“The wild Faroe Islands party that you can’t afford to miss.”
– WIRED magazine had no doubt that G! Festival is extraordinary
Urging readers to make the journey to the North Atlantic’s Faroe Islands, half-way between Norway and Iceland, WIRED concluded “if you’re bored with the same old bands playing the same old places, and you’re in the mood to try something dramatically different, G! Festival will be returning in 2013.” Pin-pointing the appeal, WIRED found G! “authentic and weird. Almost secret. Yet welcoming, friendly and open. Like the Faroes.”
The annual three-day celebration of music is unique. Sure, music festivals are held on islands and beaches around the world. But G! is something else. Taking over the village of Syðrugöta – population 400 – on the island of Eysturoy, the festival’s stages are built on the beach and the football pitch, right under the windows of houses. Locals welcome the visitors, a refreshing contrast to the grudging reception which can greet festival goers elsewhere.
G! is also held against the backdrop of the Faroes’ breath-taking landscape, a terrain dominated by grass-carpeted mountains. Caught between the peaks and the ocean, in a break between the cliffs skirting the coastline, Syðrugøta is set in an unrivalled natural amphitheatre. This is where Tróndur í Götu confronted the Norwegians who brought Christianity in the 11th century. He was threatened with beheading. Thankfully, times have changed.
If the drama of the setting and the hot tubs on the beach weren’t enough, there’s the world-class music. Since 2002’s first G!, the festival has drawn the UK’s Metronomy and Travis. The Blind Boys Of Alabama too. Major Scandinavian acts who have chosen to travel to the Faroes include Denmark’s Veto, Iceland’s FM Belfast, Norway’s Serena Maneesh and Sweden’s Veronica Maggio. All welcomed by over a tenth of the Faroes’ 48,000 population and visitors from around the world.
But the musical visitors have tough competition at G! Tróndur í Götu’s spirit lives. The Faroes are saturated in music – great music, from metal to folk, from electronica to stirring pop. British music business bulletin CMU was stunned by the home-grown talent, saying “at a festival of a similar size in England, I’d expect to be disappointed by at least a few bands each day. But that was never the case here.” Internationally known Faroese names like Týr, Teitur and Eivör are the tip of an iceberg.
G! sounds as though it could be a dream. But it isn’t. However you arrive in the Faroes – by sea, by air. Wherever you stay – the festival’s campsite, bed and breakfast, maybe even a hotel in capital Tórshavn. Whether you’re a local or not. Whoever you see – from Faroese talent to the overseas’ visitors, one thing is certain. By bringing music and this magical place together, G! Festival is unforgettable.