As the legends go, summers for the mysterious and heavily psychedelic masked Swedish band Goat are traditionally full of hedonistic rituals and hectic revelations. And to help fulfil their higher callings this year the band, who hail from the village of Korpilombolo, will be making the long pilgrimage south to play this year’s Field Day festival in Hackney.
The group are planning to release their motley slew of musical influences, ranging from Nigerian afrobeat to German krautrock to rare groove Anatolian funk, in Victoria Park in an attempt to make you lose your shit. Or perhaps just your mobile. Either way, it’s bound to be emotional.
Whether you like their Hawkwind-influenced straight-outta-Jaipur riffing madness or their predilection for dialling ‘F for Fantasy’ it makes no difference. These dudes can get heavy and know how to rock. Which makes their hallucinatory cultish celebration of guitar music’s diverse manifestations one not to miss.
The Swedish set burst onto the scene with their stonking 2012 album World Music – released by London’s acclaimed Rocket Recordings – which captivated those curious about the band’s desire for anonymity as much as they were turned on by their astral rock. Subsequent albums on Rocket and Sub Pop have only succeeded in stoking the fires of their popularity and spread the word about their shamanistic brand of musical voodoo.
I wasn’t allowed anywhere near the four-strong band. Our communications were mediated via a remote third party, lodged deep underground within London’s nest of PR agencies. When their reply finally did arrive it was encrypted in a cloud of smoke and loaded with a heavy dose of prankster humour.
Through our proxy we did agree on one thing – which is that festivals are best when they get weird. And when I pressed them on their most intense festival experiences, they scurried off to assemble this holy grail of a list of their top five Swedish festivals you’ve definitely never heard of, let alone attended. It doesn’t get much more hip. Worship the Goat.
Top Five Festivals in Sweden
Kiviks Marknad, Skåne
Somewhere in Skåne in the south of Sweden this festival takes place. There are tivolis and a lot of different apples and pears. And they make cider from them in a very big wooden bowl. The diameter of it is almost 50metres! Every night at midnight people jump into it and drink and swim. And every morning they have to fish out two to four dead bodies from the bottom. This makes the festival one of the deadliest in the world. Around 40 people die every year. Tragic. Some of the bands who played last year were Mustach, Brolle Jr. and Little Jinder.
Dysberg Country Festival, Medelpad
In the beautiful woods of Medelpad this seven-week long festival is the only time and place every year where Swedes (and foreign visitors) are allowed to wear guns without licenses. There’s lots of line dancing and shooting contests. Bands who played last time were Jerry Williams, Sten & Stanley and Timbuktu.
Romedala Mud Eating Contest, Romedala
A horrible festival to visit as it takes place right in the middle of the rainy season when the weather of Romedala is at its worst. Rain, wind and darkness abound. And as the name suggests, it’s about eating the most mud! It’s organised as a tournament not far from a normal football tournament. But it’s not unusual that the two final teams are in any condition to compete after a week of swallowing a lot of mud. So the victory often happens on walk over. And if this wasn’t enough, the teams have to eat from the mud buckets inside saunas which can heat up to sweltering temperatures. Bands who played last year were Ultima Thule and First Aid Kit.
The Great Punk Clash, Skrotköping
Takes place every fifth year in Skrotköping. The organisers try to find as many punk bands as they can, it can be around 10,000 to 15,000 bands who squeeze together on eight stages in the city park over five days. I visited the Clash once and it was hard to hear which band was playing, but I enjoyed the sound of it. Also it serves only vegan food. Bands who played last time were Fittkukarna, Thåström, Frölunda Indians.
The Annual Celebration of Ageing, Jokkmokk
Takes place in August in Jokkmokk close to Dalälven as a two-day ancient festival where the oldest people of the town set the line-ups. There is a lot of hambo, spättekakor and rural art crafts from the villages around. The festival ends on a Sunday when the youngest generation of the town throws down the oldest from the ättestupa. This way they celebrate the end of one generation and the birth of a new. The famous Swedish folksinger, Ulf Lundell, normally plays the national anthem – Öppna Landskap – as a nice backdrop to the process. Other bands who played last year were Hasse Aro and Millencolin.