The city of Hyvinkää in Finland joins the dark side halfway May, despite Summer being on the doorstep: Steelfest Open Air opens its doors and starts the Finnish festival season. After a year long wait and the interesting Winter edition named SteelChaos (for our report go here), on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th of May 2018 this is again the place to be for a healthy dose of the more underground and obscure side of the metal scene. The line-up consists out of some of the best national and international black, death and doom metal bands there are.
This year’s line-up showcases again a list of extreme metal bands that’ll get anyone with a love for the darker side of live very excited (or grim and frostbitten if that fits you better):
The headliners this year are definitely worth checking out. With on Friday the ever notorious Swedish black metal horde of Watain setting the outdoor stage on fire and setting the wolves of their latest release Trident Wolf Eclipse loose on us (for our review of the album go here). The indoor stage will be closed by the unconventional Norwegian Mortiis with their blend of black metal, industrial, synth and Goth aesthetics. On Saturday outside the pagans will rise on the tunes of Moonsorrow and on the indoor stage the festival will be closed by the exclusive show of the Hungarian outfit Tormentor, the breeding grounds of Attila, current vocalist of the legendary Mayhem.
Besides those there’s a wide selection of really interesting names of all spectrums of the extreme underground metal scene. One show you just can’t miss out on, is the very last public appearance ever of Finnish black metal institute Alghazanth. After 20 years of majestic black metal and 8 full-length releases, of which their latest at the end of March this year, they’re closing the curtains. A few more quick recommendations would be to start with the Japanese black metal band Cohol, another Asian band after the successful visit of Zuriaake last year, the international all female black metal coven Asagraum and the Scottish atmospheric folk/black metal band Saor. Or how about the Hinduism inspired epic black metal from Cult of Fire and avant-garde black/industrial metal from Dødheimsgard? I could go on for awhile still with such an impressive line-up, go on a discovery yourself!
On Friday the doors open at 15:00 and on Saturday they open at 13:00, both days closing at 2:00. New this year is several hours before the doors open and after the doors close, you can go to the local craftbeer bar Crafters for some good brews at the official pre- and after-parties. There’s no reason for you to not go, since the bar is barely a fart away from the festival grounds…
It takes about 30-40 minutes to get from Helsinki-Vantaa international airport to Hyvinkää. The venue itself is an old wool factory (Villatehdas, Kankurinkatu 4-6) in the center with a capacity of about 1500 visitors, about a good 10 minute walk from Hyvinkää’s railway station. There will be an indoor and outdoor stage set up in this gloomy and atmospheric environment, perfectly fitting the underground nature of the bands that are performing there.
To spend the night you have two options: either you get a combi ticket which includes accommodation set up by the organization themselves at a close-by school with security, showers, toilets and 24h access. You’ll have to bring your own mattress and sleeping bag though, but this might be the most interesting option for the budget traveler. On the other hand you could book yourself a room at a hotel for a few nights. I have to warn you though that the nearest hotel in Hyvinkää itself is hopelessly sold out by now. There are still options though in other cities that are quite easily reached by a train travel of 5-12 minutes.
Food & Drinks
Of course you’re not allowed to bring your own alcoholic beverages to the festival, security will check you on this. You are allowed though to bring an unopened, see-through plastic bottle of non-alcoholic drink or an empty plastic bottle per customer to fill up with water which should be freely available. Though, since the festival is limited to 18+ visitors, this is one of the few Finnish events you can actually take your (alcoholic) drinks you get at the bars with you to enjoy the show closer to the stage than usual at the indoor stage. Last year there was a bar section outdoors, but also the indoor stage had a bar set-up there. Be warned though: you might have to repeat your order a few times indoors due to the music blasting through the speakers…
For food you should have tons of options. Last year there were some really nice stands/food trucks present at the festival site with for instance more fancy (and in some cases spawned-from-the-depths-of-hell-spicy) burgers for reasonable prices. And if you’re not happy with the food that is offered on the festival grounds itself, the venue is conveniently located right across the mall which has several restaurants (also shops and ATM). And if you’re willing to take a 10 minute walk, you’ll find a McDonalds, Hesburger and Amarillo quite close-by the railway station… Be warned though: Steelfest has the one time entrance policy, so once you’re in you can’t just go back and forth!
Tickets are quite limited since there’s a capacity of only 1500 people at the venue. At the moment there are 2 options:
- A 2-day ticket for €91,5
- A combi ticket with 2-day pass and accommodation for €126,5 (still a some left)
- A single day ticket for €62,5
Get your tickets here.
We’re eagerly awaiting the darkness falling over Hyvinkää and hope to see you there…