals like Hellfest, Roadburn and Desertfest were quite frequently named as one of the best of the event by whoever attended. The fact that Desert Hel managed to bring this collective to Finland deserves high praise.

And this year’s Desert Hel will be finished with a proper bang, bringing in the Swedish groovy, stoner rockers of Truckfighters. These Swedes know how to create the perfect desert rock anthems, and even the legendary Josh Homme from Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age named them “the best band that ever existed”. They’ve been together for over 2 decades, and it shows in their gigs, killing it every single time with their fuzzy sound that’ll slap you around until you move to the grooves. This will also be the first Helsinki show in 8 years for these stoner rock legends, so you better not miss out!

3. Location

The earlier editions of Desert Hel took place at On The Rocks, a quite well-known venue in the middle of Helsinki center that turned very smoky, steamy and sweaty on the fuzz from all the stoner and related rock that was played in front of a packed room. This time around, they changed venues and moved their operations to the urban event venue Tiivistämö, a somewhat bigger location and while a bit further away from the center, will take you to an area from Helsinki that is very much alive for the alternative music scene. The venue itself is easily reachable by public transport since it’s only a handful of minutes walking away from REDI shopping mall, and is actually the place where Tuska festival hosts their Tuska KVLT stage the past couple of editions. It has a nice bar attached to it on the side, where you can go and chill out if you feel the need to be a bit further away from the music and crowd, and they usually have a really nice selection of drinks to pick from!

4. Damage

For an event that offers 5 excellent bands every night, featuring the top of the Finnish stoner/doom rock and metal scene and bringing in international headliners that you haven’t had the chance to see live in Helsinki for quite some time, the price of the tickets makes it quite the good deal!

For a 1-day ticket you only pay 42,50 € (sadly, you won’t be able to get a Saturday ticket anymore since those are completely sold out) and for a 2-day ticket you’ll only have to cough up 75 €! That is 7,5 € per band, if you’re a fan of the genre, how is that not a steal?

Go get your tickets here still! But don’t wait too long, they’re going fast!

5. Atmosphere

The atmosphere of this little event is simply amazing. People from all around gather to enjoy the hazy, fuzzy and often groovy music and straight from the very first edition back in 2022 it felt like a bit of a family. People who wanted to chill, hung out more in the back or around the bar, giving space to the people who were up for some serious partying. Nothing was a must besides having a good time. So if you need a place to brighten up your week, and have the most amazing weekend, there is one place to be: Desert Hel 2024!

If you need to get in the mood still, the people of Desert Hel put together a very tasty playlist on Spotify, which you can find here.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DesertHel/

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