Bizarre that an ignorant minority of this country are willing to turn their backs on Europe (while still presumably considering using it for a couple of weeks sun a year), u-kipping our way in somnambulance back/forward to some 1984 state when across the continent there are events like OEF welcoming all from far and wide with open arms (as they dive off stage). And while the rise of the fascists across Europe seems coloured with anger, frustration, and a conservative drawing down of the blinds and shutters, the opposite is true in a little town in the Czech Republic where you will find nothing but laughter, friendship and no-holds barred insanity.
Link2wales will be attending and representing our own small nation to do our best to reassure our international comrades that we are not all zombie slaves to the politicians but are still happily drunken maniacs who embrace fellow open-minded extreme music lovers without borders.
Celebrating its 15th year of existence, it has definitely grown in that time, somewhat in size but exponentially in reputation (the last two years it has started international versions in North America, Asia, and Australia to spread the fun and in turn support the scenes it draws in here).
Located at a literal battlefield on the outskirts of the town of Trutnov some 3hours train ride from Prague but that only cost the equivalent of £6. Still relatively small at under 20,000 attendees but it has enjoyed such success though its recipe of bringing together a wide selection of the best of world-wide underground grindcore, crust, punk, death, thrash, hardcore to one stage in a leafy park, putting a match to the fuse, and watching the party explode.
And in times when everyone’s money is stretched thin the value to be had here is excellent, not only at less than 50 euros for all Wednesday night, full days Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and an aftershow on Sunday, but that all your essentials (beer, absinthe, lemonade, and a multitude of fresh cooked vegan and other food, merch) are also relatively cheap for the travellers, and worlds apart from the fleecing experienced at UK festivals.
It’s legendary status is no doubt enhanced form the atmosphere that is created here, as either in the baking heat or occasional downpours the bands hit one after another (from 11 am til 3am on the main days!), whether they are obscure cult, unheard of or huge and respected within their genres. For all of them the moshpits and stage diving are relentless, all manner of crazy costumes (or a complete lack of any clothing!) apparent, and with a relaxed, encouraging atmosphere of no unnecessary rules when everyone is looking after each other and we’re all “in it together”. Though it’s just as easy to sit back and take a breather and enjoy the spectacle from the “amphitheatre” of benches around the natural bowl the stage is set in. it’s subtitled as freak friendly and all I can say is you’ll see sights here that you won’t anywhere else
This year there are some 69 bands drawn from as far afield as Siberia, Bangkok, Mexico, India, Chile. And Yorkshire. The Wednesday warm-up evening is themed as Italian Hardcore (not porn, sorry) but with the likes of old school punks Raw Power getting things charged up, as well as the mentalness of the Freak Olympics, suicidal trolley races etc. Throughout the rest of the run into the weekend we have seminal death thrash legends like Possessed and Wehrmacht, death metal monstrosities like Immolation, Cattle Decapitation, and Morgoth, a farewell show from grinders Brutal Truth, top crust action from Doom and Warcollapse, the sludge punk mayhem of Eyehategod, the list goes on. Some highlights of the lesser known to look forward to is Human Cull from the UK, following firmly in the early Napalm Death grind tradition, Cheins from France who come rated by fellow grinders The Afternoon Gentlemen, Kaliyuga bringing some blackened horror grind and Livstid, raging Norwegian crust but the overall consistency selected is incredibly high, lots of revelations await.
Any further details you require are to be found at their site,
www.obsceneextreme.cz , ………come, join the party!