5. Sleep [Main Stage; 2012]

The mighty Sleep. One of the bands we could only dream of when we started Roadburn. They were already split up by the time we came to the 013 and we had High On Fire and Om but to haveSleep headline the 2012 edition was a personal highlight. And on top of that they delivered. All 3 were on fire and delivered (in Al’s words) one of the best Sleep concerts ever. I still have the hope that this set will be released some day. Till that day we’ll have to make do with the high-quality video our “house” videographer Koen Gijsbers has made:

4. Swans [Main Stage; 2011]

Swans has been my favourite band since 1986 so to host them at my own festival in 2011 was a highlight that won’t be topped easily. And at the time they still played some of the old songs – among them “Sex God Sex”, one of the best Swans songs ever. It was bliss.

3. Chelsea Wolfe [Green Room; 2012]

At the time I did not know Chelsea Wolfe that well. I had one of two albums and they impressed me but not in the same way her live show at Roadburn did. The songs from her album came to life in a way that mesmerised the Green Room all the way to the last sweaty person way back upstairs against the wall. This was one of those show we at Roadburn live for. A band that has a promise in them but it’s not sure they will deliver. But when they do, it’s one of the best things in life.

2. Nihill [Green Room; 2013]

Stood at the side of the stage near the monitor desk I was in the eye of the storm for this one. In this occasion a perfect spot to get soaked in to the dark maelstrom, that force of nature that is Nihill. They don’t play often but when they do they embody what black metal should be for me: an aggressive black force where metal, noise, industrial and come together as one at a deafening volume.

1.  High On Fire [Green Room; 2005]

The first night that truly birthed and captured the vibe that is now known as the Roadburn Festival. Diverse bands, one room, one vibe: Sunn O))), Alabama Thunder Pussy, Electric Wizard and the band that peaked in that sweaty room: High On Fire. I saw them many times after that but this was the one time for me that transcended it all: at that time I thought they were the new Motörhead. That wasn’t to be but I’ve had a soft spot for the band ever since. There seems to be no video from that night but here’s a clip from Roadburn 2013: