Every February, the townsfolk of York, UK and history enthusiasts nationwide come together to celebrate the city’s rich cultural heritage and Norse history at the Jorvik Viking Festival. Proudly sponsored by Descended from Odin, a heathen music festival hosted by Northern Extremity Promotions has recently been announced and will be held alongside the Viking week in celebration of our pagan past.
Rúnagaderung, the Old English word for ‘The Runic Gathering’ is a weekend long musical event which celebrates the rich history and mythology of early Northern Europe, from the mysterious petroglyphs and hidden secrets of the Nordic Bronze Age to the grim poetry of the Anglo-Saxons and the epic sagas of the Vikings. The event will be held across Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd February 2019 at the Fulford Arms in York, North Yorkshire.
The gathering takes place over two days, with the Friday being dedicated to a selection of some of the best historically inspired folk, neo-folk and dark ambient bands that the United Kingdom and Scandinavia will have to offer. Often played on traditional Viking Age and medieval instruments, songs both ancient and new will be sung, stories will be shared and the past will be brought to life.
The Saturday brings an onslaught of metal to the city of York. Covering a broad range of the metal spectrum, we bring historically influenced black, extreme, death and power metal bands from across the country to take part in our closing blót.
Although there are still many bands yet to be announced, confirmed artists include the likes of one-woman harpist YYLVA, storyteller’s Old Corpse Road, York-based Norse folk quartet Bruni, and Prophecy’s avant-garde A Forest of Stars. One of the most highly anticipated band’s participating in Rúnagaderung’s stellar line-up is a local act’s hearken to the old ways, Wyrdstaef. In April 2018, the band were featured on a Channel 4 documentary exploring the Viking history of the city of York and received outstanding reviews of their debut performance at Warhorns Festival. Combining an array of dark soundscapes and ominous atmosphere, Wyrdstaef fuse the ambience and simplicity of traditional historical instruments, such as Einar Selvik’s legendary bowed lyre, with the aggression and technicality of extreme metal. Lyrically, focusing on the Palaeolithic period of human pre-history, they bring the fury and mysticism of the Stone Age to a modern audience with the use of bone adornments, a stave and an unearthly appearance. Ave Noctum described the band’s debut performance as ‘stunning’ and ‘jaw-dropping’ in their Warhorns Festival review: certainly, they are a band not to be missed.
With the popularity of ritualistic folk acts such as Wardruna and Heilung growing, paired with the interest in heathen traditions and ideals, it is no surprise there is now a real hunger for more events like this across the globe, particularly in the UK. An MA Historian in Anglo-Saxon and Viking history, Connor Sanders: the man behind the event, has an unrelenting passion for this period of history and undoubtedly will only bring sympathetic authenticity to an event of this nature. The Runic Gathering follows Myrkur’s headlining ‘Folkesange’ set at the York Barbican on the 21st, making the 35th Jorvik Viking Festival the place to be during the month of Góa! So, what are you waiting for? Array yourself in Nordic finery, make your ancestors proud and drink the mead hall dry at Rúnagaderung – The Runic Gathering 2019!
Date: 22nd and 23rd February 2019
Location: Fulford Arms, 121 Fulford Road, York, YO10 4EX
More information on the event can be found on Facebook here.
Weekend Pass (Early Bird) – £20
Day Ticket – £15
Tickets are available to purchase here now!