BEYOND THE GATES 2021 – Interview
BEYOND THE GATES 2021 – interview with Torgrim Øyre
Revelations Music | Beyond the Gates
In the hectic times for the events industry all over the world, the big hearts of Beyond the Gates festivalin Bergen have found the energy and resources to go for a shortened edition, with only Norwegian bands, taking bplace in Bergen the coming weekend. We don’t think it’s humanly possible ot understand the implications of replanning everything so many times and therefore we got ahold of the organizers and sent over some questions. We surely cross our fingers that this will go as planned and they will get to see some of those beautiful smiles of a happy audience. And gain some new strengths to go on putting together this lovely event in Bergen.
Yeah, finally! Who would have thought? I guess we’re a bit on the fence about doing something this year due to all the uncertainty, but things started to fall in place and all of a sudden things started to look a bit brighter again, so we figured – why not give it a shot this year?
Obviously there’s some limitation and we can’t go full cap, but we managed to get together a great line-up consisting of Norwegian bands only in a very short time and here we go. I guess it’s good for us as an organization too to be able to do something in order to keep the machine going. Two years without putting on shows could make things a bit rusty, so I guess you could say that this is a good way to hone the craft, so to speak.
You guys organize one of the most beloved festivals for extreme metal in this part of the world. For the past year, you went from ‘yes, it will happen. No it will not happen. But it will. But it will not’ to ‘ok, it will happen, but only with this and this and this compromise’. Can you let us understand the toll this takes from the point of view of an event organizer?
It’s difficult to put it mildly, especially since this year we were supposed to pull off the biggest edition of them all. Five days, three venues, including Grieghallen, which is a massive step up for us. Most of the festival was already sold out, bar some day tickets here and there. But then again, you’ve sort of learned to live with the uncertainty. You take things as they come and solider on. Luckily we’ve managed to secure most of the bands for next year, so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed for better weather next year. And we have some great things up our sleeve for next year too that aren’t announced yet.
I can only briefly imagine that besides the refunding for the festival attendees, there’s so many other costs and contracts involved in having a festival. How has the logistics of that worked out for you?
We’ve been lucky so far. We’ve kept the majority of the line-up from both postponements and managed to add some exciting bits and pieces to the current line-up it as well, so in that regard we have been fortunate. More on that soon!But obviously there’s shit loads of extra work that comes with it. We’ve been receiving some support from the government as well so we manage to keep things afloat.
It’s all complicated stuff. We don’t know what we will get for 2021, but the word has been that there will be some sort of support for the festivals to cover their running costs, so we’ll see what happens with that.
What are the new challenges added to the organization of the event this year, given all the rules…but most of all, given the fact that they seem to change so often? What is it that you already know you’ll have to do in terms of safety for both crowd and artists?
The biggest challenge is the uncertainty – you never know what’s around the next corner, but it looks like there’s some sort stability now. We opted to expand the capacity by doing rapid testing and using the corona certificate for entry. Obviously that’s a lot of extra work, but we’ve been so fortunate to get help from people that has done this for major sports events, so we’ll just have to deal with whatever is thrown at us. The festival is smaller than usual and we have a good team that’s been around for many years now, so I’m sure we’ll be fine.
I believe you decided to go for Norwegian artists only. I guess the risk of messing it all up with booking international artists was too big?
Yeah, we opted for Norwegian bands only to avoid closed borders and all that business. In fact most of the bands are locals from Bergen.
That’s easy – we really like what we’re doing and doing a down scaled event is better than doing nothing at all. We feed of the enthusiasm from the artists and the crowd and I think everyone is really happy that something will happen this year too, so it’s a win – win. The core of next years festival is already in place, so now most of the focus is to build everything that will happen around the festival. It will be a lot more than only concerts on a stage. It will be the complete package.
Have you attended any events since the restrictions have been lowered? How did that feel?
It was very strange to begin with. Everyone sitting down far from each other. But you get used to it after a while even though there’s obviously something missing – the energy from the crowd, being the most notable one. We’re lucky that we are allowed to have a standing audience and I’m sure that will solve that problem.
Additional tickets for Beyond the Gates: Uprising on sale NOW!
2 Day Pass: https://tinyurl.com/43hzxt6n
Friday Aug 06:
Saturday Aug 07
Due to new regulations from the government we are allowed to increase the capacity if the audience can provide a A ) covid certificate OR B ) a valid quick test.
How does this work?
If you’ve had the first shot of the covid vaccine in Norway, you will get a green light after three weeks.
Read more here: https://www.helsenorge.no/…/about-covid-19-certificate/
If you don’t have a corona certificate, a quick test is the other option. These can be performed several places around the city. We will also provide a quick test option where you can perform a test free of charge. More details on exact location for this will follow shortly. It will either be centrally on or on site.
PS! If you are coming from outside Norway, it is your own responsibility to keep track of border restrictions and if you are allowed to travel to the country or not.