Sunday, June 24th 2018: My voice is soar and hoarse, my body is aching, and my head and neck feels heavy.
I have spent the past four days singing – more like shouting – along to songs from bands such as Bersærk, Zeal & Ardor, Ghost and Møl, been in hard-hitting mosh pits, and crowd surfed my way from the back of the audience all the way to the front while waving to the band on stage.
I have been to Copenhell.
Among the audience, who had come to ‘throw some horns’ and headbang to their favorite artists, I found Trine Madsen, HR-consultant, Martin Vestberg, part of the maintenance crew for Campus Services, and Charlotte Desirée Stoffregen, a master student at CBS. And they all agree that Copenhell is a place where they feel at home.
“This is like paradise,” says Martin Vestberg, when I meet him a little away from the main stage at Copenhell. He is wearing a black hoodie with the band Arch Enemy, which is the band he looks the most forward to seeing at the festival this year.
“I consider Copenhell to be a free space. It’s like a picnic for people who love rock’n’roll and heavy metal,” says Trine Madsen.
The heavy metal-uniform
When going to a metal festival, it becomes obvious where you are based on the way people are dressed. It’s mainly black, and often accompanied by a denim vest patched up with colorful band patches from big bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Ozzy Osbourne, but also the more unusual kinds with unreadable band names.
Charlotte Desirée Stoffregen, is wearing a denim vest too, aka a battle vest, and she just got to finish it in time for Copenhell.
“In between my exams, I have been working on getting this vest done. I was up until 2 AM in the morning last night, and then I continued in the morning,” she says.
Just as Charlotte Desirée Stoffregen, Trine Madsen is a big fan of Iron Maiden, and has put on an Iron Maiden tank top. When she goes to work at Howitzvej, she sometimes wears t-shirts and hoodies with metal bands, and this causes as stir once in a while.
“I was at a meeting at City Hall in Copenhagen once, and I was wearing a Slipknot shirt. One of the participants in the meeting recognized it. He was a Slipknot fan too,” she says and continues:
“However, I’m not only wearing the shirts from the big bands, I also like to buy the merchandise from the small bands and support them. I know how important it is to themIt’s just a nice wear to break away from the more mainstream way of dressing,” she says.
Like sweet music to my ears
Trine Madsen, Charlotte Desirée Stoffregen and Martin Vestberg have all been to Copenhell more than once, and when they are not at Copenhell they like to listen to the heavy music as often as possible.
“To me heavy metal is like therapy. I mean, I can easily fall asleep to metal playing in the background. Mainstream pop music stresses me out,” says Martin Vestberg and explains that he is the only one of the maintenance crew that listens to metal, and that the others call it “noise.”
Trine Madsen’s taste for heavy metal comes from a strange little place.
“When I was a kid, I attended a classical music school. But when you think about it, heavy metal and classical music aren’t that far from each other. It’s intelligent music which requires a lot of skill to master,” she says and points out that she has been brought up with bands such as Guns’n’Roses and Alice in Chains, who also played at this year’s festival.
Charlotte Desirée Stoffregen finds a certain comfort in listening to heavy metal. It brings piece during busy hours.
“In this day and age, there is a lot of pressure on us. We have to live up to a lot of expectations from ourselves and others. But when I listen to metal, I relax and find comfort,” says Charlotte Desirée Stoffregen, who is thinking about making a heavy metal club at CBS as soon as she comes back from her exchange in Norway this autumn.
“I have been thinking about making a metal club at CBS for such a long time now and I think the time has come for me to actually do it. I mean, there must be other metal heads out there. People from CBS are much more than just networking, ties, and café lattes,” she says.