|Nightwish at M’era Luna, Welle: Erdball at Amphi and Mono Inc at WGT|
This summer has been very much a black Gothic summer for me. I’ve attended the three biggest Goth Festivals in the world. Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig back in May, Amphi Festival in Cologne in July then just a couple of weeks later M’era Luna in Hildesheim. All three are very different events but each dwarfs anything in the UK with up to 30 thousand people attending. They are certainly well worth the trip.
Wave Gotik Treffen.
|Moonspell at the Kohlrabizirkus|
I’ll admit that this years Treffen was a bit stressful for me as leader of our group as German Railworkers went on strike, meaning we had to make alternative arrangements to get from Berlin to Leipzig. Thankfully MeinFernBus still had some seats available so we could get there without resorting to taking a hire car down the autobahn. Still we made it OK.
Leipzig is an amazing city and during Treffen the streets are full of black clad folk and the locals do seem to make us feel welcome. The live music part of the festival is spread over about 20 venues across the city ranging from the hanger like Agra Halle to Sixtina, an absinthe bar holding a few hundred people. There are also parties, readings, exhibitions and much more during the weekend.
|Yes I wore this to a gig! *dies of heat*|
This year I saw Accessory, Grendel, Moonspell, Fields of the Nephilium (in latex as I was off to the Obsession Bizarr after the gig), Clan of Xymox, London after Midnight, Mono Inc, Spiral 69, The Essence and Seasurfer. Quite a varied mix and that’s something I love about WGT, there is something for everyone.
|Big venue, shame about the band (Rabia Sorda)|
Amphi is a new festival for me (though it has been running since 2003), like Treffen it is another city centre festival but unlike WGT it takes place at a single venue in Cologne. The Amphi Eventpark (aka the Lanxess Arena and its grounds) was new for 2015, the festival previously taking place at the riverside Tanzbrunnen 500m away. The new venue didn’t get off to the best of starts as a storm forced the closure of the outdoor stages on the first day confining everyone to the arena and forcing the rescheduling or cancellation of several acts.
|The Lanxess Arena|
Unfortunately most of the food vendors were in the closed outdoor zones and the arena catering was not great to say the least. I’m glad I’m not vegetarian! The second day with everything open was a lot better, the arena wasn’t as crowded and it was possible to eat food that didn’t resemble cardboard
|Qntal on stage at Amphi|
The main arena is huge but I don’t think it has the atmosphere of a smaller older venue, but then arenas rarely make the best venue for live music. It’s also a bit of a maze as everything looks the same, making it hard to navigate. The Green stage was on a downward slope so it’s possible to get a good view even if you aren’t right on the front.
|Being Rained on before Welle: Erdball|
Bandwise I saw Chrom, Rabia Sorda, The Other, The Crüxshadows, The Birthday Massacre, Agonoize, Qntal, Zeraphine, Welle: Erdball, Oomph!, The Mission and VNV Nation.
Amphi isn’t going to be an event I’ll rush back to, maybe if it has a good line up I’d consider it, possibly with an extra day to look around Cologne.
This was my second M’era Luna and once again I travelled with Goths on a Bus from the UK to the festival site in Hildesheim. M’era is a more traditional open air festival with the majority of the 30,000 attendees (including us) camping on site. Unlike most UK events the campsite is pretty good in terms of facilities with free washing facilities and proper flushing toilets (as well as the ubiquitous ‘Dixi’ loos)
The festival is more of a crossover between Goth and Metal with big names mixing with more obscure acts. There is also a medieval market with fireshows and bands after the official programme finishes each evening not to mention parties in the campsite
This was also my first attempt to be glamourous and female while camping (last year I presented male because I didn’t know what the facilities would be like). I managed all but the Friday evening (after travelling for about 23 hours female). I’m quite proud of myself. Despite my worries about passport control on the return to the UK there wasn’t a problem with me presenting female with my old passport!
|Nighwish close the weekend. I want Floor’s outfit!|
The bands of the weekend were: Pestilencia, Lord of the Lost, Deathstars, L’Âme Immortelle, Aesthetic Perfection, Blutengel (from the mead bar), Rob Zombie, ASP, Tanzwut, Apoptygma Berzerk, Mono Inc, Einstürzende Neubauten and Nightwish.
A little side note, I managed to shake the the battery compartment open on my compact camera with the battery and SD card falling out. Miraculously I managed to find the SD card where it had fallen out on the runway. The Runway Goddess was with our group (someone else in our camp lost his wallet on the runway, some Germans found it, tracked him down on Facebook and returned it)
So after my epic summer of Goth, I do want to keep up my Goth lifestyle. It’s true that Goths never quit, they just grow old disgracefully. Despite my promise not to do any festivals next year I’m going to book up for M’era Luna with Goths on a Bus. It’s affordable and I don’t have to organise anything! I’m looking for events to do in the UK (unfortunately Infest and Resistanz are both on holiday weekends, meaning I can’t get the time off work), Whitby is incredibly expensive now (mainly because of non-festival goers flooding the town to ‘see the Goths’) to the point where it is cheaper to go to Germany!
I’m also giving thought to the future of this blog. More on that over the weekend.