9th June 2016. Sweden Rock, Sölvesborg, Sweden.

Today’s the day we’ve been waiting for, we’ve raced across five countries to get to Sölvesborg to go to the Sweden Rock Festival.

We camped at Tosteberga hamn last night because it’s only 30 minutes away from the venue.  We’re amazed there was no traffic jams on the way into the camping field, especially as the man who went to get our sparkly gold wristbands as we held up traffic at the entrance, wandered off.  We kept thinking he was coming back only he kept stopping to chat to people until suddenly he realised that he’d forgotten to come back to us and tapped his head and said, with a smile on his face “forgetful!”

Even then we still couldn’t move because a bloke was sat in front of us on a quad bike chatting to his mates so Darren hooted to get his attention, it spurred him into action and he drove off in front of us through the people walking into the Festival.

We couldn’t decide whether we were supposed to follow him but did and when we came to a sign that pointed to car park ‘D’ (which is where we were supposed to be parking) and he carried on going!

Darren hooted him again and he came back, tapped his head and said “wasn’t thinking” then continued ‘not thinking’ by leading us down a very narrow woodland track that meandered past tents.  This was then made even narrower by two people parking on the track to unload their belongings.

Nonetheless ‘Jack the Lad’ on his quad bike just kept going and I’m amazed that Darren didn’t hit any tents while he was winding up the track.  The pièce de résistance was the narrow gap between two dry stone walls that Darren had to negotiate before we could get into the HUGE field where we were camping!  Eeek!


We eventually caught up with our ‘Guide’ where he directed us into a space.

With hindsight, if we’d been sensible, we would have parked right at the far end of the very large field where a lone motorhome was parked (he obviously knew a thing or two) because it became apparent in the early hours of the morning that in Sweden there are no laws about how late into the night you can play music so just in case you feel you’re missing anything they have high scaffolding towers in the camping fields with speakers attached to the top and they play music out of them until 5 a.m!

We made lunch then wandered down to the festival which was a decent walk and joined the extremely long queue to get our wrist bands. 

It was a baking hot day but luckily the queue moved quite quickly.  Once we’d been given our wrist band we joined the queue to get into the festival which involved having bag checks and being frisked.  That was an interesting experience, we were asked questions and told to do something only we had no idea what they were asking us to do, they were very patient with us and nice and smiley. 

When we got into the arena we saw a rose bower, apparently 10 couples were getting married under it over the weekend. 

As we’d walked in I’d seen a girl walking back to the campsite wearing a pretty wedding dress and I’d smiled at her as she passed and she smiled back.  She looked lovely but I’d assumed she was dressing up as people do at festivals in the UK (apparently that doesn’t happen at Swedish festivals and I felt rather over dressed!) it seems, however, that she was probably one of the first brides to get married under the bower. 

It was very sunny and I spent a lot of the day standing in Darren’s shadow trying not to get burnt (his kind suggestion) while we were watching the bands.

We enjoyed listening to the bands throughout the day but the best part of the day was watching the bands we’d wanted to see, Slayer, Megadeth and Queen.  Queen were the headliners, naturally, so we made our way back to the van when they’d finished.   

With hindsight we should have stayed and continued to listen to bands late into the night but we foolishly left at midnight in case we turned into pumpkins! 

At 3 a.m, when I FINALLY acknowledged that even with two pillows over my head (I was slightly worried that Darren might take the opportunity to put a bit of pressure on the pillows!) and a pair of ear plugs shoved in my ears I was STILL going to hear the music, I suddenly heard someone fiddling with the door handle to the van. 

I wasn’t sure what to do so I shouted out to Darren that someone was trying to get in.  That ‘someone’ apparently thought he was having trouble getting into his OWN van and when he heard my voice he quietly called out ‘Sorry’ with a Swedish accent, which made me laugh, that was the last thing I expected to hear.

I was a little freaked out by that incident so Darren had to put up with me turning the light on and making a belated midnight feast and we stayed up until 5 a.m. when we eventually fell asleep from exhaustion!

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