We’ll Be There: Tons of Rock (20-22 June)

With Norway’s largest open-air festival Tons of Rock just over a month away, Katie has put together a list of the bands she is most looking forward to watching at this year’s festival…

This will be my fourth year at Tons of Rock festival, which takes place within the walls of Fredriksten Fortress in Halden, Norway. You can read my review of last year’s festival here: Day One, Day Two and Day Three.

As with previous years, the line-up for 2018 has something for everyone, featuring “everything from classic rock to the famous Norwegian black metal scene”. I have picked four bands from each day of the festival that I am most looking forward to seeing, so here goes:


Headlining the first night of the festival is the mighty Ozzy Osborne. I saw Black Sabbath play here back in 2016 and this time The Prince of Darkness returns with his own band, apparently featuring Zakk Wylde on guitar – someone I have been itching to photograph for years!

Arch Enemy are another band I have been keen to see for years, and are one of just a handful of bands playing the festival that feature a feisty female.

I sadly missed out on seeing Wardruna play Union Chapel a couple of years ago so I am really looking forward to checking out their unique brand of Norwegian folk music.

I like to think I can take a tiny bit of credit for Scottish pirate metal legends Alestorm appearing on the bill this year. The festival posted on their Facebook page last year asking people who they wanted to see play this year and I put Alestorm and Rammstein. One out of two isn’t bad eh?!


US rock royalty  Alice In Chains are set to headline the main stage on Thursday night. The band recently released their first new song in five years -“The One You Know” – so I am looking forward to hearing that together with hits from their back-catalogue.

I was lucky enough to photograph symphonic metallers Epica last month in London (you can read my review here) and really enjoyed their performance, so it will be great to see them take to the stage at the festival.

Abbath are definitely on my bands-to-watch / photograph list – surely worth it for the face-paint alone! The Norwegian black metal lords have come highly-recommended and I am looking forward to checking them out.

I have been getting more into my Scandinavian folk rock/metal recently, so Gåte are a band I am keen to check out, with their mixture of “traditional folk music and explosive and progressive rock”.


German heavy-metal heavyweights Helloween bring their “Pumpkins United” world tour to Norway as headliners of the third and final day of the festival.

I saw Swedish progressive metallers Opeth play Tons of Rock back in 2015 and I can still remember the pounding bass in my chest as I stood in rain trying to get some epic shots whilst not letting my camera gear get too soggy. Hopefully the weather will be a little kinder for their set this year!

Skeletonwitch are a band that a few different people have recommended that I check out, so I am looking forward to some American extreme / thrash metal.

Black Debbath are a band who I really enjoy photographing at Tons of Rock as every year they wear incredible outfits; shiny silver space-suits in 2015, teeny-tiny denim hotpants and cowboy boots in 2016 and risque leopard-print dressing gowns in 2017. The lyrical content of their “heavy politically-incorrect humor-rock” is largely lost on me, but they are incredibly popular with the festival-goers and are hugely entertaining.

Tons of Rock festival will take place at Fredriksten Fortress in Halden, Norway from Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 June. Head to the festival website for more information.

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