Saturday, June 27, 2009

There is a profound lack of insanity in your country

Our first day at Peace & Love turned out to be a disappointment. We had a problem with the rental car (the trunk was the size of a paperback, even though they had said it was much bigger, and we had four people in the car with festival luggage + beer to pack), which was solved by renting a larger, more expensive car. Believe me when I say angry emails will be written.

I have that from my father, who in turn has it from his father, who, I assume, got it from some angry god in the depths of Dalarna's lush forests. That ability to never relent in the face of promises broken, expectations not met and service not given is something that defines the Larsson family, much to the chagrin of my mother, who comes from a line of quiet and calm people, who express more with a shrug of the shoulders than words. Not saying my mother isn't eloquent, its just that if you go way up north in Sweden, people tend to face adversity the way a rock faces a river. They let it part around them to move on to piss off someone else. Me? I fight the river. Tooth and nail. May be meaningsless, but it has to be done. Tilting at windmills, and all that.

Case in point. My father used Eniro's map service to plot a course from their house in Karlskoga to our place in Stockholm. The direction function started on the wrong street, the one next to theirs. Now, it's not that my father is an idiot and doesn't know how to drive to Stockholm from his home, oh no. It's the principle that Things Should Be Correct. I'm the exact same way.

So what does he do? He emails them. And gets a polite response that, when read between the lines, is saying "we don't have the time to correct this problem because you live in NoWheresVille Sweden". Sooo not the thing to say.

He emails them again. And again. And again. Always the same sort of response. So he tries the competitor's website, Hitta. Lo and behold, their direction service works perfectly. So he takes a screen dump of Hitta's results and emails it to Eniro. Hey presto, problem solved in a matter of days.

So yeah. Angry emails will be written.

Someone else will also be getting an email. Why stop at one when there are other injustices, big and small, that need to be corrected? Or at least pointed out in angry, digital form?

The Peace & Love festival has grown to become the biggest music festival in Sweden this year, with 36 000 or 39 000 tickets sold, depending on who you ask or how you do your math. It seems they have grown too fast.

On Thursday we tried to find the place where you exchange tickets for festival passes. We walked and walked and walked. Got directions from various people, attached to the festival or not. It was chaos. Not a single sign to point us anywhere, or to even indicate the existence of an entrance to the festival grounds. All we found were gates that said "NO ENTRY! ARTISTS ONLY!" in a way that not only said we couldn't go in there, but that no entry would be found anywhere for anyone besides artists.

We finally found the place, and caught the middle part of Monster Magnet's set, which was painful to watch. A review will be up some time soon at Slavestate. Then we went back to the house and enjoyed the fact that we've rented what may well be the best festival accomodations I've ever seen or even heard about, and for a ridiculously low sum of money. Sometimes the gods are good.

Yesterday we watched a man whose level of anger makes mine seem a slightly glowing coal next to a mushroom cloud. Henry Rollins, former singer of Black Flag, later on in The Rollins Band, and now a world class spoken word artist. He entertained us for an hour, and had some very interesting things to say, wrapped in layers of sarcasm and insane stories. He expressed a fascination with Sweden, mostly expressed in the fact that we have "green forests, blue skies and water you can drink and that can sustain life". Not sure I agree with everything he said, such as the headline of this post. Both the rental place and the festival itself has proven that is not the case. However, so far his show has been the highlight of the festival, though we haven't seen much else.

Tonight Faith No More beckons. We're all excited.


ege said...

I knew you had all these shows planned, but I didn't know it was a festival. Oh man, I'm jealous! Sounds like you and your gang are going to have a blast -- after you kick all the necessary asses, of course.

When you say "a review will be up soon at Slavestate" -- are you writing a review?

beardonaut said...

Yeah, one festival this weekend and one the coming weekend, in two separate places. And a regular show in Stockholm in between.

Yup. I will review three of the bands playing this festival there.