1. Be part of history / The celebrations
This year’s edition is a very special one during which they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary! And with a bang, extending the usual 2 days of underground metal to a probably exhausting but exhilarating 4 days of some of the best the underground scene has to offer. With tons of special shows, guests and activities like the “Sunday bacchanal” that is basically a big BBQ party with a full pig and an exclusive pre-listening of Satanic Warmaster‘s upcoming new album and Sunday’s free “Steel & Fire” event that gathers some of the best blacksmiths from Finland to show off their crafts!
2. Legendary bands & special shows
It wouldn’t be a Steelfest event if there weren’t exclusive and special shows by legendary bands from the underground metal scene. And this year is no different. Take Finnish death metal Tenebrae playing their first live show in 25 years with a special “Dysanchelium 30 years” set, the Australian wolf pack of Deströyer 666, Brazilian Mystifier‘s Beelzeebubth dropping by to play ‘Wicca‘ and ‘Göetia‘, Sarcófago tracks and more, the special French gathering A.M.S.G. that will play a tribute to the 90’s French black metal scene with some mysterious special guests, Inquisition coming back to the stage for the first time since long, the return of the Finnish black/thrash outfit Hellboozer Union which was 1 of the first bands they contacted back in the day for the very first Steelfest a decade ago, Alfahanne from Sweden who mix black metal with rock, punk and rock ‘n’ roll branding their music as “apocalyptic rock” and the legendary Taake closing the festival weekend with the “Noregs Vaapen – 10 Aars Jubileum” set.
3. The true underground
Steelfest wouldn’t be Steelfest if they wouldn’t bring an impressive array of underground artists to the table. They manage to find some bands that have been around for a long time and have a cult status while also keep an eye on what’s new and promising from all over the world. Take bands like Ars Veneficium from Belgium, the Serbians of The Stone, Germany’s Sarkrista and Totenwache, the infamous Polish Graveland and their countrymates of Infernal War, Greek black metal with Impenetrable Darkness and Acherontas, Swiss industrial black from Borgne, French black metal with Gorgon, Cènotaphe and Osculum Infame besides the A.M.S.G. tribute act, North America representation with the US black/death outfit Morbosidad, the by Mexico’s lore inspired Maquahuitl and Canadian black outfit Akitsa and South America with Mystifier‘s Beelzeebubth and Columbian black/thrash legends of Blasfemia and Inquisition, Nordic visitors from Denmark (Denial Of God), Norway (Slagmaur & Taake) and Sweden (Alfahanne & Valkyrja), Portuguese Corpus Christii with a brand new album coming along, Italy’s Mortuary Drape, UK’s The Order Of Apollon and last but not least the international acts Iku-Turso and Doedsvangr!
4. Finnish black metal scene
As is tradition with most Finnish festivals, there is a good amount of attention and place in the spotlight for the local music scene. And Steelfest is of course no different, which makes it even more interesting since the Finnish black metal scene has had some impressive acts and still produces new and exciting projects all the time! Going from legends like Horna, Azazel, Satanic Warmaster, Sargeist and Antimateria, more recent cult acts like White Death, Aegrus, Warmoon Lord, Chamber Of Unlight, Morgal, Blood Chalice and Kalmankantaja and brand new promising projects like Malignament, Commander Agares and Mist From The Mountains. That makes for a good quarter of the total line-up and very exciting for the Finnish black metal aficionados under us.
5. The atmosphere
For those who haven’t been to any of their events yet before, a “gathering of wolves from the underground” means a setting with quality live music from start to finish, and while there will be most likely some knuckleheads that think it’s funny to throw a “Sieg heil”, it’s a welcoming place for all walks of life and a feeling of coming home to your extended family. The security is incredibly friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed despite the rather dark tunes blasting from the speakers and there are tons of drink, food and merch options. And in normal circumstances, you’ll find most of the bands popping up on the festival terrain to meet up with friends, check out other bands’ shows and get their drinks on.
6. The low amount of damage
The price of their tickets have always been very reasonable, especially when you look at the quality they have to offer for it. You can get a 1-day ticket for the easy price of about 73€ and if you want to go wild and go for several days, a 2-day ticket will get about 109€, a 3-day ticket about 179€ and a full 4-day ticket about 189€ out of you. Knowing that also the drink and food options are quite reasonably priced for an expensive country like Finland, what is holding you back still?
And if you really want to burn through more money, you can be rest assured, there will be very interesting merch to be found there. Every year, besides the official festival shirt, you’ll find some exclusive band merch that you won’t find anywhere else but at the official festival merch booth. But plenty of other vendors and even labels will show up with some of their best materials for you to buy. Better get ready to open that wallet up… and remember: “Cash is King”