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. On Friday 19th and Saturday 20th of May 2017 this is 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. The fact that this takes place in what feels like the black metal capital of Finland when looking at the high percentage of black in Hyvinkää’s band population, makes it only the more interesting…
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):
If we really have to select a few bands from the list that we’d recommend to not miss, we’d start by mentioning a few of the bands that are actually hard to catch live this year. First of all we want to mention our very own Belgian Enthroned that has been around since the early nineties and puts down still an impressive show that this year only seems to have 3 “ceremonies” planned for now. The Finland exclusive show of Marduk is a definite must as well: being one of the prominent bands during the Swedish second wave of black metal, they’ve always brought chaos and destruction with their relentlessly fast and unwavering intense black metal. Staying for a bit with the older bands or pillars of black metal, don’t forget about the Norwegian Carpathian Forest who will close down the festival on Saturday with yet again an exclusive concert! Closing down the day before is Peste Noire, the French outfit that has been the center of a lot of (rather stupid and ignorant) actions against them playing live. We can only laud how proud they are on their country and heritage and love the musical compositions they create every single time…
A shout-out to a few Finnish bands we can only recommend you check out: the ever impressive Sargeist from Horna-founder Shatraug and Behexen that has been around for about 20 years and are still going strong. We also can’t forget the American-based Nightbringer, who released a mind-blowing impressive piece of black metal just a few weeks ago! Of course there are many other great bands to see and discover, but I’m sure you can figure out the rest for yourself…
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. The doors open at 16:00 on Friday, so you can just straight away go after work to let loose and work out all the past week’s frustrations at Steelfest! On Saturday the doors open not even 12 hours after the doors close on Friday: you’ll be able to get in at 13:00. Gates close (and the festival ends) that day at 02:00 after what will surely have been a mind-blowing event.
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. 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. I’ve heard that 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…
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 €88 + €3,5 service fee
- A combi ticket with 2-day pass and accommodation for €123 + €3,5 service fee (completely sold out by now)
Get your tickets here.
Single day tickets might get available closer to the festival, depending on how good the 2-day tickets have sold by then. So if you’re not willing to engulf yourself in awesome dark and extreme music for the full 2 days, keep an eye out for possible offers on Steelfest’s Facebook page!
We’re eagerly awaiting the darkness falling over Hyvinkää and hope to see you there…