Kilkim Žaibu: 5 reasons to visit the annual metal festival in Lithuania
The year has passed incredibly fast, it is already June and Noizr Zine team is preparing to visit the annual Lithuanian open air Kilkim Žaibu. In this new article we recall some major traits and crucial advantages of the festival that celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.
Kilkim Žaibu is a three-day festival of extreme genres of music and ethnic traditions. It was founded in 1999 with the perfect formula — a weekend outdoors far from noisy cities, plus an excellent line-up of musicians from all over the world who are united in their love for black/death metal and folk instruments.
Every year there are about 30 or even more than 30 bands are playing on Kilkim Žaibu with such headliners as Venom, Abbath, Nokturnal Mortum, Amon Amarth, Myrkur, I Am Morbid, Rotting Christ, Entombed A.D., Mortiis, Belphegor, Mgła and other masters of the genre. At the same time, the program is composed in such a way that anyone can find his type of music there — no matter if we are talking about fans of headbanging to some extreme metal stuff, or admirers of folk, melodic music, folk art or even simple evening songs around the bonfire.
Speaking about this year’s festival, the guests will see the performances of Hellhammer, Korpiklaani, Rotting Christ, Deströyer 666, Primordial and others.
Entombed A.D. during performance
Picturesque location and atmosphere
One of the main advantages of Kilkim Žibaibu is its location. For the last few years, open air is held on the picturesque shore of lake Lūkstas near the town of Varniai in the western part of Lithuania. It’s a quiet, solitary place, that can be reached by the narrow country road which heads from the nearest highway. It also leads the guests to a cozy forest edge, a sandy beach of a shallow lake and a large green glade with the size of a football field, where you can find the festival stages, bars, food courts, merch zone and active recreation locations.
Just imagine: you wake up in a tent. The rays of the sun touch you through its narrow slits, and the birds are singing above your head. Getting out, you find yourself on the spacious shore of the lake, inhale the fresh air and watch how the huge festival location comes to life. Having a square breakfast, you store your favorite cold drink and go to the stage where the soundcheck is already finished. No fuss and routine, noisy traffic. Only nature, music, cold beer and plenty of entertainment. More details on them are in the next paragraph.
Rich program and activities
One more advantage of Kilkim Žaibu lies in the fact that this is not so much an extreme metal festival, as a rich weekend in nature with an abundance of live music, communication, activities and even a kind of self-education opportunities.
In addition to the music, the program of each Kilkim Žibaibu includes many activities suitable for guests of different ages, all kinds of companies, and even families with children. Recent years, besides hanging out near the stages, the guests of the festival can observe work of the folk virtuosos (singing, dancing, small plays, and theatrical performances), participate in spectacular activities, such as Viking power competitions, sword fights, blind battles with chains or jumping over the bonfire. Fans of more usual entertainment can just play with the ball, badminton or go boating.
In addition, the organizers offer daily meetings with interesting speakers: musicians, writers, publishers. Such events are held in small circles of listeners with the ability to ask any question, sign a book or take a selfie for memory.
As it was mentioned above, Kilkim Žaibu is an outdoor weekend, taking place in the lap of nature and the organizers are extremely careful with it. Therefore, the first thing that catches your eye is thoughtfulness in terms of facilities for the guests and preserving cleanness at the location. The venue of the open air in sufficiently equipped with trash bins and dry closets. Moreover, amount of plastic and glass at festival is minimized. Almost all beverages can be purchased in Kilkim Žaibu branded and reusable glass.
At the location, there are usually a lot of people from the staff, including security. If it’s necessary, you can easily find someone from the team and ask for help. Also security checks all guests and their bags at the entrance to the festival territory that also make you feel safe.
Read also: Myrkur, Entombed A.D., and a bright set of Nokturnal Mortum. How Kilkim Žaibu XIX was held
Around the location there are several large parking lots for the personal transport. And it’s not a problem to get there without a car. Every year the organizers provide buses from the nearest large cities like Vilnius and Riga, which also bring the guests back at the end of the festival.
A sufficient number of food courts and beverage spill zones promote fast queues. Next to food courts, there are also covered areas with tables and benches where you can have a snack at any time of the day. It is also worth noting the smart location of the stages, camping areas and areas for outdoor activities. The guests of Kilkim Žaibu have the opportunity to spend their time in various ways without interfering with each other.
And in the long run it’s worth mentioning the special attention of the staff to the press and bloggers: both scenes are equipped with spacious and closed photo zones. Behind the scenes you can always find some free sockets to recharge your camera or smartphone.
With all the advantages above, the cost of Kilkim Žaibu tickets from year to year remains very democratic. Even with the current exchange rate. Moreover, in addition to the standard three-day ticket for one person, the organizers offer a special price option for the whole family. More details can be found on the festival's website.
20th anniversary Kilkim Žaibu will be held on June 21-23 in Varniai, Lithuania, with Hellhammer, Korpiklaani, Rotting Christ, Deströyer 666, Primordial as headliners.
Photos and text by Yurii Somov