(Andy Synn interviews Runar Pettersen, press manager of the long-running Inferno Festival, which has been staged in Oslo, Norway, since 2001.)
To start with, I wonder if you’d be able to give our readers a bit of a condensed history and background to the festival, as I don’t always like to assume everyone who comes to our site necessarily knows the ins and outs of the festival scene, particularly in Europe. So when/why did the festival start, who was involved, what were the early years like?
It started out as a two day festival in 2001. The festival boss, Jan-Martin, used to run a small club called Mars here in Oslo, and used to book bands there. He wanted to book Borknagar for a gig (after he ran into guitarist Jens F. Ryland one day), and when they were looking into dates for the show, there happened to be an open spot on Easter at Rockefeller. So from this Borknagar gig came the idea to turn it into a two-day festival. There weren’t any similar festivals back then, only much smaller or much larger outdoor festivals, so it was very unique. Only Norwegian bands played the first year and, when it turned out to be a success, it was all set to continue on the next year.