SPOT Festival 2014 - Photo by Jesper Hedemann

SPOT Festival 2014 – Photo by Jesper Hedemann

This year’s SPOT FESTIVAL has been a special one. It was the 20th anniversary of the showcase festival and music industry convention. With 166 live shows, 38 movies and 30 conference events SPOT Festival 2014 was nothing but a blast. As many showcase festivals SPOT is about finding out about new promising artists, but at the same time its line up also features some more established artists. Established artists attract the crowd that unknown artists need. So NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION visited Aarhus and checked out as many concerts as possible to let you know about the best Scandinavian acts. One of the most special concerts was the one by THE PORTUGUESE MAN OF WAR who played a special show at ‘Your rainbow panorama’, which is Olafur Eliason’s work at the top of ARoS Aarhus Art Museum:

Norwegian singer ANE BRUN performed three songs with a 37-people string ensemble. The songs were rearranged by Mette Dahl Kristensen (WHO KILLED BAMBI). The new face of the songs was even more breathtaking than the original versions. Just imaginary These Days with a full orchestra. No words can explain this beauty.

Another highlight was the show by SLEEP PARTY PEOPLE who played songs from their upcoming new album (out in late May). To make the long story short: Brian Batz’s bedroom project grew to a full band, and with this also the sound changed. Opinions were different at the show. However: we loved it and are looking forward to the release of Floating.

The former LUKESTAR star TRULS convinced the crowd at SPOT. Although the venue was only half-full, the Norwegian artist was able to get every single person in the room. There can be no doubt: TRULS will make it big. In Norway he already broke the charts, in Germany he’ll probably do so soon. Let’s just hope he’ll stay the honest and nice guy he proved to be at SPOT.

Two female pop artists from Scandinavia who will definitely make it huge in 2014: EMILIE NICOLAS and NAOMI PILGRIM. While NICOLAS’ sound is more dark and electronic, PILGRIM’s sound has a R&B touch that’ll make you dance. Two wonderful acts from Norway and Sweden. Let’s see who’ll get more radio airplays in the next months. NBHAP clearly wishes to have both on high rotation.

Two artists we only were able to see very short: ADNA and SCHULTZ AND FOREVER. We saw ADNA the very first time and are happy to say that all eyes should be on her in the next months. For SCHULTZ AND FOREVER it wasn’t the first time at SPOT, since he already played at the festival last year. Since then many things changed. His amazing musical talent somehow got lost in the band setting. Still a exceptionally talented young musician who should be checked out.

IBERIA from Sweden got a huge blog hype over the last months. Sadly the duo did not convince as much as expected due to different reasons. First IBERIA played as one of the last acts which simply makes things difficult. Second the sound wasn’t the best. And third it is hard to convince in such a big venue. Thesis: if IBERIA would have played a smaller venue about 2 hours earlier they would have been one of the winners of SPOT 2014.

Talking of SPOT Festival’s winners: KEEP CAMPING and SEKUOIA. KEEP CAMPING released their short film Julia and played its soundtrack live at SPOT Festival. We are still out of words and are looking forward to seeing KEEP CAMPING on as many festival line-ups as possible this year. Same with SEKUOIA who were massively buzzed at SPOT. Almost everyone was talking about these two acts. Reason enough for you to finally check out KEEP CAMPING and SEKUOIA:

With LIS ER STILLE SPOT Festival had Denmark’s MUSE playing. When it comes to prog-rock this crazy quartet is definitely the best band that Denmark (maybe even entire Scandinavia) has ever seen. Musically exceptional, atmospherically stunning, only the live show could – at some points – be a bit more magical. But one thing is for sure: every fan of huge (prog-)rock music has to check out LIS ER STILLE

Last but not least we should mention the amazingly beautiful concerts by LOWLY, SEA CHANGE and VÖK. SEA CHANGE were buzzed a lot over the last months, so we checked them out and finally have to say: this act is absolutely worth the buzz. With only 1,49m the shortest artist who ever played SPOT Festival, she could be one of the artists who could be a big one one day. Danish LOWLY and Icelandic VÖK are both pretty new, but as promising as only few others. Let’s see what’ll happen with these bands next. Definitely worth to keep an eye on them.