Wyndham Wallace shares his visual perspective from Ut Av Vår Hule (The Out of Our Caves Festival) of music and art in the North of Norway. This year’s festival took place between July 16-18.

UtAvVarHule Sign

1. The Ut Av Vår Hule (Out Of Our Caves) festival - a showcase for up and coming Norwegian musicians and artists - takes place every second year in old marble mines outside Fauske in Northern Norway, just inside the Arctic Circle.


Mines Dolemite Marble

2. The mines were a source of Norwegian Rose dolomite marble, used in the construction of New York's UN Building and the Japanese Emperor's Palace.


Closed off caves

3. Many of the caves are still accessible, though for the safety of festival goers they are officially closed off due to the water that has flooded many of them. In some, however, old mining gear is still visible, coated in marble dust.


discarded marble

4. Behind the main stage, vast chunks of discarded marble tumble into a striking aquamarine pool, some boulders submerged like blocks of unusually heavy ice.


abandoned buildings

5. Abandoned buildings, many still containing machinery and tools, are used as venues for other stages and by artists preparing their work, though the message - No Safety Inside - remains clear.


Artist Ash Kh's installation

6. Artist Ash Kh's (AKA Ashraf Khuffash) installation of black doors climbing a marble slurry heap was especially impressive, and not unlike a Pink Floyd album cover.


Beach feel

7. Amidst the marble slurry mountain other participants had installed picnic tables, buckets and spades and other beach accessories whose colours stood out against the blinding white backdrop.


Beach feel

8.Some of those attending were keen to experiment with alternative forms of expression, overseen closely by organisers, naturally.


2x Slagwerk

9. Friday's opening act, 2x Slagwerk (Two Drummers) performed a challenging but exciting set of experimental rhythm and dub. Like most of the musicians, they are currently unsigned and chosen by organisers wishing to provide a showcase for their work.


algae installation

10. Artists had created more subtle installations amidst the algae and weeds of the the stream that ran through the festival grounds, Alpine villages and rubber duck ponds amongst them.


Sondre Justad and Marte Røyeng

11. Musicians Sondre Justad and Marte Røyeng had never performed live together before. They arrived two days early and spent time in the grounds seeking inspiration for their music after other members of Justad's band, Giraff, were unavailable to appear.


tyre snake

12. A snake built out of painted half-tyres emerges, blinking, out of one of the caves into the bright light.


musician Æ

13. Local musician Æ performed an acoustic set inside one of the derelict buildings. He lives on an island some five hours by boat from the nearby city of Bodø.


Norwegian drinking combat

14.Northern Norwegian drinking rituals often involve good natured physical combat, and Ut Av Vår Hule is no different. This pair are scrambling amidst the dust by the bar, a tent whose legs are levelled on blocks of marble.


Fipp, band from Bodø

15.Fipp, from Bodø, were one of over twenty acts to perform for free over the weekend. Their fierce combination of post-rock and jazz, led by French Horn player Vida Engar, proved especially popular with the small but passionate crowd.


sun setting as much as it will

16.Thanks to Northern Norway's midnight sun, it never gets dark during the festival, though the sun dips down below the horizon for a short hour or two, lighting up the sky different shades of pink and orange every night.


Trail of doors, installation artist ash Kh

17.Ash Kh's trail of doors provided a surreal vision that Aldous Huxley would no doubt have approved at the top of the marble slurry mountain.


Beautiful Norwegian Landscape

18.4.30am, and the festival grounds are finally deserted by partygoers and artists, revealing a bare but stunning landscape, the main stage now abandoned like the mines themselves.


Beautiful Norwegian Landscape

19.As dawn arrives, it's time for the last of the festivalgoers - wrapped in blankets to shield them from the cold of the small hours - to head to bed. In the background, Fauske is preparing for a new day.

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