Valkyrian Festival is an annual charity all-day event that takes place during November in Bridlington.
We caught up with organiser Nico to find out exactly what the festival involves – check it out below!
Could you introduce yourself to the readers of Soundscape?
Hi, I’m Nico, editor and amateur photographer for Valkyrian Music, PR for Aonia and Dames of Darkness, writer for various other ‘zines, a supposed poet and the grim northern bastard that organises the annual Valkyrian Festival. I’m also a cat lover.
Where did the idea for Valkyrian Festival come from?
The idea had been floating around my head for a while after I launched Valkyrian Music and then my Uncle Mick passed away from lung cancer, so I figured, what the hell, life’s too short to worry about the idea not being a success. So I got in touch with Darren Bunting – who is a brilliant promoter on the Hull scene – and he helped me organise the first one back in 2011 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
2014 is going to mark the fourth edition of the festival. What can fans expect from it this year?
Cheap beer. Mosh pits. Great bands. Y’know, the usual stuff. Well, that and three brilliant exclusive UK headlining performances from Cnoc An Tursa, Azylya and Ex Libris and the usual intimate feeling at the Valkyrian Festivals. Some great raffle prizes as well and a lovely weekend to blast away the winter blues.
I have some other bands to be announced as well and maybe a couple more European acts but I don’t wanna start dropping hints in case nothing gets confirmed – I’d rather not get anyone’s hopes up just yet.
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s festival?
Ooh, tough one. Really tough one. It’s hard to pick just one thing. I mean the headliners are gonna be absolute awesome ’cause they represent the best that their scenes have to offer. The crowd as well, it’s always good seeing people enjoy a show I put on and Valkyrian Festival is something special, so it’s always great to see people enjoying their time at it.
The other acts as well – especially Bharghest from Scarborough and Sakara since I’ve only seen her perform when she fronted Apparition at The Dames of Darkness Festival last year. Another thing I’m looking forward to as well is just seeing the hard work pay off. Last year’s was really tiring and left me and the head sound guy absolutely battered but it was well worth every knock in the mosh pit and running around like a headless chicken trying to sort out last minute problems.
What year would you say has been the best so far?
Last year I would definitely say was the best for far. People – both bands and fans – came from all around the country, which was really cool and there was even a couple who flew from Germany for the festival which was amazing. You never see that sort of dedication for a small festival, so that was really cool.
Any memorable or amusing stories from past events?
Definitely the couple from Germany coming across for last year’s event. Speaking of last year’s event, when Narcotic Death were playing Aonia’s keyboardist, Tim, had a staredown with Narcotic Death’s vocalist Alex. I wish I had took a photo now because it was amusing to watch.
But the first Valk-Fest back in 2011 will always hold a special place since it was the first one and I got the chance to work with some of my favourite bands on the underground scene such as Cryptic Age, XIII and Infernal Creation.
If you could get any band involved with the festival, who would you choose?
Ooh, another tough one. Can I pick more than one? No? Well, I’m gonna anyway.
My Dying Bride for definite and Leaves’ Eyes and of course, Iron Maiden and Behemoth. If I ever got the chance to have any of those four at Valk-Fest, I’d book them in a heartbeat.
If you could make an official Valkyrian Festival product, what would it be?
I’d say mugs and keyrings but I had a limited number of them made up last year. I still have one of each floating around the house somewhere.
Hoodies, t-shirts and hats are an obvious choice but I’d like to one day do like a limited edition Valkyrian Festival compilation CD, featuring all the bands that have played Valk-Fest or any of the ones that will be playing future Valk-Fests, or a mix of both.
But I think a Valkyrian Festival shield would be absolutely awesome! Screw it, I’m gonna try get a bank loan and get some produced!
Valkyrian Festival takes place from November 21-23 and features headline performances from Cnoc An Tursa, Azylya and Ex Libris, along with many more bands. Tickets are £15 and you can get them from here.