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What happens in Bråvalla stays in Bråvalla

Not to say that anything bad would be happening there, of course. It’s a festival, what do you expect? It was my first, though, so I wasn’t really sure. But what a first festival it was.

Living in a tent in a massive field in the middle of nowhere with over 50,000 other music-lovers really brings some perspective to life. There were moments when I wondered why I was paying to be here at all, and others when I wanted to stay for another week instead of our Wednesday-to-Sunday stretch. 

And then there was the music, which made every discomfort worth it.

Imagine Dragons on our one sunny day


I saw a total of 22 bands over the course of 3 days – many more than the number of live shows I’ve seen in recent years. There truly is something incredible about seeing live music, whether the sun is shining brightly as it did on our first day, or torrential rainstorms are matched with hurricane-level gusts of wind, like they were on Friday. 

our post-storm, pre-dismantle party tent

Despite heroic efforts (and lightening shocks!), our party tent didn’t really survive the storm. But we just piled on more layers (somewhat damp by then) and tramped through the debris-filled mud pits in our wellies.

I won’t tell you all the bands I saw, but I will list my top three:

– Imagine Dragons – a surprise, as I thought I was sick of them
– The Kooks – what’s not to love?
– and Veronica Maggio – featuring a surprise duet with the legendary Håkan Hellström (like Sweden’s Bob Dylan (right, Swedes? or?)) – can’t get enough of her (Veronica, that is), whether or not I understand all of her lyrics


Despite such an amazing festival, it was also wonderful coming home. And taking a shower. My first in 5 days. I went down to Bråvalla expecting to at least wash my face every day, but soon realized brushing my teeth was all I was likely to do in terms of hygiene. And that was okay. Everyone’s in the same boat of uncleanliness at a festival, especially after making it through a storm like the one we experienced. There was a feeling of camaraderie afterwards; that we’d made it together.

Sometimes we all need to live a little – grab some beers, pitch a tent with good friends, and listen to some incredible tunes.

One Comment

  1. What a team!! I recognize those faces! So glad you were safe despite the mud and rain and lightening!

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