As an old, wise man once said: absence makes the heart grow fonder. This rang particularly true last year for the average Dutch metalhead when it became apparent that the country’s prime metal festival – FortaRock – was undertaking a fallow year in order to regroup following declining ticket sales and a general lack of qualitatively appealing music. Last weekend, the Nijmegen bash celebrated a successful grand return which saw the event downscale and make adjustments which perfectly suited its fresh, intimate style. Parkway Drive and Nightwish served as two of the festival’s main attractions, appearing alongside the likes of Arch Enemy, Avatar, Thy Art is Murder and a handful more. Dewi Mik was present to capture proceedings across each of the festival’s two days at the Goffertpark, and here are 70 of the best shots.

ARCH ENEMY

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KREATOR

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PARKWAY DRIVE

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ALESTORM

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AVATAR

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DOOL

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DRAGONFORCE

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FOR I AM KING

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NIGHTWISH

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OPETH

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THY ART IS MURDER

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TYR

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FortaRock will return in 2019.