Midgardsblot is a folk and metal festival taking place in Borre, right next to Northern Europe’s largest grave mounds from the Germanic Iron Age and the Viking Age. This year, it took place over August 16th through 19th.
Next to the festival area is Midgard Vikingsenter, in which during the festival attendees could listen to lectures on Vikings’ history, traditions, metalworks, battles, and many more, as part of the Mimir Talks. There is also a rebuilt Vikings’ Gildehall, which turns into one of the stages during the festival. There is also a Viking village, Folkvangr, on the festival grounds and many visitors are dressed in traditional Viking clothes. Ceremonies and Viking battles are held every day of Midgardsblot.
The last day of the festival began by watching a performance of HINDARFJÄLL. HINDARFJÄLL turned out to be a very positive surprise, having never heard this band before. At the end of their performance, Johan Hegg, lead singer of AMON AMARTH, joined them on stage to perform the song “Laerads Limum.” The next band was the Icelandic post-punk trio, KÆLAN MIKLA, followed by BORKNAGAR on the main stage. ZEAL & ARDOR played, among others, “Blood in the River” and “Devil Is Fine” from their breakthrough album, “Devil Is Fine,” which has been named one of the best albums of the year 2017 by many publications. Probably the element that makes their performance so impressive is the backing vocals that make the sound even bigger. The audience was delighted with their performance, cheering a long time after the last song ended. The last band to play on the main stage was HEILUNG, who did not play an ordinary concert but gave an almost theatrical show. Light mist and branches made the scene look like a forest and the band’s warriors made the performance looks like a real ceremony. HEILUNG created the unique sound of early medieval northern Europe by using bones, ancient drums, and percussion, among other elements. HEILUNG’s performance on Midgardsblot was a final goodbye to the live performance of the “Futha” album and a welcome to the new album “Drif” that was released on August 19th.
Midgardsblot is undoubtedly one of the most interesting festivals in Europe. See you next year, Bloters!
Photos by Aleksandra Majak