On April 8th, 2017, Leeds will play host to Ritual Festival, an extreme metal festival featuring a diverse mix of bands from the extreme metal world. Headlining the event will be Emperor mainman Ihsahn with a supporting bill that includes Misery Index, All Pigs Must Die, Corrupt Moral Altar and more. For more information and up to the minute news visit the Official Ritual Festival website. PureGrainAudio caught up with organiser Daniel to discuss all things Ritual.

So, tell our readers a bit about Ritual Festival then, what can paying punters expect?
Daniel:Ritual Festival started as my attempt to run a festival how I wanted, it’s an ongoing learning experience and I hope everyone enjoys it. For everyone who has bought a ticket to the festival or any of my shows, a massive thank you, I aim to bring good line-ups and over time I will be adding more and more. For example this year we are adding an art exhibit, some unique commisoned pieces just for Ritual, to showcase some local and unique work. I want everyone to walk/stumble away from Ritual after having an awesome day and wanting more.

For extreme metal fans, it’s a great, diverse line-up, how pleased are you with it?
Daniel: I am over the moon with the line-up, still can’t believe I managed to get some of the acts but if you don’t ask you don’t get.

Is there anybody from the line-up you’re particularly looking forward to seeing?
Daniel: Ihsahn will be my highlight of the weekend, I’m a bit nervous to meet him as I admire his work and the man himself.

Check out the Misery Index song “The Calling”

More importantly, is there anybody you wanted to book that you couldn’t?
Daniel: They’re a few acts that I tried to get but for either budget or tour constraints, we just couldn’t manage this year. For that reason, I won’t be telling you any.

For an event like Ritual, how much of a scoop was it to get someone like Ihsahn as an exclusive in the UK?
Daniel: Surprisingly enough Ihsahn was the easiest one to book, getting the exclusive was vital due to his uniqueness.

It’s fair to say that Ritual is quite a niche festival, what are your goals with it?
Daniel: My overall goals for Ritual is to keep booking amazing line-ups, I never want to stop. Hopefully one day I can make it big enough to book some incredible acts that you would only see in Europe or the bigger mainstream acts.

What are your plans for the future?
Daniel: Build Ritual, Build Dreadfest and enjoy what I do. I would love to get back out Tour Managing and just be involved in this industry for the rest of my life.

The festival circuit is a turbulent one with so many festivals disappearing, how hard is it to keep a niche festival like Ritual going in financially difficult times?
Daniel: It’s extremely hard, I used my student loan to finance it all and there’s bound to be ups and downs but I have enough passion to keep it going.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from your experiences with Ritual Festival?
Daniel: Everything I am doing is an investment for Ritual’s future, It may be hard at times but just enjoy what you do. Be Honest.

As a music fan, you must have been to festivals as a punter what has been your favourite experience, good, bad or embarrassing?
Daniel: Normally I work about 8 festivals a year and try to go at least 2 outdoor festivals a year, lots of venue, weekend and all-dayers. Mainly now to scout and keep up to date with the scene but to remind myself why I do it. Plenty of embarrassing shenanigans have taken place, I got power bombed onto a table at BOA which whilst drunk was hilarious, I paid for it the next day.

Last chance to plug the festival, why should an extreme metal fan come to Leeds in April?
Daniel: Just come to Leeds in general, Temple of Boom is one of the best UK venues for DIY music, we also have the Brudenell which is one of the best UK venues. As an extreme metal fan you should come to all the shows everywhere, buy all the merch, drink red stripe and enjoy it.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.