On August 21-24, 2019, the eighth edition of the Beyond the Gates festival will take place in Bergen, Norway, featuring a remarkable line-up of bands, headlined by Watain, Mayhem, Emperor, and Abbath. Our Atlanta-based contributor Tør was able to get the attention of BTG founder and principal organizer Torgrim Øyre, to discuss not only the upcoming event but also its history, and the predecessor Bergen festival Hole in the Sky. Our thanks to both of them for this interview.
Tell us a little bit about the history of Hole In The Sky/Beyond The Gates and how the idea for them came about.
Hole in the Sky was founded as a tribute to our late friend Erik «Grim» Brødreskift. He was a prominent figure in the metal scene in Bergen. Erik played with bands like Immortal, Gorgoroth, and Borknagar. Initially it was intended to be a one-off where friends from Bergen were paying their respects to their lost friend. The line-up was based on Bergen bands only. After the first festival, people kept saying that we should make it a tradition as there literally were no underground festivals in Norway at all at that point. This was pre-Inferno too. The festival quickly took on a life on its own. Slowly growing from the 300-cap venue Garage and moving into USF Verftet a few years later. It was an intense time. Not a lot of metal bands had played these shores before, so everything felt new and exciting. Everyone involved had very high standards for Hole in the Sky and after 12 years, we came to a point were we felt that we had done everything we could within that framework, so in order not to repeat ourselves and possibly compromise the quality of the festival, we felt that it was a good thing to put the fork in the road and end on a high note.