Sunn O))) to curate Roadburn Festival 2011
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As I've said before, I'm not into festivals. Lineups with millions of bands don't impress me. In fact, they depress me. In my perfect world, no show would have more than three bands. My best concert memories are of single bands, not jumbles of them. Unfortunately, tour packages now often swell to festival-size proportions. There's also the "promoter tacking five local openers onto the bill" nightmare. When I see "Plus Others TBA" on a flyer, I shiver in fear.
That said, a few metal festivals have caught my fancy - Hole in the Sky (because it's black metal-oriented; this year's lineup is killer), Wacken (because it's Wacken), and Roadburn. The latter became much more real to me upon the announcement of Tom G. Warrior's curatorship for this year's edition. (His predecessors were Neurosis and David Tibet.) Then I read accounts by attendees Noise Road and Kim Kelly, and I really wanted to go. Roadburn seems like a "metal festival for grownups" in that it's not about pledging allegiance to some metal nation. It's about sound, not identity. If some non-metal band can bring darkness and heaviness, it's welcome.
So it makes sense that Sunn O))) would curate next year's Roadburn. (See announcement here.) I'm not a big fan of Sunn O))) - there's a bit of the emperor's new clothes about them to me - but I am a fan of some of Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley's other projects. (See our interview with O'Malley here.) They have tons of them, they collaborate with many musicians, and their fingers are in many pies, so they're a great choice to curate a festival.
I'm curious as to what their choices will be. Anderson runs Southern Lord, so of course the label will have acts at the festival. But it would be gauche to turn Roadburn into a Southern Lord showcase. Additionally, Southern Lord has sort of turned into a hardcore label, with signings of Masakari, Trap Them, The Secret, and Nails. The recent Power of the Riff Festival in Los Angeles (photos here), which Southern Lord co-curated, was a day-long mostly-hardcore fest. I don't see that stuff going over well at Roadburn, which historically has favored the slow and heavy.
Follow Roadburn's blog to keep abreast of the festival's news, including band confirmations and ticket information. The latter is important, as this year's festival sold out in 30 minutes. Scientific research suggests that buying experiences, not possessions, leads to greater happiness. If you have the dough, the Roadburn experience would be a good place for it to go.