Way Out West, Day 1

The first day of the Way Out West festival has ended, and before we go to bed and get some much needed sleep before the next day kicks off, we wait around for a while and sum up the impressions from day 1. Entering the area in the afternoon, we got our first glimpses of the all the expectant people as they were queueing up to enter the festival area in Slottsskogen. People were laughing, talking upbeat about plans for the day, and looking large-eyed on all the decorations spread out over Slottsskogen, in the purple-yellowish colors of this year’s Way Out West. A couple of kids were playing agreeable street music with brass instruments, taking the opportunity to play for a large and openminded audience.

Having passed all food vendors and sponsors’ company booths lining the main walking path, we stopped in front of the Linné stage and watched our first show, which was Omar Souleyman, a Syrian musician who plays cheerful and rhythmical ethnic music. Omar Souleyman was not granted admission to Sweden until the very last minute before Way Out West, and actually missed the festival Stockholm Music & Arts the week prior, in which he was scheduled to appear, due to the Swedish authorities’ guidelines on people travelling to Sweden from Syria. Luckily for us, Omar Souleyman was able to perform at Way Out West, and his show was greatly appreciated by the audience.

We then saw Stockholm group Johnossi perform. By this point of the evening, the crowds had grown big for the evening shows, and everybody clapped and sang along to the band’s hit songs What’s The Point and Man Must Dance.

When their show was finished we crossed the field to the Azalea stage, and the Australian band Tame Impala, which plays psychedelic rock reminiscent of 1970s music, such as the music played by Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton’s Cream. They started off rather soft and delicate, to then finish off with a much harder rock sound.

The last band to play was Beach House, from Baltimore, USA. Lead singer Victoria Legrand nice, soft voice blended perfectly with the darkness which had fallen over the area, and their backdrop of a starry sky fitted very well into the whole experience. The big disappointment of the day was that Neil Young & Crazy Horse cancelled, due to an injury suffered by one of the band members of Crazy Horse. Visitors who had purchased just a Thursday ticket to the festival, were handed a three-day ticket instead, as a remedy. The disappointment was also somewhat cushioned by Beach House relaxed tunes, and we could go home rather pleased yet.

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