The time we spent in Bergen was brief and brought up a question for me: how can a place as beautiful and serene as Bergen contribute so much to the development of black metal? I think there is such a strange relationship between the two but Bergen was full of similar dichotomies.
The difference between Oslo and Bergen was striking. Where Oslo is more refined and modern, Bergen still feels very much like a small fishing port with a sense of old school class. Another thing that added to Bergen’s long-established feel were the goats roaming around in the green areas.
Despite Bergen’s traditional ambiance, it is home of one of Norway’s biggest contemporary music events: Bergenfest. Bergenfest began as a festival for American, country and folk music but has since gravitated toward more rock and punk music acts.
All the classic trailblazers and up-and-coming musicians are housed within an ancient fortress, this only adds to the strange relationship between Bergen’s past and present. I think this notion of past a present can also be applied to the festival’s headliners.
Take Liam Gallagher for example, who found fame through his Britpop band Oasis. Now Gallagher is pursuing a solo career. During his set during the Wednesday of Bergenfest, Gallagher’s past work and music to be released in the future merged into one performance. The same can be said for Richard Ashcroft, who rose to fame through his band The Verve before he began making music solo.
Bergenfest was my first time taking photos in the pit and dealing with real security at a music event, which proved to be interesting. I never would have thought I’d have the opportunity to photograph a superstar of such status as Gallagher.