Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Guest Post: Way Out West Music Festival

This past month, I (Natasha) had the distinct pleasure of traveling to the beautiful city of Gothenborg, Sweden for Way Out West, an annual three day music festival held in Slottsskogen.

Guest post by Natasha (far right) of Nicely Built
Beautiful park, beautiful festival

The lineup was a good mix of artists I've listened to for years (The Knife, Athens-bred Phosphorescent, Neil Young) and newcomers that I've quickly added to my personal soundscape (Grimes, HAIM, Local Natives). In addition to all these wonderful acts, a couple of good friends expatriated to the city about a year ago, so deciding to take the trip was a no brainer.

I'm so glad I decided to go! With the exception of Neil Young's cancellation (a member of Crazy Horse broke their arm), the festival was a steady procession of great live performances, excellent festival food (more on this later), and spectacular people watching (the fashion was fierce y'all).

By far my favorite act was Saturday's The Knife headliner set. The band's energy and choreography made remember why I love electronic music so much in the first place. Second place goes to Phosphorescent. The performance was early in the day yet well attended. Matthew's performance felt very intimate despite his full backing band. Seeing the city's most well known performer, Håkan Hellström, play was very much a memorable experience. People were seriously weeping, dancing in a traditional circle style, and generally just freaking out a la a Beatlemania. It was awesome!

The Knife


Way Out West was like no other music festival I've been to in regard to organization. The WOW folks planned the logistics to be environmentally sustainable in a grand fashion. All of the festival food was vegetarian (and delicious). I've been obsessed with grilled haloumi burgers ever since. Recycling receptacles were everywhere and the grounds remained clean the entire time due to the ever busy cleanup crew of volunteers. I should note, this commitment to environmental sustainability was evidenced throughout the entire city of Gothenborg -- a fact that really made me smile.

Food! Glorious food!

And the fashion you guys - it was so good. No predictable gauzy, flowy looks found here. Attendees traversed the festival grounds in everything from industrial platform boots to custom Nike Air Max sneakers. There were also heavily penciled eyebrows, more than a few long shoreman getups, and an impressive range of a rain gear. Quite a few interesting hairstyles, including what my crew dubbed, "hat head," in which a lady with long hair cut the top part into a bowl cut leaving the back long similar to a mullet.

So, yeah! Way Out West was fun and I would definitely go again!

See you next year :-)
All pictures by Gianna Keiko Rankart

PS: You didn't think Natasha would go to Sweden without having some authentic Swedish fish, did you? 

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