Based in Nottingham, Atmosfest is an annual one day festival dedicated to Atmospheric Black Metal. Previous years' events have included the likes of Fen, Saor and A Forest of Stars, while the 2019 event has already confirmed UK black metal heavyweights Winterfylleth as the headline band. The promoter behind this exciting and attractive little festival is Nick Wolven (Wolvencrown) and he has found that running the festival has led to him promoting more gigs under the Atmosfest banner. We caught up with him to find out his take on the UK underground scene and how he enjoyed being a promoter.
Hi Nick, Thanks for giving us a bit of your valuable time. We know you're a busy man! So, to start, when did you start promoting gigs? How did Atmosfest come about?
I started promoting back in January 2017 kind of by accident really.I had contacted local promoters about a weekend tour my band were doing with friends Aklash and Burial but no one seemed keen to put on the show so I decided to take it on myself. The gig did very well and the success essentially led to more shows being promoted under the banner “Atmosfest” until eventually it got a bit out of hand and I arranged the first year of the fest with Fen headlining amongst a healthy line up of UK Black metal.
The scene in Nottingham has always been pretty healthy – do you feel that it is still growing and that shows you put on are well supported?
The scene has always been healthy yes. Ever since I got into metal when I was 12/13 there's been killer shows in the city spanning across the metal genres. So the scene has always been here but in the last few years black metal has hit the scene with a storm. I personally do think the black metal scene in Nottingham is thriving, with several great bands taking form around the city in the last few years having a massive impact on bigger acts coming to Nottingham.
What one piece of advice would you give to anyone who is considering promoting metal shows?
Treat bands like you want to be treated, provide everything you can for them with the budget available and always make sure you pay. I personally don't make any money from my shows so I feel this has a big impact on reputation as bands are always paid fairly, with most getting more than agreed. If you have other promoters in your city putting on similar shows, make sure you stay in touch about dates you're planning so that every promoter can make the most of the scene in your city, gig clashes are a promoters worst nightmare.
Which band that you have promoted have you enjoyed the most? And if you could book any band at all for this year, who would it be?
I'd have to say Aklash, every time I have booked them they have played a stellar set and their heads are not above the music. Simply a great set of guys and musicians!
Too many to choose from, Forteresse have really captured my eye since discovering them a few years ago so would love to book them for Atmosfest in the future. Panopticon, Germ, Skogen and Ellende are also top of my list!
Do you work alone or do you have others who help you with the organising and running of your shows?
Most of the time I work alone, as a lot of my bookings are quite selfish in the vein that I'll only book a band I love and feel others need to hear. But I have to give a shoutout to Joe of Redback promotions who I've worked a lot with over the last couple of years. His advice has beencaptivating to say the least, as I really did not know a thing about promotion when I started out. We brought Grift and Saor to the UK last year as a co host and I can see us bringing plenty more amazing black metal acts to the UK over the years to come!
On a personal level, what are you into right now? Which bands or albums are really catching your eye?
Currently cannot stop listening to Cân Bardd - Nature Stays Silent, Havukruunu - Kelle Surut Soi, Troll - Drep de Kristne, Cairiss – Fall, Ygg and the Wolvencrown album mixes haha.
How do you like your music – digitally? CD? Or are you a tape guy?
Personally its either CD or digital
What’s the future for Atmosfest? Do you plan to expand and build on what you already have?
Not really sure, taking each year as it comes but to see the growth from 2017 to 2018 was spectacular. So this year will see more international acts coming over to the UK to play a part in Atmosfest. I cant see it becoming more than an all day festival with a pre-show, but who knows as if you asked me 4 years ago if I would be organising my third year of a festival I've booked right now, I'd call you mad!
ATMOSFEST 2019 takes place on 12/10/2019 at Albert's, Nottingham. Tickets are available now from www.atmosfest.bigcartel.com