Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Sometimes in life, feelings come back to you.

Back in the 70s, in my home town of Arvika, Sweden, some clever friends of mine started an alternative music festival. Festivals were the 'in thing' then - as they indeed still are. In the 70s, they were even more so, if they were anti commercial and alternative. ABBA was not an option, as it were.

The Viksholmen festival was just about as alternative as it got. It took place on a little peninsula 'extension' from a public park - accessible only by a small strip of land. The public footpath took you to a small place with fur trees, stones and a natural, arena style stage - as made for a good gig or two.

From Viksholmen, you could look back across our small lake, to the town itself with its street lights reflections shining yellow in the water. I remember thinking it looked just like pictures I had seen of New York's skyline. (Yeah right...) Many summer nights were spent there with friends, during long nordic summer nights which never got dark. Music, guitars, open fire, midge bites, singing together, love and.. refreshments. We only went home once the next day newspaper delivery boys had come out and the birds had started to twitter. 

The Festival was a big thing. Alternative rock bands from all over Sweden came to perform at this little stage, revellers gathered from far afield and special T-shirts were made. Wow. Huge.

I remember the excitement I felt somewhere deep down in my guts. A fantastic, pioneering feeling.

Since then, new generations have taken over. The Viksholmen festival is still going, but its bigger brother The Arvika Festival has just finished another successful event with 22,500 tickets sold and Depeche Mode as their main attraction. 

But, as I'm now living far away from Viksholmen and Arvika - I recently realised you can get that feeling in your guts again. I don't think age has got anything to do with it. You either feel it - or you don't. 

I did, when listening to Blur in Hyde Park last Friday. Song 2 hit me stright in solar plexus. 
Wooo hooo!

1 comment:

  1. I would like to recite a poem of the famous bard from Arvika Jan Sandström: "Fleckas ögon var mörka långt bort i horisonten hördes körka. Där satt jag med en kasse öl då kom du din djefla töl. Vikshölmen en lördag kväll"