It’s a well-known fact that when the Swedish people do music festivals, it’s either all in or nothing at all. Perhaps the country’s most eagerly anticipated event—for house and techno enthusiasts, at least, the festival Into The Valley have formed a fierce reputation as one of the world’s most interestingly located parties, annually transforming a former lime quarry in Dalarna into a three-day celebration of electronic music. The hopes were of course high when this year’s festival was moved to Estonia from Sweden.
With the assembly of one of the strongest electronic lineups found anywhere in the world this year, nothing could go wrong, right? Unfortunately not. The festival, while boasting great potential, represented the organizers’ first misstep in what had previously been an uninterrupted upward trajectory towards the techno stratosphere.
Swedish and German Crowd
The crowd—largely Swedish and German in origin—seemed determined to soak up the atmosphere, excited at what was to come: Cassy, Hunee, and The Black Madonna were all set to play, and the latter’s genre-hopping set worthy of particular praise as the former Smart Bar selector seamlessly transitioned from retrofitted disco numbers to acid-flecked house cuts and forward facing techno to keep an expectant crowd moving on the beach.
Unfortunately trouble was brewing on the horizon. Several days before the start of the festival the company tasked with providing security pulled out. This left the festival relying on volunteers to secure the festival and it was this lack of professional security which we’d imagine led to police shutting the opening night’s festivities earlier than scheduled, at around 3 am.
Trouble in Paradise
The next day, however, was when the real trouble began as a lot of water started to fall from the sky, and it became very apparent that the team behind Into The Valley simply hadn’t prepared for rain. This seems a particularly strange oversight when the smallest amount of research would have told them that it quite often rains heavily in Estonia at this time of the year.
And then it got worse: with three of the festival’s four stages being outdoors, attendees had to move to the only indoor space—the heavily hyped Warehouse stage. But this stage was out of service due to safety concerns. Loose bricks were falling from the ceiling so it seems that the festival made the right decision to close the stage but one would hope that such architectural issues would be made apparent to the promoters a long time before the event.