6 reasons why you should go to Desert HEL 2022

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There is Desertfest Antwerp, Berlin, London,… but nothing of the sorts in Finland despite a pretty active stoner/psychedelic/doom scene. Time to change something about that, some people were clearly thinking. Enter the first ever Desert Hel festival for the heaviest stoner and doom music from Finnish shores and beyond. It promises to be a weekend full of loud & fuzzy shows, craft beer and psychedelic visuals and hopefully the start of a new yearly tradition after having to postpone it several times due to the pandemic! If that's not enough to convince you, here are 6 reasons why you should head over to Helsinki if you can:

1. Be part of history & support a new organization

Like we mentioned already, this festival is the first attempt to make Helsinki a desert city. While we’ve had festivals like Blowup where you could find some stellar stoner/doom bands, there hasn’t really been one that focused solely on the typical fuzz and psychedelics that go along with a so-called desert rock sound. The line-up reminds us somewhat of the massively popular international festival franchise that is Desertfest and getting something going in that direction for Helsinki is something to celebrate and support for sure!

They’ve had a couple of tough years since they tried to have this festival the first time already back in 2020, but we all know what happened there… So we feel strongly about the importance of supporting this young organization after all the postponing and changes, in the hope that it really would be the start of a yearly appointment in our agenda!

2. Get a first taste of the festival season

In Finland, the festival season usually gets a start already in late April – early May with a combination of smaller indoor festivals and some bigger in- and outdoor ones who challenge the unpredictable weather every year. We’re talking about festivals like the celebration of punk and all that is related at HVNK PNKRCK (happening the same weekend) or the infamous underground black/death/doom festival Steelfest (happening a couple of weeks later, celebrating their anniversary). With Desert Hel it seems we’re getting another addition to the small collection of events that are aiming to give you an early start of the festival season, get back into the groove before the summer properly starts!

3. International heavy hitters

Every night of the fest will be crowned by an international act to wrap things up with a bang, and both of the bands are no small names for those who are into this brand of rock!

On Friday we see the return to Finland of the vintage occult-inspired heavy rock outfit Lucifer from Sweden/Germany. Which will also be the first time back in Finland since the release of their latest album ‘Lucifer IV’, so besides some of their classic hits you can expect plenty of kickass new tracks to be played live! After the sold-out shows of The Hellacopters in Tavastia last week, it’ll be fun to see their vocalist Nicke Andersson behind the drumkit again! And let’s not forget about the enigmatic vocalist Johanna Sadonis running away with a big chunk of the attention.

On Saturday the Norwegians of Lonely Kamel are back in Finland as well, from what we’ve gathered it’s been quite a while since the psychedelic heavy blues, hard rock and stoner outfit had graced a stage there. As you could’ve guessed already, you can expect an engaging mixture of blues, grooves and proper rockin’ out that’ll go along perfectly with your beer or stronger booze. It also seems like it’s been a handful of years since they last released a new record, maybe they’ll have some new music to share with us already? A band to be looking forward to regardless!

4. Finnish doom, psych & stoner

Finland is a country that has many sides and colors within the very vibrant metal and rock scene. One of them is a diverse and strong collection of stellar doom metal, psychedelic rock and stoner/sludge bands. Somehow the bogs have had a similar effect like the swampy Southern and dry desert parts of the US, resulting in top tier music. Every Desert Hel night will bring 3 local, Finnish acts for you to enjoy:

On Friday the heavy psych trio Jupiter will kick off the festival as the first band ever at the first ever Desert Hel festival, while Craneium will ramp up the amount of fuzz with their more doomy sound and you can expect quite a couple of track of their in 2021 released third album ‘Unknown Heights‘ and heavy hitting doom/stoner act will set up a perfectly haunting doomy atmosphere for main act Lucifer to take over!

The Saturday will be kicked off with a decent amount of heaviness with the more metal “heavy sultans” of Khat Moses with only just having released their debut album ‘Decadence‘ last year! The night will continue strongly and ramp up the pace with the high energy and velocity fuzz and stoner from Kaiser to get us all going, while Thermate, blending the heavily bluesy and doomy 70’s proto metal with a more modern 90’s stoner and desert rock sound, will take over getting the room hot and steamy just before the last remaining acts!

5. The return of the prodigal sons

We totally didn’t see this coming, but there will be a pretty major comeback at the first edition of Desert Hel! Back in 2019, the highly promising bluesy heavy rock outfit Blue Eyed Sons called it quits out of nowhere. We always liked what these 4 guys were doing, being inspired by classic rock bands like The Doors and Led Zeppelin while giving their own modern and personal touch to the whole and were pretty sad about the loss. But it seems like the pandemic possibly have given them a bit of an urge to do something together again and they will most likely blow the roof off as the sub headliner of Saturday night! We’re all there for it and can’t wait to see them absolutely kill it!

6. Perfect location & low cost

The cellar of On The Rocks, for those who haven’t been there yet, is the perfect setting for hot & sweaty concerts. When the bands get everyone really going and the crowd fills up the room, you can feel, taste and smell the rock ‘n’ roll in the air. And what could be better for a young festival that aims to turn Helsinki into a “desert city” with the hottest fuzz, doom, stoner and psych acts? Add to that the easiness to get to the bar as it’s right next to Helsinki central station right across the square, and the nice selection of craft beers and other drinks inside, what is holding you back still?

If you were about to say “money”, look at the price for these nights… with €27/€30 for a single night and €50 for the whole weekend, you’re basically paying around €5 per band. That’s just no money in our books! So go ahead and take out that wallet, bank card or mobile pay app, support a young, budding and passionate organization and go get your tickets still here: https://www.tiketti.fi/desert-hel-2022-on-the-rocks-helsinki-lippuja/65169

We can’t wait for these 2 nights of excellent music to take us away on a psychedelic trip of stoner, doom and desert sounds and hope to see you there as well!

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