Urkult is a Music Festival organized in North Sweden, in the small village of Näsåker: the last edition took place from the 1st to the 3rd of August in a place known to the Human Race since millennia, in fact it has been possible to admire near the Festival site ancient rock carvings, dating back around 5000 years ago.
The name of the event derives from the union of the Swedish words Ur and Kult, the composed expression ( Urkult ) means Cult of the Origins. All this has been done in order to honour the sacredness of such a place…numerous prehistoric engravings are carved on the rocks adjacent to the waterfall of Nämforsen. And the symbol of the event depicting a boat also was chosen from one of those ancient carvings.
The cultural happening takes place in a beautiful park and the atmosphere is one of the most welcoming and relaxed one could imagine. Before the festival area there are numerous stalls selling various handicrafts, and once inside the festival grounds you find yourself immediately in front of a colourfully decorated environment: wooden stalls serving organic and fair-trade food, a main stage, a smaller stage, and a splendid wooden cottage used as a Folk Ballroom.
Urkult first Act is the Fire Ceremony held in a sort of natural amphitheater: when the Ice Age ended, the glaciers which were covering Sweden while retreating created here a recess in the ground surrounded by gentle slopes that closely resembles a theater with tiers all around. In this ancestral place fire-juggling performances and some theatrical improvisation welcome visitors on the night of the first day of the festival with sacred and intimate atmospheres.
Just to name a few, in this edition the audience listened to: the Alternative Rock sounds of MaidaVale, Rap about social and political issues by the Familjen Kaos, energetic Hip Hop Reggae rhythms of Mamma Dunder, aural songs of the acclaimed Sami-born artist, Mari Boine, Hard Folk Rock of the band that played at the first edition of the festival, the Hoven Droven, frantic Reggae rhythms of the Svenska Akademien and even an intense concert with a harsh political background by the internationally known Pussy Riot !
At Urkult Festival the entertainment offer is really vast, there are concerts, poetry slams and typical Swedish Folk Dances executed in a cousy ballroom which can go on even late into the night. There are also presentations and speeches, in the last edition Masha from Pussy Riot gave a touching speech about his experience as a political-humanitarian activist in Russia that lasted more than a hour.
It is also a cultural event open to all, every age group is represented, there is a young and festive audience but there are also many families and for this reason activities that focus specifically on the little ones are available. The motto of the festival is to succeed in giving life to an event aimed at all types of audiences and all “types of ears”.
To conclude, the surrounding nature is gorgeous and the area of the campsite just as much, it is simply a joy of the senses to wake up in the morning lulled by the delicate water splash of the Nämforsen waterfalls which resonates in the distance: To get up here it is possible to take a seat on the dedicated train or buses of the Festival which depart from Stockholm, a rather cheap and pleasant solution with music being played by festival goers throughout the trip!
If you want to celebrate the Cult of the Origins of Humanity surrounded by ancestral rock carvings and good music, come to the North of Sweden, to Urkult Festival.
Written and Translated by Gerardo Iannacci