Midgardsblot - Day 1 (w/ Mork, Abyssic, Bergtatt) @ Midgard Vikingsenter (Horten, Norway) on August 16, 2018

Midgardsblot is not your typical metal festival, it’s a cultural experience. The bands that play vary from the darkest of black metal to traditional folk music. The festival grounds are located near the Borre Mounds, a Viking burial ground that was constructed between 600 and 900 AD. The Vikingsenter houses a museum where there are various artifacts on display that were excavated around the area.

During the festival, the Vikingsenter also hosts seminars presented by archaeologists, historians, musicians, and other experts to educate people on various aspects of what life was like in Scandinavia during the Iron Age. On the festival grounds is the Gildehall, a reproduction of a Mead Hall where kings would feast. The festival opens with a Blot or sacrifice to the Norse Gods performed by Folket Bortafor Nordavinden. Festival-goers are invited to participate in the Blot by anointing themselves with blood.

There are plenty of other activities for festival-goers to participate in. The Vikingsenter offers guided tours of Borre Park. There’s also a Viking playground with archery, axe throwing, and other games. For those interested in fitness, there’s metal yoga, which is more of a cardio workout than traditional yoga. On the festival grounds, there are several tattoo artists who specialize in Norse styles. There’s also hair braiding, face painting, storytelling, beer tasting and basically something for everyone, of all tastes and all styles.

Have a look at this quick video highlighting some of sights and crowds that attended this year’s edition of the festival.