Life in a medieval theme park easily gets a bit surreal. If the contrast between hi-tech press center and people in 12th century garb won’t knock you down, the diminutive 180 cm (5’10”) high doorways to every building sure will. The first day here at the Arn Festival in Götene, Västergötland is now over and I would probably give it four out of five spears up. I didn’t actually expect the machinery behind the entire thing to be so well run but I got a seat in an old cottage with wifi and nice press people.
Daytime yesterday was an orgy of historical events and it felt like there were children everywhere; People trying to kill each other with swords or dancing around to the constat stream of folk music of a bygone era. I ran into a Belgian family and they were very impressed, especially with the locally brewed mead and the myriad of kid-friendly activities.
Later in the evening, the Janis Joplin lookalike Caroline af Ugglas kicked off the stage entertainment, but it was just about sunset, when Ulf Lundell entered right on time, that the excitement of the festival goers was tangible. Sweden’s own Bruce Springsteen did just about exactly what was expected and delivered two hours of explosive saxophone solos and epic tales about life in contemporary Sweden. We got a message on our live chat saying “the entire town can hear you, turn it down!” but there was not a dry eye in the audience, man or woman, after Ulf Lundell musical plucking of our heartstrings. But smiles couldn’t be held at bay for too long, after all there was succulent grilled boar to cheer up even the most emotionally moved.
Now the rumor just started spreading that Joakim Nätterqvist, the star of the Arn movies has arrived at the site in his armor. Gotta go and grab some pictures.
Oh, and by the way, on the homepage of the Arn festival website, we have a live chat with web cam. Don’t worry, we all speak excellent English!
-From Joel Dahlquist – blogging live from the festivities.