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Liberty Club Level3 Divers24

Plura Valley Discover the Underwater Concert!

Published: March 14, 2024 - 12:42
Updated: March 14, 2024 - 12:42
Plura Valley Discover the Underwater Concert!
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The Story of The Plura Cave Concert 

Nestled just beneath the Arctic Circle in northern Norway, Plura Valley is a premier destination for technical and cave diving enthusiasts. Managed by Ina Santala Jordbru and Jani Santala Jordbru for the past seven years, this resort has become a hub for over 1000 technical and cave diving expeditions annually. Designed to provide an all-encompassing diving experience, Plura Valley boasts a fully equipped technical center, charming Nordic-style lodging nestled in the scenic Plura Valley, complete catering services, and a unique dive-themed bar.

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In 2019 Ina Santala Jordbru and Jani Santala Jordbru got married inside the Plura cave, which is situated on Ina’s family farm, Jordbru. With 69 divers in attendance inside the cave, the whole event turned out to be a major success and was also awarded a Guinness World Record. This laid the foundational idea for an event inside the cave so that more people could experience this kind of amazing venue. The idea of the concert came after meeting up with some great musicians and event planners. After the success of the wedding, they realized that it is challenging, but technically possible to make a concert in the cave, but it was very demanding of resources.  

Plura cave concert
The audience at the Plura Cave Wedding in 2019 at the same venue as the Concert will be held, Photo Pekka Tuuri.

The regional center, Bodø, is European Capital of Culture for 2024 and the Cave Music team were lucky enough to get a chance to pitch the project to them. With Bodo 2024 on board as the main event partner and both global and local sponsors, it suddenly became possible to make this crazy idea of an event a reality. 

It took 4 years, and now The Plura Cave Concert is due 29th March as a part of the “Leave nothing but footprints” section of the Bodø2024 program, and the idea is that we get to give this epic live concert experience in the heart of the mountain to a select few – and at the same time make one of the most inaccessible places in the world accessible to the masses through a concert live stream. The Plura Cave Concert signifies more than music; by highlighting niche communities and their cultural impact, we aim to foster appreciation for diverse human experiences, forging connections that transcend boundaries and endure through time. We want to explore and showcase culture’s depths and celebrate the dedication of those who venture into these hidden realms.

plura cave concert
One of the helpers, Harri, entering the Plura Chapel where the concert will be conducted 29th of March, Photo: Pekka Tuuri

The music for this concert has been composed by Håkon Erlandsen, an artist whose focus is on expressing the emotions of extreme sports and expeditions through the medium of music. This artist is already renowned for his outlandish concert locations, holding the record for the world’s highest concert, played at 8848mas, on the summit of mount Everest and the world’s coldest concert, in Antarctica at a whopping minus 57 degrees Celsius. He has also had to work closely with Yamaha, whom he is an ambassador for, as they designed a saxophone hardy enough to play in the harshest conditions in the world.

Håkon, who has been cave diving since 2019, has composed this music based on his experience of cave diving. He plans on doing this by incorporating the sounds of the cave that speak most to him, such as the droplets of water and echo of bubbles. He says his goal with this project is to convey the feeling of cave diving to everyone, in his words “the simultaneous thrill and calmness you experience”. He says he wants to share the feeling of something being both beautiful and exciting at the same time. By utilising art to reach a greater audience and share an experience previously only held by few individuals.

With only three weeks left until the day of the concert, the prep is well underway here at Plura. In two weeks’ time, 25 amazing volunteers, mostly trusted friends and acquaintances from Norway and Finland, will be arriving to assist with all aspects of the preparation. They’ll be involved in laying cables, rigging equipment for transportation into the cave, and helping prepare the resort for 45 guests by food prepping, cleaning, and organizing living accommodations, among other tasks.

plura cave concert
Jani diving the S-curve in Plura Cave, photo: Pekka Tuur

One of the technical obstacles to overcome was how to transport instruments through the cave safely. To be able to solve this we reached out to SANTI, and they loved the idea. Their team has made us custom drysuits for the electric bass guitar and double bass, complete with an inflator and dump valve. We must dedicate a massive thank you to SANTI for the technical consultations to understand the requirements, the hours dedicated in making one of a kind drysuits and for doing all of this to a strict timeline. The lowest point on the way to the air chamber is 32mfw, hence the ambient pressure being 4,2atm. This adds some intricate complexities to our planning as some of the speakers have air spaces inside and there was a concern for implosion during transportation. We considered multiple solutions such as transportation in sealed cases (not strong enough themselves to withstand 4atm), wet transportation (doesn’t mix well with electronics) and we did consider asking SANTI for more drysuits, but we weren’t sure this would solve the pressure issue. Eventually we decided a test day was in order, so we sent our bass man, Davide Bartolini to the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, who, thanks to our good friend Vegard Sandvik, very kindly allowed us to use their hyperbaric chamber to stress test our wonderful musician and his instruments. Davide confirmed his basses, a mixer and the speakers would be able to withstand 4.2atm. The other instrument is a brass saxophone, so given the fresh water and metal material, no special accommodations needed, except maybe a towel for the other side!

The team of volunteers will be helping lay more than one kilometre of fibre optic cable into the cave for the live stream. A massive feat that is made more difficult because of the 4-degree ice water, requiring thicker gloves and in some cases even mittens. Making it more difficult to work with delicate fibre optic cable. Because of the temperature and open circuit gas constraints, we will realistically be limited to maximum 1.5-2 hours per dive. Therefore, to run the full amount of cable will take roughly a week for a 3-diver team. For safety reasons we cannot run the fibre cable directly along the mainline for fear of entanglement and or breakage from divers swimming through restrictive parts of the cave next to it. Hence, the cable will be suspended using polystyrene blocks cable tied to it, making it float up against the ceiling of the cave, and carefully placed, basically putting it into a line trap. Thus, avoiding any unwanted contact with concertgoers. We will be using Seacraft DPVs, some of which are on loan to us from Seacraft for the concert.

divers24 plura concert
Hakon arrived at the concert venue and is practicing before the big event as another diver approaches in the water Photo: Pekka Tuur

Seacrafts DPV’s are critical equipment for the event. Thanks to their E/O cable we will be able to power the entire concert from the scooters, removing the need for another cable to be ran into the cave. Everything, from lights, microphones, the basses, speakers and mixing boards will be powered off Seacraft scooter batteries. There are upwards of 15 different scooters, totalling more than 7kW. This is enough to run a small house, so for the concert it will be more than sufficient.

Without the joint support of the dive community this event would not be possible. It’s amazing to see how different brands are coming together to make this happen. 

Mares has been supporting Plura Valley since the start in 2017 and will be providing safety gear and much needed equipment for the event. One of the main contributions from Mares is the regulators for the extra stage tanks that will be staged throughout the cave as a safety measure. XDEEP is another brand that is supporting the event, providing backplates and harnesses for the volunteers that are flying in and are not able to bring all their dive gear.

The live stream will start at 1400hrs GMT +1 and is scheduled to last 2 hours. The concert itself is planned to start at 1500hrs local time. The live-stream link will be provided latest two days before the event, and will be hosted via our YouTube channel. Outside the cave we will have a large marquis where the concert will be streamed on 4 big screens for those unable to dive to the concert, such as family members or non-cave qualified members of the diving community.

Plura cave concert
Håkon Jazzathelete with his saxophone on his way up to the Plura Airchamber where the concert will be conducted 1500 feet inside the mountain Photo: Pekka Tuuri

Inside at the concert site, teams will arrive in a coordinated manner, as directed from the command centre. As concertgoers arrive in the chamber, they will be “signed out” of the water and confirmed to have reached the site safely. The chamber is formed like an amphitheatre, with tiered rocks for viewers to sit on. With a mix of open circuit and closed-circuit divers another thing we have had to consider is equipment doffing and donning upon arrival and departure. This will take an individual dedicated to coordinating equipment storage, although there is no shortage of place, as the chamber itself is more than 500m long. There will be non-alcoholic beverages served inside the cave, although we did consider not feeding our attendees too much liquid, because even though we are very talented here at Plura, transporting a porta potty to the chamber is not within our realms! At the conclusion of the concert the divers will return topside to join in the dinner and celebrations to sign off an amazing day and achievement.



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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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