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Midgardsblot!

Midgardsblot is a viking and metal festival in Borre in Norway. The Borre mounds are home to viking findings, a feasting hall, and the Midgard cultural centre and exhibition space. This year’s festival was the third time it has been arranged, and it was my first visit as a stand/exhibitor.

It’s been one of the lovliest and most diverse festivals I’ve ever visited, with the most smiling and positive group of festival crew. Kudos to all the work hours they’ve laid down to make this such a memorable visit.

“Midgardsblot er et slags historiekollektiv. Her møtes lokale innbyggere, håndverkere, filmskapere, tatovører, lokale museumsfolk, musikere, bloggere, nerder, akademikere, kunstnere, reenactere, spirituelle og cosplayere, som alle formidler historisk kunnskap på sin måte. Slik blir publikum, artister, de frivillige og festivalarrangøren selv historiefortellere.”

This quote from Vicky Katarina Mikalsen’s article in Dagbladet sums up my festival experience on point. History nerds, music nerds, costume and re-enactement nerds, artists, crafts, tattoo artists and musicians from all over share their knowledge and their enthusiasm.

“Et viktig aspekt ved Midgardsblots historiefortelling er at vikingtida, både i fortid og i nåtid, er en flerkulturell affære. Det er også dagens metal.”

And this. This is something that warmes my heart. Music, history and art not seen from one perspective, but as something that evolves when people from different places can exchange their awesome. The article tapped right into the idea of how culture is created and is continually evolving.

Here is why I thought this was one of the best festivals ever:

They had proper signage. (Typo nerds)

They had room for so many different musical directions.

They had mead on tap.

They had Byrdi playing in the Viking tent stage close to our stand for us to enjoy while working. That we had the chance to see them several times was a huge bonus.

They had Sahg playing in bright sunshine – and a guy watching them with LUCIFER written at the back of his biker vest – in rainbow lettering.

They had a deco group that had made something for you to discover around every corner.

They had viking re-enactment camp. They had lots of people in costumes. Cosplayers, goth queens, vikings in full gear sporting inflatable unicorns to concerts.

They had metal yoga.

They had pulled pork. Proper pulled pork in the food goodie area.

They had Unleashed, Aura Noir and Moonsorrow.

They had history walks on the Borre mounds and panel debates about gender roles in the Viking era. They had a museum with some really good exhibits, and a Playmo viking ship model.

A throne and a giant Midgardsblot rune-logo built onto grass by the main stage.

The festival is just the right size. If you are not a fan of what’s on stage right there and then, there is other stuff to do. Other concerts, a viking playground, metal yoga, a strongwoman to compete with, and a viking tent stand village selling crafts, where you could stroll about or sit down by a camp fire and chat to other enthusiasts. Or visit Midgard museum and the surrounding area.

We are already planning next year’s visit.